For many, the impending 2020 presidential election threatens to bring a barrage of punditry, and everything from acrimony to hope. But for the Fassi family in Goffstown, New Hampshire, it has brought a $12,000 gift of cash.
That's because presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, 43, is running for election on a campaign that centers around the idea of universal basic income, or free cash payments. Specifically, Yang promises that if elected, every American citizen between the ages of 18 and 64 will receive $1,000 a month.
To demonstrate the potential benefit of distributing cash, Yang is personally funding a pilot for cash payments, which he calls the Freedom Dividend.
Jodie Fassi and her family were selected from "dozens of nominations," Yang tells CNBC Make It.
Charles Fassi, 49, his wife Jodie, 47, and their daughter Janelle, 20, received their first $1,000 check from Yang at a New Year's Eve party in New York City, Yang tells CNBC Make It.
Technically, "the pilot is just for one person, Jodie," Yang tells CNBC Make It. (Yang's campaign vision is to give every individual citizen money). "But we ended up meeting the whole family, since Janelle filled out the nomination form, and their family story is so relatable. They are a perfect example of how $1,000 freedom dividend would help families across the country, and the entire family has gotten behind the concept and has agreed to share their experiences," Yang tells CNBC Make It.