Notes and Quotes From Today’s Guaranteed Income Pilot Program Press Conference

Notes from today’s new guaranteed income pilot program press conference:

• “I’m really proud that Montgomery County will be the first jurisdiction in Maryland to offer guaranteed income,” Councilmember @willjawando.

• Councilmember @albornoz_gabe, a co-sponsor of the guaranteed income program, says that the program will help residents that are struggling to pay their rent and other expenses.

• Council Vice President @albornoz_gabe explains how guaranteed income programs help empower families to make their own decisions to pay for essentials like rent and childcare.

• Councilmember @CMEvanGlass, lead for homelessness, says “this program is not a hand out, it’s a hand up,” talking about how the pandemic exposed the needs residents have.

• Councilmember @CMEvanGlass who is a cosponsor of guaranteed income in Montgomery County describes the new pilot program as, “A hand up, not a hand out.”

More information about the program, courtesy of Montgomery County, below:

Special appropriation of nearly $2 million will be introduced at the Council to fund the program with additional financial support from the Meyer Foundation

Rockville, Md., Oct. 25, 2021 — On Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 12:30 p.m., Councilmember Will Jawando and Council Vice President Gabe Albornoz will host a joint press conference with County Executive Marc Elrich, Councilmembers, the Director of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Dr. Raymond L. Crowel, and representatives from the Meyer Foundation, the Collaboration Council, non-profit and university partners to announce a Guaranteed Income Pilot Program for Montgomery County residents.

Expected to launch in 2022, the program will provide direct cash payments of $800 per month to 300 county households for 24 months. Area university partners will evaluate the program’s impact on participating households with anecdotal, qualitative and quantitative data. The County’s Guaranteed Income Pilot Program will be a public-private partnership supported by the County Executive, Montgomery County DHHS, the Meyer Foundation, UpTogether and the Collaboration Council.

“Wealth and income inequality in the U.S. and in Montgomery County continues to be a challenge that has only become more dire during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Councilmember Jawando. “Guaranteed income is a promising strategy to reduce inequality and relieve pressure for families struggling to meet basic needs. As the first jurisdiction in Maryland to launch a Guaranteed Income Pilot Program, I want our county to be on the forefront of understanding and implementing solutions that improve the lives of our residents and allow them to achieve their full potential.”

“I am excited about the potential for this program to assist families in permanently exiting poverty,” said Council Vice President Albornoz. “It honors a family’s resilience by placing trust in their ability to make their own decisions on what is best for their path forward. This program will help provide economic mobility and put an end to generational poverty.”

“Financial insecurity forces many of our most vulnerable residents to make unthinkable decisions between spending money on food, prescriptions or needs for their children at the expense of each other. This should not happen here or anywhere in this country,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “It is difficult to afford to live and get by in a place as expensive as Montgomery County on limited and fixed incomes without the current growing inflation in our markets. I am proud to support the Guaranteed Income Pilot Program and appreciate Councilmembers Jawando and Albornoz, our HHS Department, Meyer Foundation, UpTogether, and the Collaboration Council for their leadership, partnership and collaboration on this important program that we must get off the ground with a great sense of urgency.”

Guaranteed income pilot programs have been tested in other counties across the nation. Nearby counties such as Arlington County, Virginia and the City of Alexandria, Virginia, have announced similar guaranteed income pilot programs to help alleviate financial inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“At the Meyer Foundation, we believe that organizations and institutions across sectors must work in partnership to make meaningful progress on challenges in our region,” said Meyer Foundation Director for Maryland Partnerships and Strategy Julian Haynes. “We’re glad to join local government leaders and community partners in supporting a pilot that will put much-needed resources directly into the hands of Montgomery County families navigating the painful realities of poverty and economic injustice.”

“We are pleased to join the growing list of jurisdictions that have initiated Guaranteed Income Pilot programs,” said Dr. Crowel. “The households participating in the program will expand the County’s understanding and response to financial insecurity.”

“The Collaboration Council is excited and honored to be a part of such a transformative initiative here in Montgomery County,” said Elijah Wheeler, executive director of the Montgomery County Collaboration Council for Children, Youth, and Families. “We thank Councilmembers Jawando and Albornoz for their foresight and belief that the best investment we can make is in people by centering their needs and most importantly, their humanity. As the Local Management Board for Children, Youth, and Families in the County, we look forward to working with our partners on the County Council, Meyer Foundation, UpTogether, DHHS, Impact Silver Spring, and most importantly, those in the community, as we carry out this tremendous task.”

 

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