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.
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.
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 KYW, CBS, 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.
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 email@example.com to join the Unemployed Organizing Committee.
The Unemployed Organizing Committee meets every second Wednesday on Zoom. To get the zoom link email firstname.lastname@example.org