Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang is using his non-profit, Humanity Forward, to provide two South Carolina residents with $1,000 per month for 12 months. The plan echoes the central proposal of Yang’s now-suspended campaign: a Freedom Dividend, or universal basic income, of $1,000 per month.
As reported by The State, Yang announced the “universal basic income demonstration” on Friday and will be accepting applications via the Humanity Forward website until Sunday, May 31, at 11:59 p.m. The non-profit will also be paying Hudson, New York residents $500 per month for five years to 20 selected individuals this fall, and previously launched a similar project in Washington state.
“The best way to illustrate the power & pragmatism of our ideas is to put them into practice,” the organization’s website reads.
“We anticipate several thousand South Carolinians will apply. Sadly, we’re only able to present the grants to two fortunate individuals. We do promise, however, to inform everyone who applies as to our decision. Aside from using it to correspond with you as an applicant to this program, your information will not be used for any other purposes.”
Humanity Forward recently endorsed South Carolina House candidate Jermaine Johnson, who is running to represent District 80 and supports UBI.
— Jermaine Johnson ???? (@Dr_JLJohnson) April 7, 2020
The news of Humanity Forward’s South Carolina experiment comes just one day after billionaire and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey gave Humanity Forward $5,000,000, which will be distributed as $250 cash payments to 200,000 people whose employment has been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Dorsey made the announcement Thursday on Yang’s podcast, Yang Speaks, and also criticized Washington for their decision to focus so much pandemic relief spending on banks and larger companies.
Humanity Forward’s recent string of experiments comes in the wake of a coronavirus relief package that provided Americans a $1,200 stimulus check from the federal government. Although Yang has pushed for such checks to become a part of American society, it’s unclear if the proposed second round of checks will pass Congress.
According to Forbes‘ Christopher Rim, Yang has been more proactive in providing stimulus relief than Donald Trump’s administration and congressional lawmakers. According to Rim, Yang is “taking matters into his own hands” rather than waiting for Congress to reach an agreement amid their partisan battling and providing checks directly to struggling Americans.
“Not only is he meeting the needs of the American people, but he’s thinking long term,” Rim concluded his piece, pointing to Yang’s push for a Marshall Plan scale initiative that helps Americans get back into the workforce to rebuild the American economy amid the pandemic.