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Providence is considering a guaranteed income program for certain residents

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced the creation of a reparations program in July.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced the creation of a reparations program in July.Dan McGowan/The Boston Globe

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Happy Tuesday and welcome to Rhode Map, your daily guide to everything happening in the Ocean State. I’m Dan McGowan and if I go dark for most of the day, it’s because I’m reading Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage.” Follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan or send tips to Dan.McGowan@globe.com.

ICYMI: Rhode Island was up to 23,130 confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday, after adding 212 new cases since Friday. The most recent test-positive rate was 1.4 percent. The state announced four more deaths, bringing the total to 1,075. There were 80 people in the hospital, seven in intensive care, and four were on ventilators.


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Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza was already among the first municipal leaders in the country to take a hard look at reparations for people with African or Indigenous heritage. Now he’s advocating for a guaranteed income for Providence residents.

Elorza is planning to announce this week that he is signing on to Mayors for a Guaranteed Income, a coalition of 25 mayors from around the country that was formed to advance the idea of providing a baseline of economic support to some or all residents in their communities.

The group is still in its early stages, and it is not advocating for a specific way to implement a program for providing monthly cash payments to Americans, but Elorza said he believes “the best way to protect the long-term health and well-being of our communities is by providing direct financial assistance to our residents.”

The concept of providing cash assistance to Americans has been around for decades, but it became a front-and-center campaign issue during Democrat Andrew Yang’s run for president earlier this year.


Elorza said the pandemic has “highlighted the inequities of our social safety net.”

Elorza and Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse are the only mayors from New England who have joined the group, but some of the high-profile members include Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, and Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Similar to the city’s decision to begin exploring a reparations program, Elorza is not ready to say how much a guaranteed income program would cost or who would be eligible.

Providence officials are looking at programs in Stockton, California, and Jackson, Mississippi, for potential ideas. Stockon is running a pilot program that provides $500 a month to 125 residents. In Jackson, low-income African-American mothers are eligible for $1,000 a month with no strings attached for up to one year.


Rhode Map wants to hear from you. If you’ve got a scoop or a link to an interesting news story in Rhode Island, e-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ The first day of school never happened for some of the nearly 3,000 elementary school students enrolled in Providence’s virtual learning academy.

⚓ Brown University School of Public Health dean Dr. Ashish Jha has an op-ed in the Globe arguing that we are at a moment in the pandemic where we must accept and respond to the basic book of facts.

⚓ If you need something to do this fall, why not sign up for one of these online cooking classes?


⚓ The New Yorker asks if actor Richard Jenkins is the most famous person in Rhode Island.


Opinion: The Globe’s editorial board urges Americans to sign up to be a poll worker or observer in the November election.

Health: My colleague Jaclyn Reiss reports that the head executive of the world’s largest vaccine producer is cautioning that the world’s population may not be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus until at least the end of 2024.

Lifestyle: Billy Baker has a humorous column on items to buy in order to stay sane as we begin to move indoors this fall.

Economy: Millennials are finding the search to buy starter homes even more difficult during the pandemic.

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Each day, Rhode Map offers a cheat sheet breaking down what’s happening in Rhode Island. Have an idea? E-mail us at RInews@globe.com.

⚓ The Globe’s Kara Baskin is holding a 10 a.m. virtual event that will explore how children can socialize safely this fall.

⚓ The state Council on Elementary and Secondary Education meets to discuss the reopening of schools at 5:30 p.m. Meanwhile, the Providence Teachers Union is planning to hold a rally outside of the Department of Education building shortly before the meeting.

⚓ The Rhode Island Complete Count Committee meets at 4 p.m. for another update on Rhode Island’s census count.


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Thanks for reading. Send comments and suggestions to dan.mcgowan@globe.com, or follow me on Twitter @DanMcGowan. See you tomorrow.

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Dan McGowan can be reached at dan.mcgowan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @danmcgowan.