Hudson program keeping Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s economic dream alive

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Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is well-known for championing civil rights for Black Americans, but he also pushed an economic dream that would help raise Blacks and the poor out of poverty.

The dollar figure on this plan would have been about $20 billion, say some, for the government to give Blacks a monthly stipend. King called it guaranteed income.

Critics derailed the idea when it was pushed more than 50 years ago. However, the programs called Universal Basic Income or Guaranteed Income Initiative are now up throughout the country, including Hudson. That city’s program is a little different than the rest.

The Hudson-Up Basic Income Program started in 2020. People receive $500 a month for five years.

Many of the programs target single moms, but Hudson’s program is not gender or age specific and recipients are not told how to spend it, and don’t have to save receipts for the things they buy.

The program is sponsored by private donors. It can help people with things such as opening a first bank account, throwing a child a birthday party or even buying a car.

Hear the executive director of the program explain what it’s like to witness this movement honoring King’s legacy by watching the video of Elaine Houston’s story.