Community Change seeks broad structural reform to lift millions of people across the country out of poverty by ensuring an income floor. For that vision to be real, we must have an honest conversation about generational racialized and gendered poverty in our country and the impact these institutionalized forces have had in our communities. True freedom to thrive must include all of us.
Over half the country finds itself on the edge of economic ruin, even as they work hard to make ends meet. Out of anger with this status quo emerged a new vision of a society in which everyone has the freedom to thrive. A guaranteed income — delivered alongside other material benefits like housing, child care, and health care — is crucial for realizing that vision. A guaranteed income — delivered alongside other material benefits like housing, child care, and health care — is crucial for realizing that vision.
A guaranteed income can come in a variety of forms — for example, a periodic cash payment or an expansion of already existing tax credits. Expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the Child Tax Credit (CTC) would ensure that tens of millions of families currently living at or near the poverty line have the resources they need to provide for their families. These expansions should provide all families and low-income individuals – regardless of their formal work status – cash payments significant enough to put those who most need it on a path to economic security and self-determination. This includes unpaid caregivers who do the valuable work of caring for their loved ones as well as all documented and undocumented immigrants.
“Our tax policy is designed to benefit those at a certain point in American wealth production and disadvantages those most responsible for the daily generation of our economy.”
Stacey Abrams, founder of Fair Fight
Community Change plays a two-prong role in the movement to establish a guaranteed income:
- We convene a cohort of grassroots partners from states across the country to strategize together, learn from each other’s experiences in the field, and build a shared agenda around bold proposals for a guaranteed income at all levels of government.
- We anchor the national conversation about basic income in the lived experience of our grassroots partners, driving an equity-informed discussion of policy in partnership with groups like the Economic Security Project, which Dorian Warren co-chairs
The Fight for the Safety Net
Working with grassroots partner organizations and national allies, Community Change has played a leadership role in fights to protect safety net programs.