Skip to main content

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter joins coalition of mayors to look into guaranteed income

Guaranteed income would mean recurring cash payments to residents, with no strings attached.

St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter is among the 11 mayors who have joined a coalition that will explore providing a guaranteed income for residents. 

The coalition, which launched Monday, is called Mayors for a Guaranteed Income. It believes that by providing direct, recurring cash payments to people, it will help build a resilient community and help address racial and gender equity issues.

This comes as many American adults struggle financially. The Federal Reserve found last year that nearly 40 percent of adults in the U.S. can't cover a $400 emergency with cash, savings or credit cards that can be paid off quickly. 

"Wealth and income inequality, which have long plagued our country, continue to grow. Even prior to the pandemic, people who were working two and three jobs still couldn’t afford basic necessities," the Mayors for a Guaranteed Income website states

"COVID-19 has only further exposed the economic fragility of most American households, and has disproportionately impacted Black and Brown people.

"This is our New Deal moment: everyone deserves an income floor through a guaranteed income," the website adds.

In an opinion piece published by Time, the mayors said the coalition "will invest in additional guaranteed-income pilots and advocate for state and federal cash-based policies."

It's unclear what programs will look like or when they'll start. 

“In a country that works for all of us, no one who works full time should be stuck in poverty or worried about making ends meet," Mayor Carter said in a statement to BMTN. "It’s time to reimagine and rethink our economic structures by piloting a guaranteed income.”

He also shared this tweet on Monday: 

Mayors for a Guaranteed Income was founded by Mayor Michael Tubbs, who serves the city of Stockton, California. He's previously launched a guaranteed income program in which he's been giving 125 residents $500 a month since February 2019, the website says.

Sign up for our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

“It’s taken COVID-19 where direct cash payments are part of the solution offered by the federal government, so I just thought the time was right to organize mayors around the idea because we live in a time of pandemics,” Tubbs told Forbes. “If it’s not COVID-19 this year, it’ll be an earthquake next year, a hurricane the year after or fire. Folks need to build economic resilience in our cities now.”

As of Monday, the coalition features a Black majority with officials from 11 cities. The cities are St. Paul, Stockton, California; Newark, New Jersey; Columbia, South Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Compton, California; Los Angeles, California; Jackson, Mississippi; Shreveport, Louisiana; Oakland, California; and Tacoma, Washington. 

Other mayors are invited to join the coalition.

Next Up

Police tape

Woman dies after being shot in Minneapolis

The woman in her 20s died at the scene.


Twin Cities liquor store worker offers shoes off her feet to unhoused man

The man asked for boxes to use as makeshift shoes before the woman offered hers.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 2.19.37 PM

St. Paul PD releases footage showing fatal police shooting of Howard Johnson

The 24-year-old died after being shot by a St. Paul officer Monday night.


22 dogs taken in by Animal Humane Society from shuttered breeder

The dogs were taken in after a report stated there were too many on a single property.


Latest on the 2 snowstorms set to impact Minnesota

The first arrives Thursday night into Friday before a bigger system comes next week.


Cop who pepper-sprayed downtown protesters received $150K payout

Samantha Belcourt said she "feared for her life."

Powerball Minnesota lottery

$1 million Powerball prize won in Twin Cities

The winning ticket was sold in Chanhassen for Wednesday's draw.

Screen Shot 2022-12-08 at 9.16.18 AM

Animales Barbeque Co. looks to open brick-and-mortar location

The popular food truck has partnered with the owner of Billy Sushi.

Christmas presents

Here are some 2022 holiday shipping deadlines to keep in mind

Most deadlines are a few days before Christmas Eve.


Melvin Carter

St. Paul launches guaranteed income pilot, 150 families could get $500 a month

The People's Prosperity Pilot will give up to 150 families in St. Paul $500 a month for 18 months.

Melvin Carter

St. Paul plans to extend $500 payments to low-income families

The expansion would give more than 300 families a monthly payment of $500.

St. Paul mayor wants to eliminate library late fines

Fines disproportionately impact lower-income users, he says.

Melvin Carter

Melvin Carter's 2021 budget includes millions in cuts, hiring freeze

The proposed budget will not result in any layoffs of city employees, Carter said.

Carter klobuchar

St. Paul's mayor endorses Amy Klobuchar for president

Melvin Carter will join Klobuchar in Los Angeles ahead of the latest debate.

mayor melvin carter state of our city 2022 stream

St. Paul mayor wants to expand guaranteed income program

Mayor Melvin Carter made the case for both efforts in his State of Our City address.

Screen Shot 2021-08-14 at 9.48.22 AM

Here's what's in the budgets proposed by Minneapolis, St. Paul mayors

Both budgets will leverage increased property tax levies and funds from the American Rescue Plan Act to support spending.