On Monday (Oct. 19), Compton Mayor Aja Brown released a statement about Compton Pledge, a program that will “challenge the racial and economic injustice plaguing both welfare programs and economic systems.”
The program will begin later this year and will go to locals who have been “pre-verified.” Those residents will receive payments for the next two years through the initiative. A spokesperson told CNN that they have not determined exactly how much each person will get “beyond the range of a few hundred dollars.”
“People in our community are going through tough times and I know that guaranteed income could give people a moment to navigate their situation, and have some breathing room to go back to school, explore a new career path, spend time with their children, or improve their mental and emotional well-being,” Brown said in the statement. “Ensuring all people are able to live with dignity is something we should all strive for in America.”
The funds will also be available for those who are “irregularly or informally employed residents, immigrants of varied legal status and formerly incarcerated.”
Compton Pledge recipients can receive their money through electronic transfers, prepaid debit cards or direct deposits. The initiative will also provide access to “existing financial, legal and counseling services” and no-cost banking.
According to census.gov, 20% of Compton residents are currently living below the poverty line — a statistic that is double the national average. The pandemic also raised the city’s unemployment rate to 21.9%.
Compton Pledge will be led by Mayor Brown, the Fund for Guaranteed Income, the Jain Family Institute and several other organizations. They have already raised over $2.5 million from private donations and contributions.