Reopen DC Must Prioritize the Safety and Livelihood of Workers and Tenants

This past week DC Jobs with Justice worked with community leaders and policy experts to demand that DC prioritize workers and tenants in the reopening process. Our demands included: Justice for Excluded Workers There are tens of thousands of workers in the District who will not be able to access any form of cash assistance to weather the storm of the immediate Covid-19 crisis. These workers have been excluded because of who they are or the work they perform. Their needs are particularly acute during the pandemic and must be addressed. We joined with our allies in labor and community based groups to call for DC to expand efforts at guaranteeing the economic security, safety, and health of all workers including excluded workers. Recoup Unpaid Unemployment Insurance Taxes and Limit Workplace Fraud Week after week we have seen an unprecedented numbers of workers applying for unemployment insurance and putting pressure on an already overburdened public assistance program. Meanwhile gig companies such as Uber and Lyft–whose workers have seen incomes fall dramatically – continue long-standing practices of worker misclassification and tax avoidance. DC JWJ joined with leading academics from Georgetown, CUNY, and GW to call for DC to hold these gig companies responsible for unpaid unemployment insurance taxes, ensure that workers receive the highest-level of available benefits under traditional unemployment insurance, and revise UI law to apply the “ABC test” across industries. Eliminate Barriers to Unemployment Compensation and Expanded Sick Leave DC JWJ joined with several of our allies in the Just Pay Coalition to call for two urgent actions needed to ensure that all workers have access to basic protections. As...

Meet Eliana Rondon, DC JWJ’s newest organizer!

Meet Eliana Rondon, DC JWJ’s newest organizer! Volunteering in the community for almost twelve years has given me a wide range of experiences. My years of volunteering and working for nonprofit organizations consist of advocacy, youth welfare, community support, racial justice and more. My passion for community outreach stems from being raised by a strong, struggling single mother with five kids. As an Afro- Latina born in DC, coming from an immigrant family, I have encountered my fair share of inequality. As a result of my diverse cultural upbringing, I have multiple communities to account for. Despite my struggles, such as limited access, I’ve always been blessed to have individuals from the community, such as teachers and organizers, who have invested their time in me. At the age of fourteen, I decided that I wanted to give others the support and opportunity, which I was privileged to have. During my years of advocating, I’ve been working hand in hand with many impactful nonprofits and organizations. Through this I have seen a lot of results in the DC communities, but the fight is on going.  I obtained my B.A in Communication and Psychology from Trinity Washington University in 2016.  I currently have six years of experience in the field of communications. In addition, I enjoy writing and photography, which has continuously driven me to take courses to sharpen my skills. My goal is to help enhance resources, policies, practices, norms, which promotes equality, funding, access and opportunities. Fostering and developing the rights of humans is an essential component to the welfare and the unification of our communities. I am a...

6 Ways to Celebrate May Day

The COVID-19 pandemic has laid bare the need to imagine alternatives to our rigged system. We hope you can join our allies in the movement on May Day for one or more of these socially distanced solidarity actions and educational events. Shut Down DC – International Workers Day Actionar and Wheat Pasting Friday, May 1st, Exact Time TBA RSVP HERE On International Workers Day, Shut Down DC will bring the stories and visions of working-class people to the nation’s capital. They are inviting all types of working people – healthcare workers, warehouse workers, grocery store workers, solid waste workers, students (students are workers too!), people working in prisons, and laid-off and unemployed workers – to share their stories and visions for the future. They will take those stories straight to the politicians and bureaucrats who are controlling our government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis. Shut Down DC will commit to making sure that every story submitted gets displayed somewhere on the streets of DC – Whether it’s wheat pasted on a bus station or projected on the side of a building. Online, they will hold an essential workers’ town hall to lift up the stories of essential workers who are laboring through the COVID-19 pandemic. WPFW – May Day 2020: Together We Stand! Friday, May 1st, 9 AM – 7 PM Tune in at 89.3 or go to https://wpfwfm.org/radio/ Which side are you on is the urgent question for May Day 2020! The global pandemic has punctuated the fact that workers vs. the corporations is the name of the governmental game. Listen Friday, May 1st, 9am until 7pm...

DC JWJ COVID Webinars – April 2020

English Webinar: DC JWJ’s most recent webinar with Bread for the City, Working Families Party, Legal Aid Society of DC, DC Kincare Alliance, and DC Fiscal Policy Institute. video Recent federal and local legislation have made important changes such as: Expanded unemployment benefits Changes to how we access federal assistance New protections against technology cut-offs New procedures for elections   Informacion en espanol DC Trabajos con Justicia/DC Jobs with Justice, Mary’s Center, Washington Lawyers Committee y Bread for the City presenta informacion importante para la comunidad. vídeo Los temas incluyen: – nuevas protecciones para los residentes de DC – cómo acceder a la asistencia del gobierno – cómo cuidarse y detener la propagación del coronavirus – cómo participar en las elecciones de DC para ciudadanos...

Open Letter to Mayor Bowser: cash assistance urgently needed

Dear Mayor Bowser, Our residents need assistance. Our organizations touch thousands of workers who are being left to fend for themselves as part of a community response to the deadly and fast-moving Coronavirus. Cash assistance now will stem a humanitarian disaster and mitigate racial inequities that are rising as a result of the pandemic. Excluded workers include tens of thousands of immigrant families and other workers. These people make DC work. They care for children and grandparents so others can go to their offices, they clean hotel rooms to make our hospitality sector strong, they power our new development by constructing our buildings, they keep our offices clean overnight, they wash dishes and keep bars stocked so we can enjoy our cocktails and DC’s fine dining. They are active members of the DC community. It is a matter of racial equity that we ensure these residents can access cash assistance. The population that is not covered by cash assistance is almost exclusively Black and Brown residents. Any negative impacts stemming from the lack of income and assistance will hurt not only these adults, but their children as well, further disadvantaging them. We need a response that is bigger than any of our organizations can do alone. This is the role only government can fill. The federal government has left our neighbors behind. But we cannot. The impact of local assistance to our neighbors will be multiplied. It will help our neighbors Stay Home DC and limit the need to seek informal work, leave safe housing, or leave home to access information. It will circulate in the local economy, keeping...

Still Excluded

We are very disappointed that DC leaders have made no commitments to provide cash assistance to DC workers who are ineligible for unemployment benefits. As a result, the workers who built our restaurant, hospitality, construction, home care, and other industries are left with no government resources to turn to. It is a matter of life or death for our communities that these workers stay home. And they are. It is also a matter of life or death if we support them. Without the ability to access assistance, workers and their families will return to work in the informal economy, be forced out of their homes and into homelessness and overcrowding, suffer from poor nutrition, and more. We can not ask our community to #StayHomeDC and do nothing to ensure that they can safely do so. Right now, excluded families are relying on informal networks, compassionate volunteers, and the generosity of strangers. Those resources simply do not match the scale of aid that DC government could provide. And the government, not good neighbors, should be responsible for the well being of our whole community. DC has built powerful industries on the backs of workers who have been made invisible and are regularly excluded. In all cases, that is an injustice. In this case, it is unconscionable. Estamos muy decepcionados de que los líderes de DC no se hayan comprometido a proporcionar asistencia en efectivo a los trabajadores de DC que no son elegibles para beneficios de desempleo. Como resultado, los trabajadores que construyeron nuestro restaurante, hospitalidad, construcción, cuidado del hogar y otras industrias no tienen recursos gubernamentales. Es una cuestión...