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[Austin Federal Grant Award Waterloo Greenway News Conference ]

[00:00:25]

YOU GUYS SET READY MORNING WHEN TO WALK THEM, EVERYBODY HERE TO THE CITY HALL GATHERING TODAY IN SUPPORT OF, UH, ITEM NUMBER 21, IS THERE A WAY TO KILL THE VOLUME? HELLO.

WE READY TO GET BACK GOING, KELLY.

ALL RIGHT.

SO WE'RE GATHERED HERE, UH, AND, UH, IN SUPPORTIVE ITEM 21 ON TODAY'S, UH, COUNCIL AGENDA, WHICH IS THE, UH, GUARANTEED INCOME, UH, INTERVENTION FOCUSING ON DIVERTING PEOPLE FROM EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS IN THE CITY.

REALLY PROUD TO STAND UP HERE WITH, UH, BY, UH, REAL PROUD TO BE STANDING UP HERE WITH MY COLLEAGUE COUNCILOR , UH, REAL PROUD TO BE UP HERE TODAY WAS SOME OF THE STRONGEST, MOST COMMITTED, UH, COMMUNITY, UH, ADVOCATES AND MEMBERS, UH, THAT, THAT, THAT WE HAVE IN THE CITY, UH, ALL TRY TO PUT OUR SHOULDER TO HELPING THOSE IN OUR COMMUNITY THAT ARE REALLY MOST VULNERABLE.

AND AT RISK.

I'M GOING TO TURN THE PODIUM HERE AT A SECOND TO, UH, TO BREAK HOLLY, UH, UH, TO EXPLAIN, UH, THE, UH, UH, PROPOSAL, UH, THAT'S GOING TO BE IN FRONT OF THE COUNCIL TODAY.

BUT BEFORE I DO, I JUST WANT TO TALK AT A REALLY HIGH LEVEL, UH, ABOUT THIS PROGRAM.

AND WHAT'S TRYING TO BE ACCOMPLISHED HERE.

I RECOGNIZE THAT THERE ARE SOME PEOPLE IN THE WORLD THAT CONSIDER EVERYTHING THAT GOVERNMENT DOES TO HELP PEOPLE WHO ARE LESS FORTUNATE, A GIVEAWAY.

I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE'S SOME PEOPLE THAT THEY CARE THAT WE DO HELP SEVERAL GO TO COLLEGE.

YOU'D GIVE THEM A GRANT, WHICH IS A GIFT OF PUBLIC FUNDING.

THAT'S A GIVEAWAY.

I UNDERSTAND THAT IF WE HELP STUDENTS GO TO THE COMMUNITY, COLLEGE IS A GOVERNMENT THAT IS CALLED BY SUB A GIVEAWAY THAT FOOD STAIRS CALLED BY SUB A GIVEAWAY THAT THE FEDERAL INCOME TAX CREDIT PROGRAM THAT JUST TOOK TENS OF MILLIONS OF CHILDREN OUT OF POVERTY, SOME CALL A GIVEAWAY SUB CALLED MOST EVERYTHING THAT GOVERNMENT DOES TO HELP PEOPLE A GIVEAWAY.

AND I THINK THAT'S REALLY UNFAIR BECAUSE I THINK IT'S MUCH MORE APPROPRIATE TO THINK OF THIS AS A COMMUNITY THAT INVESTS IN ITSELF IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYBODY IN THAT COMMUNITY IS STRONG AND STAND TO HELP INVEST IN EVERYONE IN OUR COMMUNITY SO THAT THEY CAN PROVIDE FOR THEMSELVES AND FOR THEIR FAMILIES TO INVEST IN EVERYONE IN THIS COMMUNITY SO THAT THEY NO LONGER NEED THE SUPPORT THAT COMES FROM THE REST OF US IN THE COMMUNITY WHO ARE ABLE TO GIVE SUPPORT TO PEOPLE SO THAT THEY COULD ACHIEVE THAT PLACE.

I REJECT THE PREMISE THAT WOULD GOVERNMENT STEPS FORWARD WHEN COMMUNITIES STEP FORWARD TO HELP PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY.

IT'S A GIVEAWAY.

IT IS NOT A GIVEAWAY.

IT IS INVESTING IN OURSELVES.

AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT PLACES THAT THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO INVEST IN OURSELVES, YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THOSE PLACES THAT ARE GOING TO HAVE THE GREATEST RETURN.

YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THOSE PLACES WHERE PEOPLE ARE MOST IN NEED OF THAT INVESTMENT, WHERE THE LIE, WHERE THE TRANSFORMATION IN LIVES CAN BE THE GREATEST FOR PEOPLE THAT YOU HELP AND INVEST IN.

AND IN OUR COMMUNITY,

[00:05:01]

ESPECIALLY OUR COMMUNITY, PEOPLE WHO ARE HAVING TROUBLE, PROVIDING THEMSELVES A HOME TO BE ABLE TO LIVE WITH THEIR FAMILIES, AS ABOUT AS BASIC AS IT GETS YET, IT'S BECOMING ONE OF THE HARDEST THINGS TO DO IN THIS CITY.

WE KNOW THAT BECAUSE WE SEE TENTS IN OUR CITY.

