Madison, WI is launching a pilot as part of a larger effort to convince the federal government to tackle national poverty through direct income payments to those in need.
Today, Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway is announcing that local donors have contributed over $300,000 to Madison’s Guaranteed Income Pilot, bringing the total budget to $900,000.
On December 8, Mayor Rhodes-Conway announced that Madison had been chosen by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI) as the location of a guaranteed income pilot program designed to support families and combat poverty. MGI is 44 mayors strong, representing 18.9 million Americans.
Currently, seven cities are running pilots and 14 more, including Madison, are planning to, supported by MGI and by the generous financial support of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
Mayors for a Guaranteed Income is the primary national donor, but our local donors are just as important to the success of the Madison pilot and the Mayor would like to thank the following:
- UW Health
- CUNA Mutual Group
- Dan and Patti Rashke Family Foundation
- American Family Insurance
- Alliant Energy Foundation
- Give Back Foundation
“I would like to thank the generous donors who are willing to work with the City of Madison to innovate on a guaranteed income project that will lift up Madison families and provide proof of concept for a national program,” said Mayor Rhodes-Conway.
This pilot is part of a larger effort to convince the federal government to tackle national poverty through direct income payments to those in need.
This unique approach to alleviating poverty has been tried in other communities around the world and was vital in attracting our earliest supporters like TASC who will be providing in-kind services in tandem with donations from the Dan and Patti Rashke Family Foundation.
“This opportunity with Mayors for a Guaranteed Income speaks to the core of TASC’s mission: ‘Improving the health, wealth & well-being of our customers, employees and community.’ We are excited to be on the ground floor of this program, providing those who are struggling with the financial relief they need to move forward,” said Dan Rashke, TASC CEO.
The majority of the funds provided by Mayors for a Guaranteed Income and raised by these local supporters will go directly to participants.
The more funds raised locally, the larger the group of participants that will be able to receive direct payments and provide valuable data for the national study. National support coupled with local partners like UW Health, sets us up to not only tackle poverty today but better understand the effects of poverty on our community’s long-term, overall health.
“We recognize income stability has a direct impact on people’s health. We are excited to partner with the City through our financial support of this pilot and look forward to see what it reveals about how people’s lives improve, including their health status,” said Juli Aulik, Community Relations Director for UW-Health.
The CUNA Mutual Group Foundation was also a major contributor to the guaranteed income pilot.
“The CUNA Mutual Group Foundation is committed to making a positive impact in our community,” said Alexzandra Shade, Foundation executive director and CUNA Mutual Group director of corporate social responsibility.
“Our philanthropy is centered in equity, and our investment in the Madison Guaranteed Income Pilot Program is part of our commitment to addressing the socio-economic and racial disparities that exist in Madison, as it will invest in local residents and provide them with the unconditional financial support needed to make the best choices for their families’ growth and stability.”
The Give Back Foundation and TASC are providing invaluable in-kind support as fiscal agent and disbursement manager for the project.
“The Give Back Foundation applauds the Mayor and those who have stepped forward to financially support this innovative pilot to meet the needs of vulnerable people in our community. We are delighted to be part of the team working toward fresh solutions,” said Jeanan Yasiri Moe, Chair of the Give Back Foundation.
While fundraising continues, Mayor Rhodes-Conway is also exploring ways local research partners can work with the national research program. In February the Common Council approved the creation of a Guaranteed Income Task Force, the members of which were confirmed at the April 20th Council meeting.
“These steps bring us closer to being able to roll out the program for participants here in Madison,” said Mayor Rhodes-Conway,
“While the primary purpose is to help Madison families, I’m committed to designing the program in a way that allows us to collect data that will make the case for a national program.”
More information about the pilot program and how it will operate will be announced soon. Please note that we are not ready to enroll people in the program yet. If you’re interested in supporting this pilot please contact George Reistad and Lana Wood at the City.