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2021 Budget and Tax Briefing: Making the Case for Cash
April 22, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDTFree
As millions of Americans continue to struggle to make ends meet, there has been increased national attention to and growing public support for cash transfers as an effective way to get money into the pockets of people hit hardest by the pandemic and economic crisis. Government and philanthropy are experimenting with a variety of approaches– universal basic income pilots, emergency stimulus, and tax credits — to explore how to ensure that families who need it the most have access to flexible resources. This webinar explored how government, philanthropy, and advocacy organizations are making the case for cash.
- Ami Nagle, Co-Director of EOF, and Coordinator for the EITC Funders Network and Children Youth and Family Funders Roundtable (Moderator)
- Aisha Nyandoro, CEO, Springboard To Opportunities
- George Jones, CEO, Bread for City
Webinar Recap: On April 22, 2021, Economic Opportunity Funders hosted the third program of the 2021 Virtual Budget and Tax Briefing to explore cash transfers as an effective anti-poverty and gender-focused strategy for addressing systemic racism, and to learn what two minimum basic income pilot projects, THRIVE East of the River in DC and Magnolia Mother’s Trust in Mississippi, have learnt. We were joined by Aisha Nyandoro, CEO at Springboard To Opportunities and George Jones, CEO at Bread for City. The discussion was moderated by Ami Nagle, Co-Director of EOF and Coordinator of the EITC Funders Network and Children Youth & Family Funders Roundtable. The pandemic has laid bare what communities across the country already knew—low-income communities, particularly those of color, lack not only cash, but emergency savings and ultimately wealth. According to an NPR poll, in September 2020, 86% of Latino households with children and 66% of black households with children reported serious financial problems during the pandemic, including depleted savings, trouble paying credit bills and other debt, and affording medical care. This is compared with 51% of white households reporting the same problems. The pandemic, and our nation’s response—by providing immediate cash relief in the forms of stimulus checks, expanded unemployment benefits, and now expansions to tax credits—has helped to shine a light on the importance of cash and tax credit-based strategies for putting money in people’s pockets so they can afford food, housing, transportation, to paydown debt. We now have a window of opportunity to shift narratives and policies around cash as an effective strategy for the long term, particularly for black communities and families who have been locked out of economic opportunity due to structural and systemic racism. Leveraging this moment will mean building on what is known. The pilot projects shared much about the shape and structure of their initiatives as well as their findings, including: First, an understanding that it will take the liberation of capital from Government, philanthropy, and the non-profit sector to win long-term transformation and build a future where everyone has the resources and supports that they need to thrive. Second, the importance of shifting the narrative around cash and families with low-income, particularly Black families. And finally, that cash will go a long way but won’t solve all the problems—people also need better systems, structures, and services like child care, housing, education, and transportation—and that these need to be built back better and sustainably.
|“We have built the movement, empowering black women and being unapologetic about positioning them as worthy, capable and valuable — and that is changing the narrative.” — Aisha Nyandoro, CEO, Springboard To Opportunities|
|“So many studies suggest that when people have a high economic floor, when people have real cash in their hands, they can figure out the solutions to most of their socio-economic problems.” — George Jones, CEO, Bread for City|
|“We are wedded to this idea that individuals are poor because they choose to be poor, not recognizing that it is the systems and structures that we put in place.” — Aisha Nyandoro, CEO, Springboard To Opportunities|
|“If it doesn’t hurt you, if you don’t feel some pain—I mean the kinds of accommodations that we privileged people are willing to make—then I wonder if you’re really doing racial equity.” — George Jones, CEO, Bread for City|
- Magnolia Mother’s Trust: This initiative, launched in 2018 by Springboard To Opportunities, provided low-income, African-American mothers in Jackson, Mississippi $1,000 cash on a monthly basis, no strings attached, for 12 months straight. While there have been several initiatives for a guaranteed income worldwide, this is the first that specifically targets extremely low-income families headed by an African-American female living in affordable housing in the United States. The initial pilot program consisted of 20 women and ran from December 2018-November 2019. A larger study consisting of at least 110 women began in March 2020.
- THRIVE East of the River: This partnership, a collaboration between Martha’s Table, Bread for the City, 11th Street Bridge Park, and Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, is designed to address immediate economic instability posed by COVID-19 to DC’s Ward 8 residents with the goal of supporting a total of 500 families. Kicking off with the first 100 families on June 15, participants will receive five months of support including weekly groceries, dry goods, and $1,100 monthly financial assistance along with assigned navigators helping families access unemployment insurance, tax credits, and other available benefits.
- Guaranteed Income Community Practice: The Guaranteed Income Community of Practice convenes guaranteed income stakeholders, including policy experts, researchers, community and program leaders, funders, and elected officials to promote learning and collaboration in the burgeoning arena of unconditional cash programs. The Economic Security Project is proud to partner with and elevate the expertise of Springboard To Opportunities, the Stanford Basic Income Lab, Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, the Center for Guaranteed Income Research, and Asset Funders Network as co-conveners of this work.
- Mayors for a Guaranteed Income: Mayor Michael D. Tubbs (Stockton, CA) and the Economic Security Project founded Mayors for a Guaranteed Income in June 2020. Mayors will come together in this network to advocate for a guaranteed income—direct, recurring cash payments—that lifts all of our communities, building a resilient, just America.
- Cash, no strings attached: New U.S. programs for pandemic poor, by Carey L. Biron, Thomson Reuters Foundation, April 20, 2021.
- Putting Poor Black Mothers Front and Center, By Aisha Nyandoro and Kathy Spillar, Ms Magazine, April 14, 2021.
- In the Stimulus Bill, a Policy Revolution in Aid for Children, By Jason DeParle, The New York Times, Update March 9, 2021.
- Child tax credit expansion sets up showdown with GOP, By Alexandra Jaffe and Josh Boak, AP, March 8, 2021.
- A city gave people $500 a month, no strings attached, to fight poverty. It paid off, study says. By Meryl Kornfield, The Washington Post, March 4, 2021.