WE SEE PEOPLE OUT LIVING INTENSE IN OUR CITY.

NO ONE WANTS TO SEE ANYONE LIVING IN A TENT ANYWHERE IN OUR CITY.

THE ANSWER TO THAT IS NOT TO SEND THOSE PEOPLE TO THE WOODS AND TO THE STREAMS AND TO HIDE THEM SO THAT WE DON'T SEE THEM.

THE GOAL IS NOT TO NOT SEE THEM.

THE GOAL IS TO HELP ENSURE THAT THEY HAVE A PLACE TO CALL HOME.

NOW, WE'RE DOING THAT AS A COMMUNITY, AND WE ARE SPENDING HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN OUR COMMUNITY, INVESTING IN OURSELVES, WE'RE SPENDING A FAIR AND MATERIAL.

PART OF THAT IN HELPING PEOPLE REDUCE, THEY'RE EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS TO TURN THEIR LIVES AROUND, BUT WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT IF INSTEAD OF ONLY SPENDING MONEY SO THAT WE ARE HELPING THOSE ONCE THEY EXPERIENCED HOMELESSNESS, WOULDN'T IT BE GREAT IF WE'RE ABLE TO DIVERT SOME PEOPLE FROM EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS IN THE FIRST PLACE, IF WE'RE ABLE TO FIND THEM WHEN THEY'RE FACING EVICTION, JUST BEFORE THEY LOSE THEIR HOME, OR WE FIND THEM WHEN THEY HAVE FAILED TO HAVE THE ABILITY TO PAY THEIR UTILITY BILL, WE CAN FIND PEOPLE MOMENTS BEFORE THEY END UP ON OUR STREETS AND PREVENT THEM, DIVERT THEM FOR BEING THERE.

THAT WOULD BE NOT ONLY WONDERFUL FOR THEM.

IT WOULD BE WISE AND SMART FOR THE TAXPAYERS IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN, BECAUSE IT WILL BE A LOT LESS EXPENSIVE TO DIVERT SOMEONE FROM HOMELESSNESS THEN TO HELP THEM FIND A HOME.

ONCE THEY'RE ON OUR STREETS, THE PROGRAM WE'RE TALKING ABOUT TODAY IS AN ATTEMPT TO FIND SUCH A DIVERSION PROGRAM.

IT IS NOT SOMETHING THAT HAS BEEN CREATED HERE OUT OF WHOLE CLOTH.

THIS IS SOMETHING THAT'S BEING IMPLEMENTED IN OVER 50 CITIES AROUND THE COUNTRY, IN DIFFERENT FORMS AS CITIES, CITIES, BY THE WAY, AS INCUBATORS OF INNOVATION ARE STRUGGLING TO COME UP WITH THE RIGHT ANSWER, WORKING WITH ONE ANOTHER, TRYING NEW IDEAS.

IF THERE IS A CITY IN THE WORLD THAT SHOULD BE A LEADING INCUBATOR CITY OF IDEA FOR HOW TO HELP KEEP PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES.

IF THERE IS A CITY IN THE WORLD THAT SHOULD BE AT THE FOREFRONT OF HELPING TO FIND NEW PATHS AND NEW WAYS, NEW COST EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT, BETTER WAYS FOR PEOPLE, IT SHOULD BE AUSTIN, TEXAS.

I'M PROUD TO BE PART OF THE CITY.

I PROUD TO BE PART OF THIS GROUP OF PEOPLE.

I PROUD TO JOIN WITH MY COLLEAGUE OR THE COUNCIL COUNCIL MEMBER FLIGHT.

THIS, I HOPE THAT OUR COLLEAGUES JOINED US HERE TODAY AND TRYING TO FIND A NEW ANSWER TO THIS OLD PROBLEM.

THAT MIGHT BE THE BEST WORD SO FAR.

WE DON'T KNOW LET'S FIND OUT.

THANK YOU.

THANK YOU MAYOR.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

I AM SO EXCITED TO BE HERE TODAY, AS WE ARE POISED TO LAUNCH THE FIRST GUARANTEED INCOME, UH, INCOME PILOT PROGRAM IN AUSTIN.

SO GIVE IT UP.

THANK YOU ALL.

SO AT FIRST I JUST STARTED OFF BY A QUOTE BY MLK JR.

HE SAID, THERE'S NOTHING NEW ABOUT POVERTY.

WHAT IS NEW IS THAT WE NOW HAVE THE RESOURCES TO GET RID OF POVERTY.

THE REAL QUESTION IS WHETHER WE HAVE THE WILL AND WE ARE HERE TODAY TO SAY, WE HAVE THE WILL.

SO THIS PILOT PROGRAM WILL HELP 85 FAMILIES AT RISK OF EVICTION AND HOMELESSNESS BY ALLOCATING $1,000 FOR EVERY MONTH, FOR ONE YEAR, BOTH DURING AND AT THE CONCLUSION OF THIS PILOT PROGRAM, THE STAFF'S PLAN FOR PARTICIPATING FAMILIES IS TO CONTINUE TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO WRAPAROUND SUPPORT SERVICES.

AND I WANT TO BE CLEAR THAT THIS IS NOT NEW TO THE CITY OF AUSTIN DURING THE PANDEMIC.

