Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren submits Guaranteed Basic Income proposal before leaving office


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren submitted a proposal to city council Wednesday that would create a Guaranteed Basic Income pilot program for 175 families in the city.

According to a release sent by the mayor’s office Wednesday evening, the proposal would be her final act in office. It was submitted hours before her 11:59 p.m. resignation, which comes as part of a plea deal she agreed to last month.

Under the proposal, 175 families in the City of Rochester who live at or below 200% of the federal poverty level would receive $500 per month for one year. A separate group of 175 families would receive the same amount monthly under the second year of the proposal.

According to the mayor’s office, the pilot program would cost $2.2 million. The proposal argues the program could be paid for with pandemic recovery funds. It would also pay The Black Community Focus Fund, Inc. $50,000 annually to manage the program.

“The quickest path for Rochester families to escape poverty and build generational wealth is through the establishment of a guaranteed basic income,” Mayor Warren said in a statement issued Wednesday. “While the City alone cannot achieve this goal for all of our families, we can demonstrate the powerful impact that a guaranteed basic income would provide. My hope is that a successful pilot would spur our community’s non-profits, private donors and, ultimately, other levels of government, to embrace this effort and make guaranteed basic income a cornerstone in our efforts to achieve equity.”

The mayor’s office says Rochester City Council will consider the proposal in its December session.

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