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Jack Dorsey Gives $5M to Andrew Yang’s Universal Basic Income Experiment

In early March, while governments were still figuring out how seriously to take the COVID-19 crisis, Andrew Yang seems to have seen the writing on the wall. The former Presidential candidate launched Humanity Forward, a nonprofit focused on continuing the promises of his platform, especially Universal Basic Income (UBI) and data privacy by encouraging new voters and voting down-ballot, clear down to the local levels. Grassroots progress at its most democratic.

As March wore on and American unemployment suddenly rose from 4 percent to over 20 percent, Yang announced that his organization would begin experiments in offering UBI. They began with a $500,000 budget, experimenting in a small, unnamed New York town to study the benefits. On March 20th, CNN announced that Humanity Forward would spend $1 million in $1,000 payments to 500 low-income Bronx households during the crisis. 

Yang always planned to expand those numbers, if he could seek out additional funding. On Sunday, May 21, Jack Dorsey gave him some of that. The Twitter billionaire donated $5 million to Humanity Forward, and Humanity Forward has announced that plans to immediately distribute that money in $250 grants to nearly 20,000 people who have lost their jobs or their hours to the pandemic.

Dorsey, who backed Yang’s run for the presidency, believes that UBI is a necessary antidote to capitalism gone over the top, and that it can’t remain only an intellectual problem. “The only way we can change policy is by experimenting and showing case studies of why this works,” he said on Yang’s podcast, Yang Speaks.

“Not only will Jack’s donation directly impact tens of thousands of people in need during the current economic downturn, it will help Humanity Forward and our movement continue to make a case for universal basic income in the United States,” said Yang in a released statement. “We know UBI for every American is possible, and this $5 million from Start Small [Dorsey’s charitable foundation] is going to help demonstrate what is possible for families across the country.”

Editorial credit: Frederic Legrand – COMEO / Shutterstock.com

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Helping Victims of Boston Marathon: Twitter

Monday, tragedy struck the finish line of the Boston Marathon as two explosions rocked nearby buildings, blew out windows, knocked down runners, and injured and killed bystanders. So far, three victims have been confirmed dead with over 140 injured. Those on the scene rushed to help in any way possible, and those far away sent prayers their way.

If you’re looking for ways to help in the aftermath, consider these organizations, which have already set up quick response programs. All are keeping Twitter updated with valuable links, information and more.

The Red Cross, true to form, is helping people on the scene connect with loved ones to let them know that they are ok. Those still needing to communicate with family and friends can visit the Red Cross Safe and Well website. While the organization says it received enough blood donations for now, they are keeping a constant update on Twitter @RedCross.

The Salvation Army is providing food and water to various locations throughout the city, placing canteens at the Unified Command Post, the Family Assistance Center, Kenmore Square, and more. Updates can be found via Twitter @SalvationArmy.

“The runners, their families, and the first responders also received emotional and spiritual care from 12 Salvation Army officers and 23 Salvation Army staff volunteers,” said Major Ivan Rock. “Eight Salvation Army officers were deployed to various hospitals throughout the Boston area offering pastoral care as needed.”

The Boston Children’s Hospital has released seven of its ten original patients. The remaining three children are in critical care, where one is stable and the other two remain in critical condition. Updates can be found on Twitter @BostonChildrens. The hospital is also providing valuable resources for explaining tragedies to children, also found on its Twitter feed.

There have also been several hashtags used on Twitter since the explosions, including #HelpBoston, which is a great way to keep up with ways to help. News sites are also keeping live updates, including CNN (@CNNImpact), Fox (@FoxNews) and NBC (@NBCNews).