For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 13, 2022
Contact: Crystal Brigman Mahaney, [email protected], 417693-5690
ST. LOUIS– Following the St. Louis Board of Alderman’s passage of BB 116 to implement a Guaranteed Basic Income pilot program, Missouri Jobs with Justice Policy Director Richard von Glahn released the following statement:
Missouri Jobs with Justice is excited that St. Louis is joining the myriad of cities that are investing in their residents with guaranteed basic income (GBI). As nearly half of all Americans report they could not afford a surprise $500 bill, it is clear that our economy – and its recovery – are not working for all of us.
Too many workers are caught in places of economic peril, lacking the economic security necessary to invest in themselves in job training, furthering education, or perhaps striking out on their own as an entrepreneur. A guaranteed basic income would relieve this anxiety and allow all workers the opportunity to think about the future and not just the day-to-day struggle.
Working in an economically precarious environment reinforces the structural power of employers over their employees. Employees who need every hour of work they can get to put food on the table or keep the heat on are more likely to remain silent about wage theft, sexual harassment, or other workplace abuses. GBI would give workers the freedom to challenge injustice and exploitation- something we strongly support.
We applaud the city for utilizing its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to deliver direct relief to those St. Louis families hardest hit by this economic crisis. A guaranteed basic income program is good policy for our neighbors, our economy, and our collective future. The successful experiment of direct cash assistance and the lessons learned from other cities give us ample opportunity to design and implement a successful program.
Missouri Jobs with Justice is a statewide grassroots coalition of individuals and faith, labor, student, and community groups building transformative power for social, racial, and economic justice. Our individual and organizational members come together to hold decision-makers accountable and to build a Missouri where opportunity exists for all, regardless of race, identity, income, or immigration status. Follow our work at https://www.facebook.com/MissouriJobsWithJustice/ or www.mojwj.org