FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASErnrnMay 12, 2008rnrnCONTACT: Ruth Castel-Branco, DC Jobs with Justice. 202.974.8281.rnrnAdvisory: DC Residents Rally City to Hold Verizon to Account.rn rnWHO: Workers, community members and advocates.rnWHAT: Rally—Put the “Public” Back in the Public Service Commission.rnWHEN: Thursday, May 15th at 8:30am-10:00am.rnWHERE: Public Service Commission, 1333 H St NW.rnrnWASHINGTON, DC – This week Verizon DC will hope to offset increasing scrutiny from DC city officials and community groups for its poor service quality record in the District through the approval of a Price Cap Settlement, negotiated between the company and the city. City officials have touted this settlement, which focuses heavily on customer service and technical personnel training, as an important step towards ensuring consumer protection standards in the District, but unions, community groups and quality-of-service advocates are concerned over what they consider to be a substandard agreement with false solutions to serious quality of service problems. rnrn“Verizon employees are being scape-goated,” said Ruth Castel-Branco of DC Jobs with Justice, a coalition of unions, student, faith and community organizations. “Training programs will not fix the increase in problems with chronic static, slow internet, and dropped calls that DC residents are experiencing; real investment in infrastructure and staffing will. But in the last 3 years Verizon has closed most of its service centers in the District and moved a third of its jobs out of the city. The Public Service Commission has the responsibility to hold Verizon to account.”rn rnThe Public Service Commission will be holding a closed hearing on the Price Cap Settlement this Thursday, May 15th. Beforehand, workers, community members and advocates will gather for a rally to in front of the PSC calling on the Commissioners to hold Verizon accountable. This hearing comes at a crucial time for Verizon, as the company is currently negotiating the right to offer cable TV services and bring FiOS to DC. rnrn