THE CITY OF AUSTIN LAUNCHED THE RISE PROGRAM, WHICH PROVIDED

[00:10:01]

DIRECT FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO MANY FAMILIES THROUGHOUT THE PANDEMIC.

AND FOR FAMILIES WERE ABLE TO USE THOSE FUNDS TO MAKE ENDS, MEET, TO PAY FOR RENT AND TO ENSURE THAT THEY HAD FOOD ON THE TABLE.

STUDIES AND PROGRAM EVALUATIONS HAVE SHOWN THAT ONE OF THE MOST EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT METHODS TO ASSIST HOUSEHOLDS IN ADVANCING ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH AND PUBLIC SAFETY IS THROUGH THE USE OF DIRECT CASH ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS. AND WHAT WE KNOW IS THAT THE PROMINENT DRIVERS OF DISPLACEMENT ARE UNEXPECTED COSTS, ALSO KNOWN AS SHOCKS.

AND FOR MANY OF OUR FAMILIES, THEY ARE JUST ONE MEDICAL EMERGENCY AWAY FROM EITHER BEING HOMELESS OR BEING AN INCREASING DEBT.

AND SO THIS IS ABOUT PREVENTING DISPLACEMENT, PREVENTING EVICTION, ENSURING THAT OUR FAMILIES ARE ABLE TO STAY IN THEIR HOME, THAT WE HAVE THAT STABILITY.

ALSO, AS THE MAYOR SAID, WE WANT TO BE CLEAR THAT THESE FUNDS ARE NOT A GIVEAWAY.

THIS IS NOT A GIFT, BUT RATHER A CRITICAL INVESTMENT IN FAMILIES TO IMPROVE THEIR ECONOMIC STABILITY, MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH.

THIS INVESTMENT BY PROVIDING A GUARANTEED INCOME WILL HELP WITH ACCESS TO BETTER PAYING JOBS, INCREASED SAVINGS, AND THE ABILITY TO LIVE FULL LIVES.

HAVING THE SUPPLEMENTAL INCOME WILL MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE FOR OUR AUSTIN FAMILIES.

OUR CITY'S ECONOMY IS NOT JUST NUMBERS ON A GRAPH.

THIS IS ABOUT THE FINANCIAL REALITY OF SO MANY OF OUR FAMILIES.

AND SO WE HAVE SEEN ALL THE HEADLINES ABOUT THE NOW THAT AVERAGE COST FOR A MEDIUM SELLS HOME PRICE HERE IN AUSTIN.

WE KNOW THAT RENTS HAVE GONE UP 30 TO 40% IN SOME CASES.

I KNOW THAT JUST LAST WEEK, I GOT AN EMAIL FROM A CONSTITUENT IN SOUTHEAST AUSTIN WHO SAID, MY RENT HAS GONE UP $232 A MONTH.

WHAT I TO DO? HOW CAN YOU HELP? LAST WEEK, I WAS OUT DELIVERING MEALS WITH MEALS ON WHEELS.

I WENT UP TO A HOUSE AND WAS GREETED BY AN INVESTOR WHO SAID, OH, THEY DON'T LIVE HERE ANYMORE.

THEY ACTUALLY MOVED TO KYLE.

SO THE DISPLACEMENT IS HAPPENING IN REAL TIME IN OUR COMMUNITIES.

AND BY LAUNCHING THIS GUARANTEED INCOME PILOT PROGRAM, WHAT WE ARE SAYING IS THAT WE ARE ACTUALLY PUTTING ACTION TO OUR WORDS.

WE ARE DOING WHAT WE CAN TO ADDRESS POVERTY AND ENSURE THAT THE STABILITY OF OUR FAMILIES, AND TO PREVENT AND COMBAT DISPLACEMENT TO THE SKILL THAT WE NEED IN AUSTIN TODAY, ITEM 21 WILL STRENGTHEN OUR COMMUNITY BY SUPPLEMENTING THE EXIST EXISTING SOCIAL SAFETY NET.

I AM EXCITED TO BE HERE BECAUSE THIS RECOMMENDATION WAS PUT FORTH BY OUR COMMUNITY.

IT IS LED BY OUR COMMUNITY.

AND I KNOW ENOUGH IN MY SHORT TIME ON COUNCIL, WHEN YOU HAVE A PROPOSAL THAT IS CHAMPIONED BY YOUR COMMUNITY, IT'S A VERY GOOD DEAL.

SO THANK YOU SO MUCH TO OUR COMMUNITY FOR BEING HERE AND FOR BRINGING THIS PROPOSAL FORWARD.

I ALSO WANT TO THANK OUR MAYOR FOR HIS STRONG LEADERSHIP AND LAUNCHING A GUARANTEED INCOME PILOT PROGRAM IN AUSTIN.

UH, I CERTAINLY DON'T THINK MANY MAYORS WOULD SHOW THAT TYPE OF LEADERSHIP.

HE IS PROBABLY THE MOST PRO HOUSING MAYOR THAT WE HAVE IN THIS COUNTRY.

AND WE WERE VERY THANKFUL FOR HIS LEADERSHIP.

AND THANK YOU MAYOR WITH THAT.

I WILL NOW TURN IT OVER TO ERIC BIRD WITH URBAN LEAGUE.

