Keith Ellison. Credit to: The Boston Globe.
Keith Ellison, a member of the US Congress from Minnesota and Deputy Chair of the Democratic National Committee, has expressed an endorsement for basic income on Twitter. His tweet posted on the 17th August 2017, is straightforward: “I am for guaranteed basic income. Who agrees? Who disagrees? Why?”
This is relevant not only because Ellison is a prominent politician in one of the two major parties in the United States, but also because the tweet was liked around 4500 times, shared 850 times and commented almost 1000 times, in less than five days.
Ellison himself did not join the conversation on his Tweet. However, many other basic income advocates joined the thread, including well-known writer and activist Scott Santens, who wrote: “we didn’t invent technology to make sure we always had a job”.
Ellison’s endorsement was immediately noticed by the Economic Security Project (ESP), a two-year initiative supporting basic income projects in the US, which released a press release on his statement on the 18th of August. ESP co-founder Dorian Warren said in the press release: “we are thrilled that basic income has the support of a bold, progressive leader like Keith Ellison”.