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DETROIT, MI, US: Write-in mayoral candidate includes UBI in action plan

With the primary election for Mayor of Detroit on the horizon on August 8, write-in candidate Ingrid LaFleur has proposed a city-wide basic income as part of her Plan of Action for the city.

LaFleur is a curator, arts advocate, and founder of the creative research project AFROTOPIA, whose candidacy for Detroit mayor has previously received coverage in the New York Times.

She frames her campaign around a vision for a new economy that “meets human needs, enhances the quality of life and allows us to live in balance with nature.”

The cornerstone of LaFleur’s plan for a new economy is a municipal basic income of $2000 per month based on blockchain technology. She proposes a new cryptocurrency for the city of Detroit, which she calls “D-coin,” which can only be used to pay for goods and services provided by local businesses, fares for public transportation and other city services, and local taxes.

Under LaFleur’s plan, one half of the $2000 basic income would be paid in D-coins, the other half in US currency. She further proposes that “[a]dditional D-coins can be received for volunteering time at a Detroit organization or program in need of assistance.”

All Detroit residents over 18 years of age, including those who are incarcerated, would be eligible to receive the basic income after having resided in the city for three years.

According to LaFleur, a basic income is necessary to alleviate poverty and offset the economic effects of job loss due to automation. Meanwhile, she argues that her plan for a local cryptocurrency would boost the economy of Detroit.

The two leading candidates in Tuesday’s primary will advance to the ballot for the general election, to be held on November 7. The current frontrunner is incumbent Mike Duggan, trailed by state senator Coleman A. Young II. Six other candidates are also on the ballot, but trail Duggan and Young by wide margins.

Reviewed by Genevieve Shanahan

Photo (Detroit skyline) CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Mike Boening Photography

Kate McFarland

About Kate McFarland

Kate McFarland has written 500 articles.

I was a statistician, then a philosopher, then a journalist for a certain Basic Income News, and I have never been the sort to wed myself to any specific position or career path. (I have always chosen to remain in the precariat for this reason: my sense of duty is strong enough that I’d risk imperiling my own self-development if I were to accept a permanent position.) If you want to learn more about what I’m about, and how I see my ideal roles in the basic income community going forth, read the “cover letter” of sorts that is my Patreon homepage (updated November 2017).

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