HELLO.

MY NAME IS ERIC BIRD.

I'M A CONSULTANT WITH THE JUSTICE AND ADVOCACY DIVISION OF THE AUSTIN AREA, URBAN LEAGUE.

UM, UH, I'M HERE SPEAKING FOR MR. QUINCY DUNLAP AND I HAVE A LETTER IS STRAIGHT FROM HIS DESK, BUT BEFORE I DO THAT, PERSONALLY, I SPOKE WITH A WELL-EDUCATED SINGLE MOTHER OF TWO, UH, WHO HAPPENED TO LOSE HER JOB DURING THE PANDEMIC.

UH, SHE EXPRESSED HOW, DESPITE HER DEVASTATING LOSS, SHE WAS ABLE TO ATTEND TO THE NEEDS OF HER FAMILY, UH, DUE TO THE INVESTMENT OF THE RISE FUNDING.

SO, UM, I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT ULTIMATELY DATA COLLECTED THROUGH THIS PROGRAM, IT COULD INFORM THE APPLICATION ON A NATIONAL LEVEL AND, UH, THERE'S NO HARM IN CONDUCTING A STUDY.

IF WE CAN HELP A FEW PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY, IT'S ALL FOR THE BETTER SO FROM THE DESK OF QUINCY DUNLAP, AS THE PANDEMIC CONTINUES, THE WEALTH GAP WIDENS AND AFFORDABILITY, WORSENS ARE MOST VULNERABLE IN HISTORICALLY MARGINALIZED COMMUNITY MEMBERS ARE IN AN URGENT STATE OF CRISIS GIVING THESE HISTORICAL INJUSTICES, LEADING TO THE VAST INEQUITIES EGG INEQUITIES EXISTING TODAY, PRIMARILY AFFORDABLE HOUSING, THE AUSTIN AREA, URBAN LEAGUE, FULLY SUPPORTS AGENDA ITEM 21 AND ITS APPROVAL BY CITY COUNCIL.

[00:15:01]

NOW IS THE TIME FOR MAYOR ADLER AND EACH COUNCIL MEMBER TO PUT ACTION BEHIND THE RHETORIC BECAUSE EMPTY WORDS HARM OUR CONSTITUENTS CITY COUNCIL MUST DIRECT THE CITY MANAGER AND HIS TEAM TO NEGOTIATE AND EXECUTE AUSTIN'S LONG OVERDUE, GUARANTEED INCOME HUB PILOT PROGRAM.

NOW NOT LATER, WE HAVE FAMILIES IN DIRE NEED OF THIS PROGRAM, FAMILIES WHO BEFORE THE PANDEMIC AND WINTER STORM BARELY SURVIVED DUE TO AUSTIN'S KNOWN AFFORDABLE PAY GAPS.

THEY'RE NOW EVEN MORE VULNERABLE CONSIDERING THE INCREASED COST OF LIVING THAT MARGINALIZES THOSE OF BLACK AND BROWN DESCENT DURING NEGOTIATIONS, THE CITY OF AUSTIN MUST ENSURE THE INTENDED SCREENING CRITERIA AND SELECTION PROCESS APPROPRIATELY IDENTIFIES HOUSEHOLDS WHO ARE THE MOST VULNERABLE.

ADDITIONALLY REQUIRING REQUIRING A SELF SUSTAINMENT PLAN FOR RECIPIENTS IS CRUCIAL TO ENSURING THESE FAMILIES REMAIN STABLE WHILE FUNDS ARE MADE ACCESSIBLE TO OTHERS IN NEED.

THE AUSTIN AREA, URBAN LEAGUE STANDS READY TO SUPPORT CITY COUNCIL AND THE CITY MANAGER AND DEFINING A MESSAGE AND A PROGRAM ROLLOUT TIMELINE APPROPRIATE TO KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS, CULTURALLY SENSITIVE RECIPIENT REVIEWS AND CHECK-INS AND A LIST OF EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES THAT MAY HINDER THE GOALS OF THIS PROGRAM.

ADDITIONALLY, WE BELIEVE A DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS SIMILAR TO THE RISE FUNDING OPERATED BY UP TOGETHER, WHICH RESULTED IN AN EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION PRIORITIZING THE MOST VULNERABLE IN AUSTIN WILL SUPPORT AND AID THE POPULATION MOST IN NEED.

WE URGE THE MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL TO VOTE YES ON ITEM 21 ON MAY 5TH, AND CALL UPON ALL STEWARDS OF EQUITY TO STAND WITH US IN EMAILING AND CALLING OUR CITY COUNCIL TO ENSURE THAT OUR MESSAGE IS HEARD.

THANK YOU.

AND THEN I THINK PAULA DRESS PAULA.

HELLO.

UM, MY NAME IS .

I'M A MOTHER OF TWO, I'M A MIDWIFE AND I AM A VOLUNTEER MEMBER OF AN ORGANIZATION, CCU COMMUNITIES OF COLOR UNITED FOR RACIAL JUSTICE.

I ALSO SERVED AS THE CO-CHAIR OF THE RE-IMAGINING PUBLIC SAFETY TASK FORCE, WHICH AS A COUNCIL MEMBER WENT, THIS SAID EARLIER THAT THIS PROPOSAL HAS COMMUNITY BACKING, NOT JUST US HERE.

