Five-Year Basic Income Pilot Launches in Hudson, NY

HudsonUP, founded by The Spark of Hudson and the Humanity Forward Foundation, will disburse $500 payments to 25 participants every month for 5 years starting Nov. 1st

The pilot received nearly 500 submissions from within the Hudson, NY city limits. Selection was completed by way of a weighted randomization. Selection was randomized, with weights applied to submissions to account for equity factors. The selection process was overseen by a team of independent researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

The participant group reflects the tremendous diversity of the city–half are Black or African American, 34% identify as White, 12% are Hispanic, and 4% are Asian. The sample includes more women than men–around 70% are women, 23% are men, and 7% are non-binary, non-conforming, or transgender.

Participants were notified at the end of last month and are on-track to receive their first UBI payment by the start of next month. There will be no limits placed on how participants are able to spend the money. 

HudsonUP is a collaborative pilot made possible by The Spark of Hudson, founded by Susan Danziger and Albert Wenger, and the Humanity Forward Foundation, founded by former presidential candidate Andrew Yang. The HudsonUP program, including recipient selection process and implementation, has been designed in close partnership with individuals and organizations within the Hudson community. 

Hudson native and non-profit management professional, Joan Hunt, will be stepping into the role of HudsonUP Pilot Director to oversee the overall communications strategy and day-to-day operations of the program. Ms. Hunt will be the primary contact for the pilot’s participants and will serve as the chief spokesperson for the program.

“I look forward to witnessing firsthand the positive effect basic income can have on individuals and on the Hudson community broadly,” said Ms. Hunt, “and I’m honored to be taking on the role of HudsonUP Pilot Director to help tell the story of UBI in Hudson to the country and to the world.”

Hudson Mayor Kamal Johnson has been very supportive of the HudsonUP Program, having hosted multiple virtual events this past summer promoting the pilot, serving as a member of the Pilot’s Community Advisory Board, and participating in the design and development of the Pilot. “We are currently living in tough times that force us to live everyday life differently,” said Mayor Johnson. “That also requires out of the box initiatives centered around citizens who don’t always have the opportunities to succeed.”

To facilitate the cash transfers, HudsonUP has partnered with Greylock Federal Credit Union.

“Greylock is honored to be involved in this community initiative,” said Greylock President and CEO John L. Bissell. “HudsonUP and Mayor Johnson are on the forefront of developing a more inclusive economy and we are grateful to be a partner in achieving their vision.”

In related news, co-founder of The Spark of Hudson and HudsonUP, Susan Danziger, will be joining the Humanity Forward Foundation Board of Directors.

“I’m excited to serve on the Humanity Forward Foundation board to help bring UBI to the world,” said Danziger, “It’s the most accelerated way to bring people relief from massive unemployment and finally pay for all the unpaid work women, in particular, have been doing for years: taking care of kids, the elderly, their communities and the environment.”

Susan Danziger

The Spark of Hudson is a hub for learning and community development launching in Hudson, NY. In addition to The Spark of Hudson and HudsonUP, Wenger and Danziger have launched and funded a variety of other projects to better the greater Hudson community and beyond.

The Humanity Forward Foundation is a new 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, founded by Andrew Yang, dedicated to promoting research and education around universal basic income and to providing charitable cash assistance to Americans in need. 

Greylock membership is open to anyone who lives, works, attends school, worships or regularly conducts business in Columbia County, NY or Berkshire County, MA, the towns of Westfield, Southwick, Granville, Montgomery, and Russell, Massachusetts, or Bennington County, VT. Greylock Federal is wholly owned by its more than 89,000 members. Greylock has a Low Income Designation (LID) from the NCUA and certification by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund allowing the Credit Union to offer expanded services to low and moderate income families. 


To learn more about the HudsonUP UBI project, please visit For press inquiries, please contact

You may also be interested in...