Unemployed Organizing Committee Bulletin – April 2021 Working to protect the jobless!

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Unemployed Organizing Committee member Adrienne Berry speaking at the rally outside the Governor’s office on March 10th. 

Unemployed Organizing Committee

The Philadelphia Unemployment Project continues to fight for all unemployed workers. As the extension of unemployment and other benefits for laid off workers came up came up at the end of 2020 we organized to demand an extension and when a short 11 week extension was passed PUP continued to demand continuing assistance to victims of the pandemic. Watch Adrienne Berry speak about importance of a strong stimulus here

On January 8th of this year, over 100 joined our Town Hall for a Better Stimulus featuring Congressman Dwight Evans, Councilmember Helen Gym, union workers, and members of the Unemployed Organizing Committee. This Town Hall was a resounding success. By March, Congress would pass the American Rescue Plan, extending unemployment benefits through Labor Day.

Congressman Dwight Evans and Councilmember Helen Gym join out January 8th virtual Town Hall to Demand a Better Stimulus

Fighting Foreclosures

PUP has a long history of fighting to prevent foreclosures during hard times.  We are now playing a leading role in the PA Save Our Homes coalition, fighting for funding for mortgage assistance for victims of the pandemic.  The Cares Act foreclosure assistance program in 2020 found that Pennsylvania was unable to spend half of the funds provided for foreclosure prevention.  We are working to make sure money in the American Rescue Plan is easily accessible to families facing foreclosure. 

A PA Save Our Homes press conference in 2019 at City Hall.

Demanding a Working Unemployment System

We rallied outside Governor Wolf’s office on March 10th with elected officials, union workers, and members of our Unemployed Organizing Committee to demand a fix to the state’s unresponsive, inept unemployment compensation system. The successful rally received extensive coverage on KYWCBS, the Philadelphia Tribune, and the Inquirer.  

Speakers included State Representative Joe Hohenstein, Musicians Local 77’s Rebecca Ansel, Lance Haver, Adrienne Berry, staff for Senator Nikil Saval, Ron Blount among others.

Ronald Blount of the Unemployed Organizing Committee marches at our March 10th rally along with members of Local 77 of the Musicians Union.

Immediately after our rally, the state announced it would hire 500 more workers to answer unemployment benefits calls. It is a victory for unemployed workers but still not nearly enough. Thousands upon thousands of Pennsylvanians have still not heard about their claims and PUP has received over 800 requests for help this year alone. Sign our petition to demand the state do better and contact alee@philaup.org to join the Unemployed Organizing Committee.

The Unemployed Organizing Committee meets every second Wednesday on Zoom.  To get the zoom link email alee@philaup.org

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