From the 18th century philosopher, Thomas Paine, to 2020 Presidential candidate, Andrew Yang, the concept of guaranteed income — providing people in need with cash to meet basic needs, essentially — has been floating around for centuries.

Critics say no strings attached cash payments are not a long-term solution to uplift the economically fragile. But advocates point to successful pilot programs, including some in Greater Boston, are inspiring widespread support across the nation.

We sit down with leaders of the movement and a local program participant.


Sumbul Siddiqui, mayor of Cambridge

Saadia McConville, communications director of Mayors for Guaranteed Income

Victor, participant in the Cambridge RISE guaranteed income program. GBH is identifying Victor only by his first name to protect his privacy.