**FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE**
January 19, 2021
Contact: Yuridia Peña, [email protected], (718) 790-0837
SHAUN DONOVAN RELEASES DETAILED PROPOSAL FOR “EQUITY BONDS” TO BUILD GENERATIONAL WEALTH FOR ALL NEW YORKERS TO END PERPETUAL POVERTY AND REPAIR RACIAL INEQUITIES
The long-term asset building birthright program to provide a savings account with $1,000 to every New York City child and include annual payments to public school students.
NEW YORK, NY – Building on his announcement on Monday at NAN’s Annual Policy Forum, former Obama-Biden Housing Secretary and Budget Director Shaun Donovan today released a detailed white paper entitled Equity Bonds: Leveling the Playing Field, Eradicating Poverty, and Building Wealth for all New Yorkers outlining how as Mayor he would provide Equity Bonds of $1,000 to every child in New York City and make annual deposits of up to $2,000 for public school students. The white paper adds to Donovan’s Campaign of Ideas which has been endorsed by prominent advocates and leaders across sectors.
“Your zip code should not determine your chances of economic mobility. I am committed to leveling the playing field and eradicating poverty in New York City by providing every family a real pathway to build generational wealth, especially Black and Brown families who have been denied opportunities to accumulate and maintain wealth for generations,” said Shaun Donovan, Candidate for Mayor of New York City. “Equity Bonds is an asset-building program that will help eradicate poverty in our City. This is about giving our city’s economy the best chance at recovery and long-term growth by ensuring that everyone has a fair chance to participate.”
Donovan’s Equity Bonds proposal would begin immediately upon inception to expand enrollment beyond newborns to any child up to two years old, and the entire New York City public school population, with $1,000 in principal. Public school students would also immediately begin receiving annual deposits of up to $2,000 depending on income. Eligibility for additional deposits would be limited to families making less than five times the poverty level, and annual deposits would be on a sliding scale based on income.
What this means is that a baby born in poverty under this program can go to school and know that roughly $50,000 is waiting for them if they graduate.
This investment would begin right away to tackle generational wealth disparities that play a fundamental role in systemic inequality. Funds would be accessible to enrollees upon graduation from a New York City public or charter school for purposes like paying for college, buying a home, starting a business, eradicating debt, and other methods of achieving economic advancement.
Equity Bonds builds upon a concept that was first introduced by Senator Cory Booker and Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley known as “Baby Bonds,” which proposed depositing $1,000 in principal and annual payments into a government savings account for every newborn in America. At the state level, New York State Assemblymember Michael Benedetto has introduced a similar proposal. Donovan’s Equity Bonds plan has been endorsed by experts in the field who are working on similar plans at the state and federal level.
“Tackling and closing the generational wealth gap is the single most important thing we can do to bring true equity to our society. Shaun’s plan to enact Equity Bonds in New York City for every child is a terrific expansion and acceleration of my proposal to provide $1,000 for every baby born in New York State,” said Assemblymember Michael Benedetto, proponent of “Baby Bonds” at the state level. This is a plan every New York
“Shaun’s Equity Bonds plan would guarantee every newborn public school child in New York City a chance at upward mobility and asset security, and help close our unjust racial wealth gap,” said Darrick Hamilton, the Director of the Institute on Race and Political Economy and University Professor at the New School and developer of the “Baby Bonds” concept. “The next mayor must have the vision, boldness, expertise, and leadership to reimagine a more equitable New York City that works for everyone, and Shaun is showing us how it can be done.”