Chuck Woolery, conservative former host of The Love Connection, tweeted this message after reading a blurb from Blunt Force Truth, a questionable news source:
What Woolery probably didn't expect was to receive a quick reply from the Mayor completely dismantling every detail of the post. It turns out Woolery needed to get his facts straight.
Mayor Tubbs is no push-over when it comes to the facts. He was first elected to the Stockton City Council at the age of 22, and has since become the city's all-time youngest mayor and first African-American to hold the office. He was even the subject of a documentary, True Son, which was aired on Fusion and at the Tribeca Film Festival.
Stockton has definitely improved economically since 2013, when it became the year's largest U.S. city to declare bankruptcy. The town still has plenty of room for improvement, however: 25% of Stocktonians live below the poverty line, and 18% lack reliable access to reliable, nutritious food. These factors and more have led Tubbs to take a step recommended by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in his final book. King wrote:
I'm now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income.
Tubbs is calling the universal income program the Stockton Economic Empowerment Demonstration (SEED for short). A team of "social scientists and community leaders" will be determining the number of residents who will be allowed into the "test phase" of the program in the coming months, and $500 checks are expected to be distributed by late 2018. Put simply, some low-income residents can expect $500 a month, no questions asked. Funding for SEED is coming from various philanthropic sources, as Tubbs claimed, including the Economic Security Project (who supplied a grant of $1 million) and a Crowdrise campaign (which is aiming to raise $50,000).
Twitter users are loving Mayor Tubb's smackdown:
If Woolery wants to comment on Mayor Tubbs, he ought to check his facts.
Other cities have their eye on Stockton, hoping Mayor Tubbs' project is successful!
Visionaries like Mark Zuckerberg, Elon Musk, and Richard Branson have all called for universal basic income as a positive step that society should take at some point. Mayor Tubbs is hoping Stockton will provide a positive example of how alleviation of some financial worries benefits a community. The SEED website says:
Stockton is in many ways a microcosm of the United States: in recent years, major shifts in our economy, persistent wage stagnation, and rising inequality have made it increasingly difficult for hardworking residents to make ends meet. We believe this initiative will highlight the resiliency and grit of our people. And it will show the nation and the world that ours is a community of hardworking, determined individuals who can forge ahead if only given the opportunity.
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