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Hudson expands UBI pilot

Universal Basic Income
Image by Dave Lucas/WAMC
"To be at the helm of this happening in Hudson is exciting for myself but also exciting for the city. I think people are tired of the same old politics, " said Mayor Kamal Johnson

The city of Hudson is expanding its Universal Basic Income pilot program.

In September 2020 the Spark of Hudson partnered with Andrew Yang's Humanity Forward organization to implement the pilot program, providing $500 to 25 recipients each month over the course of five years. Anyone earning less than $35,000 a year could apply. Democratic Mayor Kamal Johnson says 50 new participants were added to the program last month.

"We're starting to see, you know, a lot of people's mental health improve, you know, their times with their family is, you know, being improved, because a lot of people are working multiple jobs, just to be able to barely survive," Johnson said. "And being able to take a little bit of a load off of people, you know, helps out a lot."

Johnson says just over 1% of city residents are receiving UBI payments.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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