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IT'S unclear whether Americans will receive another federal stimulus check, but many city and state governments are issuing their own payments to residents.

This is the case in New Orleans, Louisiana, where some teens and young adults will get $350 monthly payments for ten months as part of the state’s financial literacy program.

1Beneficiaries in New Orleans will receive $3,500 in total

The new initiative will impact 125 New Orleans residents, who are between the ages of 16 and 24.

The first stimulus payment will go out next Spring, and beneficiaries will receive $3,500 in total.

Since these payments are recurring for 10 months, the support can be considered a trial for a universal basic income program.

In an idea backed by entrepreneur and former presidential hopeful Andrew Yang, multiple big cities including Chicago and Los Angeles are also offering UBI payments to some of its residents.

In this case, New Orleans aims to address the “unbanked” issue in the city, which applies to adults who do not use financial services such as savings and checking accounts to store money.

According to economic advocacy group Prosperity Now, Louisiana has the second largest unbanked percentage among the state population at nearly 15%.

The New Orleans program, in partnership with Mastercard, Mobility Capital Finance (MoCaFi), specifically looks to tackle the racial and wealth gap issue.

The direct payments will be provided by Mobility Capital Finance via a loaded ATM card.

Along with the age requirement, the funds will go out to those who are either unemployed or not in school.

New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell said: "My administration continues to identify innovative ways to serve and empower our residents and will make sure that the unbanked are banked and have access to financial education and other resources so that they can attend to basic needs and continue to invest in themselves."

We explain how families with kids under 13 could get a surprise stimulus payment of $8,000.

We explain how much your family will get for this month’s installment of child tax credits.

Plus, check out five big money changes coming this week that could impact your finances.

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Republicans obsession with policing teachers, schools is a losing issue

As Republicans focus on ginning up outrage over the supposed teaching of critical race theory, the overwhelming majority of Americans believe that their local classrooms and libraries should include books by and about people of color.

In fact, it's not even a divisive issue across party lines, with fully 93% of registered voters saying they believe books by and about people of color should be in local classrooms and libraries, according to the most recent Daily Kos/Civiqs poll. That includes 97% of Democrats, 88% of Republicans, and 91% of Independents.

Slightly more controversial is the inclusion of books with characters who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, with a 48% plurality of voters saying books with LGBTQ characters should be included in their local schools and libraries, and 34% opposing their inclusion. Among Democrats, 79% support the inclusion of LGBTQ characters, while just 11% of Republicans do and 50% of Independents do.

But among the demographics Democrats need to win in November, inclusion of LGBTQ characters is far and away a net plus. Even suburban voters favor inclusion by a 20-point margin, 52% to 32%.

Here's a breakdown of support among key constituencies:

Civiqs: Should local classrooms/libraries include books with LGBTQ characters Total White Black Hispanic Urban Suburban Yes No
48% 44% 62% 58% 57% 52%
34% 39% 19% 21% 29% 32%

What that polling suggests is that which party wins on the issue of teaching about diversity, race, and LGBTQ issues is all about the framing. The demographics Democrats need to win are largely and even overwhelmingly in favor of making the topics accessible to kids.

While no parent wants to be told they don't have the right to have a say in their child's education, plenty of parents likely don't want some other parent (or even a group of parents) to have the power to dictate the topics their children have access to and are taught at school.

So while Republicans are touting a supposed "parents bill of rights," some smart Democratic groups need to be poll testing the best way to talk about the GOP's obsession with policing teachers and curriculum and, in extreme cases, ultimately giving any random parent veto power over the education of another parent's child.

We have already seen this GOP fanaticism tip into dangerous territory. Just a few examples:

  • Shortly after Glenn Youngkin won Virginia's gubernatorial race, the idea of actual book burning surfaced in school board debates
  • During Youngkin's first week in office, he created a tip line for "divisive practices," which is clearly code for any topic a parent doesn't like, such as race or LGBTQ issues.
  • A Mississippi mayor unilaterally withheld funds from a local library because it has books that contain LGBTQ content.
  • An Oklahoma bill that would give any parent veto power over which books are allowed to remain in their child’s school library.

Republicans are undoubtedly brandishing the education issue as a base juicer—it's not primarily designed to win over crossover votes.

But this is a debate that is both worth having and is totally winnable. History has already taught us that things like policing educators and book burning lead to a very dark place.

Democrats simply need to connect the dots for voters and make the threat real for them. Republicans are already giving Democrats cautionary tales to use on the campaign trail—we simply need to know the language to use that best connects with voters.

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