I WANTED TO POINT OUT THIS PROPOSAL FOR THE GUARANTEED INCOME PROGRAM.

PILOT PROGRAM HAS MUCH MORE THAN THAT IN TERMS OF COMMUNITY BACKING THE RE-IMAGINING PUBLIC SAFETY TASK FORCE.

THERE WAS ABOUT 20 OF US THAT WORKED WITH DOZENS OF OTHER VOLUNTEER COMMUNITY MEMBERS THAT SPOKE WITH HUNDREDS OF OTHERS RESIDENTS HERE IN AUSTIN AND SPENT THOUSANDS OF HOURS PUTTING TOGETHER RECOMMENDATIONS OF HOW TO MAKE OUR CITY SAFER.

AND WE RECOMMENDED AND RATIFIED THE DECISION THAT WE NEEDED A GUARANTEED INCOME PILOT HERE IN AUSTIN OF $12 MILLION TO BEGIN, NOT $1 MILLION.

THAT IS WHAT WE FOUND.

AND SO TO ME, IT'S INTERESTING THAT WE'RE HAVING THIS LEVEL OF CONTROVERSY IN THE MEDIA ABOUT THIS PILOT PROGRAM OF $1 MILLION.

I THINK WE SHOULD FIRST TAKE A STEP BACK AND PUT IT INTO PERSPECTIVE THOUGH.

A MILLION DOLLARS IS A LOT OF MONEY.

WE'RE TALKING ABOUT A GENERAL BUDGET FUND OF $1.2 BILLION THAT WE ARE TAKING $1 MILLION FROM THAT WERE DISGUSTING.

1.2 BILLION.

AND THAT IS OF A $4.5 BILLION OVERALL CITY BUDGET.

SO $1 MILLION TO GO TO 85 FAMILIES TO RECEIVE $1,000 FOR ONE YEAR IS NOT A HUGE LEAP.

IT REALLY SHOULD BE JUST THE BEGINNING.

I WONDER WHY WE HAVE THIS LEVEL OF SCRUTINY WHEN AT THE SAME TIME, OUR CITY OF AUSTIN HAS GIVEN MANY MILLIONS FROM OUR GENERAL FUND TO ECONOMIC INCENTIVES FOR CORPORATIONS, SUCH AS SAMSUNG, APPLE, MERCK, PHARMACEUTICALS, AND OTHERS WITHOUT THIS LEVEL OF SCRUTINY.

AND THAT IS ALSO FROM OUR GENERAL FUND BUDGET.

OUR CITY OF AUSTIN HAS ALSO RECENTLY HAD TO PAY OUT $13 MILLION FOR LAWSUITS THAT OUR LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ABUSE TO FAMILIES, 13 MILLION JUST THIS YEAR.

[00:20:01]

AND YET OUR POLICE DEPARTMENT IS NOT UNDER THIS LEVEL OF SCRUTINY HAVING 250 POSITIONS THAT ARE VACANT RIGHT NOW, AS WE SPEAK AND $10 MILLION IN FUNDING ABOVE WHAT IS BEING REQUIRED BY THE STATE YET THERE IS NOT THIS LEVEL OF SCRUTINY.

SO I'M REALLY WONDERING WHY IT'S SO HARD FOR US TO MAKE A DECISION LIKE THIS.

WHEN IT SEEMS CLEAR THAT THIS IS WHAT'S NEEDED.

I KNOW ONE OF, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT JUST TO TALK ABOUT WHAT IS THE PUSHBACK AND THE CONTROVERSY AND HAVE THOSE HARD CONVERSATIONS.

I KNOW ONE OF THE AREAS OF PUSHBACK FROM SOME OF OUR CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS IS THAT THIS PROGRAM OF GUARANTEED INCOME SHOULD BE FUNDED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND NOT OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT.

AND I WOULD SAY, I AGREE, ABSOLUTELY.

THAT'S HOW IT SHOULD BE.

AND YET, AND AUSTIN, WE'RE A PARTICULAR CITY THAT HAS A PARTICULAR SITUATION.

WE ARE GROWING AT UNPRECEDENTED RATES COMPARED TO OTHER CITIES.

THE GROWTH HERE AS COUNCIL MEMBER FUNT IS POINTED OUT THE INCREASE IN THE PRICES OF RENTS AND HOUSING IS ASTRONOMICAL AND IT'S AT A VERY RAPID RATE COMPARED TO OTHER CITIES.

SO WE CANNOT WAIT FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO LAUNCH GUARANTEED INCOME PROGRAMS HERE IN AUSTIN.

WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO RESPOND NOW HERE FOR OUR OWN COMMUNITY.

I THINK WE'RE TALKING A LOT ABOUT THE ECONOMIC COST OF THIS PROGRAM, WHICH I THINK IS SUPER IMPORTANT, PUTTING IT INTO PERSPECTIVE IN RELATION TO THE OTHER COSTS.

BUT I THINK WE ALSO REALLY NEED TO THINK ABOUT WHAT IS THE HUMAN COST HERE OF WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OUR CITY.

