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Shreveport City Councilman Grayson Boucher talks about the recent announcement that Shreveport will be one of eleven "test cities" across the the country for what is said to be a privately funded Universal Basic Income program.

The announcement from Mayor Adrian Perkins earlier this week said that he is part of a group called Mayors for a Guaranteed Income and includes leaders from Los Angeles, Stockton, Compton and Oakland in California, Atlanta, Georgia, St. Paul, Minnesota, Tacoma, Washington, Jackson, Mississippi, Newark, New Jersey and Columbia, South Carolina. According to the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, the organization's mission statement is “Wealth and income inequality, which have long plagued our country, continue to grow. Even prior to the pandemic, people who were working two and three jobs still couldn’t afford basic necessities. COVID-19 has only further exposed the economic fragility of most American households, and has disproportionately impacted Black and Brown people.”

The Mayors also stated that a combination of the pandemic and the unrest caused by the death of George Floyd have motivated them to move forward with the UBI concept.

Councilman Boucher says that information from Mayor Perkins regarding the city's involvement has been scarce. "It was a little shocking to me that we're involved in this pilot program. Now that he (Perkins) has clarified that it's going to be private funds, if somebody wants to give us money, I guess it's okay. But we have so many other issues going on right now as far as the budget...if the program is what the Mayor is saying it is, if there are private entities that are going to do this, I don't have a problem with that. But as far as the city, we just can't afford to be philanthropists right now."


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