Mayors for a Guaranteed Income

About Mayors for a Guaranteed Income

In September of 2020, Mayor Steve Schewel joined Mayors for a Guaranteed Income (MGI), a network of mayors across the country committed to advancing local pilots and the national conversation around guaranteed income. A guaranteed income is a monthly, cash payment given directly to individuals. It is unconditional, with no strings attached and no work requirements. This monthly, cash payment to individuals is meant to supplement, rather than replace, the existing social safety net and be a tool to close the racial and gender income gap. It is MGI’s belief that these direct, recurring cash payments will lift all of our communities and build a more resilient, just America. Since its establishment in June 2020, the coalition has created an increase in support for guaranteed income policy across the country.

Mayors for a Guaranteed Income

About Durham's Pilot Program

Durham's pilot program focusing on formerly incarcerated individuals is currently being planned for an official launch in late 2021. 


Justice involvement comes with many collateral consequences. Individuals often struggle to find employment, applying sometimes for over a hundred jobs before finding a low wage job or just giving up.  Individuals may aspire to start their own business or to invest in training for a better job, but may lack the funds to pursue these dreams. These financial hardships may be borne by family members and may place added strain on these important relationships.  We believe a guaranteed income can help ensure a successful transition home by providing a much needed additional source of income to give people time to build a new life.

We believe that ongoing, direct cash payments can have the dual effect of stabilizing families and stimulating the local economy, that families are best positioned to know their needs and cash transfer programs that come with no strings attached give families the agency they need to address them. Furthermore, guaranteed income is part of a wider set of policies needed in our country to address rising income inequality. Our vision in embarking on this demonstration project in coalition with cities across the county is to strengthen a national value that declares there exists a floor beneath which we will allow no person to fall simply by virtue of their humanity. American cities are laboratories of democracy, and that it is incumbent upon cities to help advance and build evidence in support of transformative new approaches that hold promise for future generations. 

Contact Us

If you have questions about this pilot program, please contact Amber Wade, Assistant to the Mayor, at amber.wade@durhamnc.gov.

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August 31, 2021 | Pilot Overview

To learn more about how the Durham Guaranteed Income Pilot will work, please see our one-pager. More information regarding recruitment for individuals who may be eligible to participate in this pilot will be released by StepUp Durham in the coming months.


September 7, 2021 | Durham's Guaranteed Income Pilot is now called Excel

Excel Logo

Durham's Guaranteed Income Pilot is now called Excel

Completing a pre-screen form is the first step in seeing if you are eligible for the pilot. If you are, your name will be added to an interest list. Within 60 days, you will receive more information on the next step. Learn more about Excel and submit a pre-screen form

If you need assistance completing the form or have additional questions, please contact Ebony Bullock, Excel Coordinator, at (919) 813-0207‬


November 15, 2021 | City of Durham seeks Benefits Counselor to support Excel

We are searching for a highly motivated individual to serve as Benefits Counselor for up to 115 selected pilot participants. To comply with the informed consent standards of Institutional Review Board (IRB) and in alignment with the values of agency and trusting residents to make the best decisions for themselves, this temporary, contract position will meet individually with participants during the pilot’s onboarding phase (est. 6 weeks), to ensure program participants are informed of the potential impact on any public benefits they are currently receiving. Learn more about the position.