IT'S THE COST OF UNREGULATED FREE MARKET POLICIES THAT ALLOW US TO GROW AT THIS RATE AND DISPLACED FAMILIES AT THE RATE THAT WE ARE DISPLACING THEM IN THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY THERE'S RESPONSIBILITY THAT COMES WITH THAT.

AND THIS IS THE BACKSIDE OF THAT, OF THOSE POLICIES.

AND SO I WANT US TO REALLY THINK ABOUT WHAT'S THE HUMAN COST.

AND FOR ME AS A MIDWIFE, I CAN TELL YOU BRIEFLY TWO QUICK STORIES.

ONE IS I'M GOING TO VISIT A HOME VISIT TO A MOM.

WHO'S GOING TO HAVE HER BABY SOON.

AND WE FIND THAT THERE'S AN EVICTION NOTICE ON HER DOOR AND SHE'S ABOUT TO HAVE A BABY, RIGHT? AND WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THAT.

HOW IS THAT IMPACTING HER HEALTH IN THAT MOMENT? THAT'S HERE IN AUSTIN.

ANOTHER MOM THAT I WAS CARING FOR COMING HOME FROM THE HOSPITAL AFTER HAVING HER BABY, THE ELECTRICITY HAS BEEN CUT OFF AND SHE'S COMING HOME WITH A NEW BABY.

THESE ARE THE THINGS THAT I FIND REGULARLY IN MY PRACTICE.

AND I THINK ABOUT WHAT'S THE HEALTH CARE IMPACT OF WHAT'S HAPPENING IN OUR CITY.

AND SO I THINK IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY.

WE HAVE A DUTY TO LAUNCH THIS PROGRAM, NOT ONLY TO START HERE WITH A $1 MILLION PROGRAM, WHICH IS GREAT, AND WE MUST VOTE FOR IT TODAY.

BUT ACTUALLY I CCU.

WE FEEL STRONGLY THAT WE ACTUALLY NEED TO IMPLEMENT THE FULL PILOT THAT WAS RECOMMENDED BY THE RE-IMAGINING PUBLIC SAFETY TASK FORCE OF $12 MILLION TO BEGIN TO MITIGATE THE IMPACT OF OTHER POLICIES THAT WE HAVE IN OUR CITY.

OTHERWISE WE'RE ACTUALLY TURNING OUR BACKS ON OUR OWN COMMUNITY MEMBERS.

AND I'M THINKING ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO RIGHT NOW ARE WORKING SEVEN DAYS A WEEK.

I SEE IT ON SUNDAYS TO BUILDING THE NEW BUILDINGS, BUILDING THE CONDOS, BUILDING THE HOUSES FOR THE REST OF US, THE PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING IN THE KITCHENS AND RESTAURANTS THAT FEED US THE AMAZING FOOD WE HAVE HERE IN AUSTIN.

I'M ALSO THINKING ABOUT THE PEOPLE WHO ARE WORKING IN SERVICE JOBS THAT MAKE OUR LIVES QUITE COMFORTABLE HERE IN AUSTIN.

THOSE ARE THE FOLKS THAT WE HAVE TO BE THINKING ABOUT TODAY.

AND THOSE ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY BLACK AND LATINEX FAMILIES WHO ARE IMPACTED.

SO I HOPE THAT TODAY WE NOT ONLY THINK ABOUT THE ECONOMIC COSTS, BUT WE THINK ABOUT THE HUMAN COSTS AND WE DO, THIS IS A MOMENT NOT FOR ADDITIONAL RESEARCH.

IT'S NOT A MOMENT FOR ADDITIONAL REPORTS.

IT'S A MOMENT TO TAKE ACTION AND PUT RESOURCES WHERE THEY'RE MOST NEEDED.

I HOPE THAT TODAY CITY COUNCIL WILL VOTE WITH A CLEAR MIND CREATIVE VISION AND A STRONG HEART AND DO THE RIGHT THING.

THANK YOU.

GOOD MORNING, EVERYONE.

MY NAME IS

[00:25:01]

A RESIDENT OF THE CITY FOR A MEXICAN IMMIGRANT AND THE PARTNERSHIP DIRECTOR AT UP TOGETHER UP TOGETHER PREVIOUSLY NAMED FAMILY INDEPENDENCE INITIATIVE IS A NATIONAL NONPROFIT.

THAT FOR MORE THAN 20 YEARS HAS HIGHLIGHTED, ACCELERATED AND INVESTED IN THE PEEP IN THE INITIATIVE THAT PEOPLE ARE TAKING TO IMPROVE THEIR LIVES.

WE BELIEVE THE COMBINATION OF CASH CHOICE AND COMMUNITY IS A KEY TO SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC MOBILITY UP TOGETHER HAS PARTNERED WITH PHILANTHROPY AND GOVERNMENT TO INVEST IN MORE THAN 7,000 HOUSEHOLDS THAT GROW CENTRAL TEXAS SINCE 2018, WE PARTNER WITH THE CITY OF AUSTIN ON COVID RELIEF EFFORTS IN APRIL, 2020, WORKING WITH MORE THAN 30 COMMUNITY GROUPS TO DISTRIBUTE THE RISE FUND THROUGH THAT, WE WERE ABLE TO DISTRIBUTE $2 MILLION AND THEN TO MEET 10 MILLION, $10 MILLION MORE THROUGH THE RISE.

