Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey just donated $15 million to Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a coalition of US mayors interested in starting basic-income pilots.
Several pilots are already underway, including a recent trial in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Dorsey's investment will help additional cities like Pittsburgh and Los Angeles launch their programs.
Starting in April, millions of Americans received stimulus checks - a no-strings-attached payment meant to alleviate financial hardship. To proponents of a basic-income policy, the idea sounded familiar.
Basic-income programs essentially pay people simply for being alive as a way to alleviate poverty. Michael Tubbs, the mayor of Stockton, California, launched one of the US's first guaranteed-income pilots - a program called SEED - last year. The experiment has been giving monthly payments of $500 to 125 of the city's poorest residents since February 2019.
Tubbs also spearheads the group Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a coalition of mayors interested in starting similar basic-income pilots across the US. In July, the coalition received $3 million from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's #StartSmall initiative to fund global COVID-19 relief. On Tuesday, the group announced that Dorsey is giving another $15 million to support more basic-income pilots.
Tubbs told Business Insider that he and Dorsey started discussing a plan to promote basic income earlier this year.
"We just had a conversation about where I saw it going," Tubbs said. "I said, 'Well, I have a bunch of mayors who I know will sign up for this if we can provide them TA [technical assistance] and support."
The coalition now has 29 mayors now on board, including Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, and Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan. Every city in the coalition is guaranteed up to $500,000 dollars, Tubbs said.