2.0 TODAY, I AM PROUD THAT OUR CITY IS LEADING THE WAY IN OUR STATE BY TAKING THIS BOAT THAT COULD GIVE THEIR WAY TO TEST IN GUARANTEED INCOME AS A MEANS TO ADDRESS IN HOUSING INSECURITY AND ECONOMIC MOBILITY, WITH THE COST OF GROCERIES, RENT, AND OTHER NECESSITIES ON THE RISE, WE'RE ALL FEELING THE PINCH IN OUR NEIGHBORS WHO WERE ALREADY WORKING HARD TO MAKE ENDS MEET ARE FEELING IT EVEN MORE.

SO THE PROPOSAL OF THESE GUARANTEED INCOME PILOT COULDN'T COME AT A BETTER TIME.

WE KNOW PEOPLE WHO USE THE DOLLARS TO PAY FOR THEIR HOUSING, FOOD, AND OTHER BASIC NEEDS.

WE KNOW THIS BECAUSE THIS IS WHAT MAJORITY OF HOUSEHOLDS USING MONEY FOR IN THE PILOT THAT WE LAUNCHED IN CENTRAL TEXAS LAST SPRING, THIS PILOT WAS FUNDED BY PHILANTHROPY BY PHILANTHROPIC DOLLARS AND PROVIDED $1,000 A MONTH TO 175 HOUSEHOLDS, 1 63 NOW NASTINESS AND 10 IN GEORGETOWN, WHILE THESE PILOT JUST ENDED IN MARCH.

AND WE'RE IN THE PROCESS OF DOING A FINAL ANALYSIS OF THE IMPACT OR PRELIMINARY FINDINGS SHOW THAT EVERY SINGLE PERSON USE THE MONEY TO PAY FOR THEIR BASIC NEEDS, INCLUDING RENT, MORTGAGE, GROCERIES, CLOTHES, GAS, THINGS, ALL OF US NEED HERE.

THEY ALSO USE THE FUNDS FOR CHILD GEAR, GENERAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING INTO BUILD UP THEIR SAVINGS.

MORE THAN HALF OF THEM WERE ABLE TO PAY DOWN 75% OF THEIR DEBT.

AND ONE OUT OF THREE WERE ABLE TO PAY OFF THEIR DEBT.

COMPLETELY.

ADDITIONALLY, PRELIMINARY FINDINGS SHOWS SOME OF THE FAMILIES USE THE INVESTMENT TO GROW THEIR BUSINESSES, START A NEW CAREER AND START SAVING TO PURCHASE A NEW HOME.

WE KNOW THIS WORKS AND AS A COUNTRY, WE SPEND MILLIONS OF DOLLARS FIGHTING POVERTY THROUGH DIFFERENT INTERVENTIONS WHILE IGNORING THE SOLUTIONS THAT EXIST WITHIN INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, AND COMMUNITIES EXPERIENCING POVERTY THEMSELVES, LET'S JUST START TRUSTING AND INVESTING IN THEM TODAY.

AND TODAY, I WOULD LIKE TO INTRODUCE YOU TO ONE OF THE PARTICIPANTS OF THE PILOT THAT JUST ENDED IN MARCH.

PLEASE WELCOME LAINA GIBSON, ALEXANDER.

HELLO, EVERYONE.

AS IVANA STATED, MY NAME IS LENA GIBSON, ALEXANDER.

I AM IN DISTRICT ONE.

THAT IS MY COMMUNITY.

I AM A PROUD AND HUMBLE RECIPIENT OF UP TOGETHERS HELP.

I WANT YOU TO KNOW A LITTLE BIT ABOUT MYSELF AND BY KNOWING BY ABOUT MYSELF, I HOPE THAT YOU CAN SEE ME, YOU IN ME AS WELL.

I'M A MOTHER OF FOUR GRANDMOTHER OF SIX, UM, SIX GRANDCHILDREN, ALL IN FLORIDA.

I HAVE HOPES, HAVE DREAMS. I HAVE FEARS I FACE EVERY DAY.

AND AS OUR MIRROR STATED, WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR WAS NOT A HAND OUT, BUT A HAND UP, I FOUND OUT ABOUT UP TOGETHER THROUGH MY LEASING OFFICE, AS I WAS FACING AN EVICTION AND IMMEDIATELY ON THIS LIST, THERE WERE SEVERAL ORGANIZATIONS THAT I COULD'VE CONTACTED, BUT WHEN I SAW UP TOGETHER, THAT NAME JUST RESONATED IN MY SOUL.

AND I REACHED OUT TO THEM.

AND THE HELP THAT I RECEIVED FROM THEM WAS MIND BLOWING AND LIFE CHANGING.

I HAVE A DISABILITY THAT STRESS AFFECTS IN A VERY BAD WAY.

AND AT THAT TIME, MY STRESS LEVEL WAS THROUGH THE ROOF AND THE YEAR PROGRAM THAT I WAS ABLE TO BE A PART OF WITH UP TOGETHER, THE GUARANTEED INCOME RELIEVE THAT STRESS.

IT AFFORDED ME TO RELAX TO KNOW THAT HELP WAS NOT ONLY AVAILABLE TO ME,

[00:30:01]

BUT IT WAS GIVEN TO ME WITHOUT ANY STRINGS, WITHOUT ANY CERTAIN DESIGNATION THAT IT HAD TO GO TO.

I WAS ABLE TO APPLY THAT I GOT MYSELF A NEW A CAR.

I HAD A CAR, BUT I WAS ABLE TO GET A NEWER, MORE RELIABLE CAR FOR MY JOB.

I AM IN FOOD DELIVERY.

AND I CONSIDER THAT THAT JOB A BLESSING BECAUSE IT IS MY WAY TO GIVE BACK TO MY COMMUNITY, WHETHER YOU'RE SICK AND SHUT IN YOUR OLD, YOU JUST CAN'T GET OUT TO GET YOUR NEEDS MET.

I TAKE PRIDE IN BEING ABLE TO DO THAT FOR YOU.

SO THIS PROGRAM IS PHENOMENAL.

IT IS NECESSARY.

IT IS LIFE-CHANGING, IT'S CHANGED MY LIFE.

I WAS ABLE TO GO AND VISIT FAMILY IN FLORIDA THAT I HADN'T SEEN IN YEARS AND NOT WORRY ABOUT WHAT I GET BACK TO.

WHAT'S GOING TO BE FACING.

WILL I BE HOMELESS WITH MY LIGHTS, BE TURNED OFF, YOU KNOW, CAN I VISIT MY 100 YEAR OLD GRANDMOTHER OR DO I STAY AND EAT FOOD? I WAS ABLE TO, I JUST CAN'T SAY IT ENOUGH.

I WAS ABLE TO RELAX.

SO I HOPE THAT THE IMPACT OF MY WORDS, KNOWING THAT I'M JUST LIKE EVERY ONE OF YOU, I'M AMERICAN, I'M A TEXAN.

I HAVE FEARS, HOPES AND DREAMS. I DON'T WANT A HANDOUT.

I WANTED A HAND UP.

I JUST HOPE THAT THAT IMPACT OF MY WORDS RESONATES IN YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR SOULS, AND YOU MAKE THE DECISION THAT'S NECESSARY.

THANK YOU.

HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.

UH, UH, IT'S BEING OPERATED OUT OF THE EQUITY OFFICE IN THE CITY OF AUSTIN AND THEY'RE DEVELOPING THAT PROGRAM RIGHT NOW.

UH, THE, THE, THE GENERAL DIRECTION, UH, FOR HOW THEY'RE GOING TO BE APPROACHING IT.

UH, THEY GAVE TO ME, WE PUBLISHED, UH, ON THE MESSAGE BOARD, UH, LATE LAST WEEK IN TERMS OF ADDITIONAL DIRECTION, UH, ASSOCIATED WITH THAT.

BUT I DON'T THINK THAT THEY HAVE FINALIZED THE FINAL SELECTION PROCESS YET.

I THINK PART OF THIS APPROVAL TODAY, IF IT WERE TO COME, UH, IS TO TELL THEM, UH, THAT THEY'RE AUTHORIZED TO GO AHEAD AND MAKE THOSE FINAL DETERMINATIONS I THINK, I THINK HE NEEDED TO TALK TO, TO, UH, BRIAN OAKS AND THE EQUITY OFFICE, UH, BECAUSE IT'S, IT'S PROGRAMMED TO BE ADMINISTERED OUT OF THE EQUITY OFFICE THAT I THINK THAT THERE ARE PROBABLY, UH, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY THIS IS A GROUP THAT, THAT HAS DONE SIMILAR KIND OF WORK.

IT HAS A TRACK RECORD.

UH, BUT I THINK THAT THOSE FINAL DETERMINATIONS ARE UP TO THE EQUITY OFFICE.

I'M SORRY.

I'M SURE THAT, THAT, THAT ANY ORGANIZATION THAT PROVIDES ANY KIND OF ADMINISTRATIVE OVERSIGHT THAT ASSISTANCE WOULD RECEIVE SOME KIND OF A ADMINISTRATIVE FEE.

YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE REASONS YOU TRY TO DO A GUARANTEED INCOME PROGRAM LIKE THIS, AND IT DOESN'T COME WITH ALL THE RESTRICTIONS THAT MANY GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS DO IS TO MINIMIZE THOSE EXPENSES.

SO TO THE DEGREE, YOU'RE ADMINISTERING A PROGRAM THAT HAS REALLY STRICT REQUIREMENTS ABOUT HOW MONEY'S TO BE USED FOR THE ONLY THING THAT MONEY CAN BE USED FOR, OR WHEN IT HAS TO BE SPENT OR NOT SPENT, YOU'RE GOING TO BE ADDING TO ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES.

CITI HAS A LOT OF PROGRAMS LIKE THAT, UH, IN THIS MODEL, UH, THE, THE INTENT IS TO KEEP ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES RELATIVELY LOW, UH, BECAUSE THAT'S HOW THE PROGRAM IS DESIGNED TO OPERATE OTHER QUESTIONS.

ALL RIGHT, THEN WE'LL SEE YOU LATER TODAY.

THANK YOU.



* This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Speech-to-Text.