Budget Recap: Crucial Wins and a Disappointing Loss

On Tuesday, the DC Council held the final vote on funding in the DC budget. DC Jobs With Justice is proud to have led and supported campaigns for working families in this year’s budget process. Although we had mixed results, we continue to center the power, value, and voices of DC’s workers throughout all of our campaigns and appreciate all workers and allies who fought together. Wins: $41 million for Excluded Workers: DC JWJ has led on the campaign to win funding for Excluded Workers since the very first days of the COVID crisis. This win is our largest so far, three times more than we won in all of 2020. Excluded Workers including cash economy workers, undocumented workers, and returning citizens. They will be able to access these funds through the low-barrier DC CARES program. Learn more on the Excluded Worker twitter.  Strengthening Paid Family Leave. Having supported DC’s paid family leave program from advocacy through implementation, DC JWJ was disappointed to see the initial budget undermined the strength of the program and the dedicated funding. We were part of the coalition that fought back with a demand of not just to preserving the program, but actually making it stronger. Now the Paid Family Leave program includes more time for individuals who need to care for themselves, many program improvements, and the opportunity to expand benefits. Read more about the changes we helped win here: https://www.dcpaidfamilyleave.org/updates/vote-statement Losses: Hero Pay: Sadly not all of our campaigns won. The Heroes Pay Act introduced by Councilmember Elissa Silverman would have paid essential workers a one-time Hero Pay bonus for working during the pandemic....

Reclaim Rent Control

DC Jobs With Justice is proud to be part of the Reclaim Rent Control Campaign! So far in the campaign, we have launched Reclaim Rent Control with a press conference, a rally, over 100 people testifying for our platform, and a day-long retreat with the New York rent control campaign. Check out the campaign website Join the Reclaim Rent Control campaign Here are a few of our highlights in pictures:            ...

D.C. Councilmembers Turn their Back on Residents, Punt Instead of Ensuring Full-time Jobs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, September 20, 2016 CONTACT Elizabeth Falcon, Executive Director of DC Jobs With Justice; Elizabeth@dcjwj.org or 202-674-2872 D.C. Councilmembers Turn their Back on Residents, Punt Instead of Ensuring Full-time Jobs By tabling Just Hours legislation today, the D.C. Council sends message to thousands of people that they must keep waiting for livable jobs. WASHINGTON, D.C. – Elizabeth Falcon, Executive Director of the DC Jobs With Justice, released the following statement after the D.C. Council tabled the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act at today’s Committee of the Whole meeting: “The D.C. Council should have kept Hours and Scheduling Stability Act on track to make sure our community has access to stable hours and work schedules. Workers in the District deserve access to full time hours and schedules in advance. Today the Council let down thousands of our neighbors who work in retail and food service and all of their families. By tabling this legislation, they gave into big business lobbyists instead of looking out for hard-working residents in our lowest paying industries. “We thank Councilmembers Mary Cheh, LaRuby May, Brianne Nadeau, and Elissa Silverman for standing with working people and voting to advance the bill forward today. “We’ve heard the narrative that it is too much at once to act on both Paid Family Leave and the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act, when these are in fact the basics of what people need to sustain their families. “Even with more D.C. residents living in poverty than before the recession and with many residents who want to work full-time only finding part-time work, the D.C. Council decided to...

District Officials Ignored Residents and Got Duped By Walmart

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, January 15, 2016 CONTACT Ari Schwartz, DC Jobs With Justice, (202) 674-3228, ari@dcjwj.org For a PDF of the release, click here District Officials Ignored Residents and Got Duped By Walmart Countless residents knew better than to trust Walmart, but were ignored by elected officials eager to believe the company’s false promises WASHINGTON, D.C. – Nikki Lewis, Executive Director of DC Jobs With Justice, released the following statement today after Walmart announced it will not open two stores planned for the District and will close 269 stores worldwide: “I wish I could say that I am surprised by Walmart’s plans to cancel two stores, but the sad truth is, I am not. Today’s announcement proves once again that Walmart is a company that cannot be trusted. “In meetings with residents and community leaders, the company promised to bring much-needed retail to Ward 7. Some residents were even told that wages would start at $13.50 an hour at these stores. “Unfortunately, when residents attempted to codify these promises in a written agreement, and later the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA), Walmart responded by threatening to cancel their plans to open three additional stores – effectively forcing Mayor Gray to veto the LRAA. “With today’s announcement of store closures, Walmart is canceling these plans and footing the residents of D.C. with the bill. Make no mistake, Walmart has duped the District with false promises and is now earning profit at the expense of everyone who lives here. “The District should have ignored Walmart’s threats instead of its own residents. Moving forward, the District should be cautious about believing other retailers...

Just Hours at the Top of the Agenda for D.C. Council

On January 13, members of the coalition for Just Hours testified at a DC city council hearing in favor of the Hours and Scheduling Stability Act, spearheaded by D.C. Jobs With Justice and introduced by Councilmember Vincent Orange. The proposed rules would usher in more predictable schedules and stable employment opportunities for people working in the District’s retail and restaurant chains. While a national trend of minimum wage increases continues, the demand for ending erratic work schedules to ensure more sustainable jobs is growing. According to a recent poll, a wide majority of D.C. residents say they support the measures included in the legislation. Some 86 percent of D.C. residents say they would support a law that would mandate stable hours and predictable work schedules from employers. Additionally, 87 percent of those surveyed say they would support rules that would require two weeks’ advance notice of work schedules, and 88 percent say they would support rules that would require large corporate chain stores and restaurants to first offer additional work hours to their part-time employees before hiring new employees. RasImani Diggs, an employee at a Marshall’s store in Ward 1 in the District, testified about the challenges she faces with inconvenient and ever-changing schedules: “They post a schedule a day or two before the week starts, but it can change at any time. I have to try to call in or take metro from Kenilworth on a day I don’t even work just to check my schedule and see if it’s changed.  I can’t plan anything in my life. With a second job and trying to help my family, if...

New poll finds overwhelming support for Just Hours

A survey of 572 D.C. voters conducted by Public Policy Polling on Oct. 28-30, 2015 found overwhelming support for giving working people more stable and predictable work schedules at retail and food service employers. The survey, sponsored by DC Jobs With Justice and DC Fiscal Policy Institute, found that 86% of surveyed voters support new rules to stablize work schedules. Support only increased when voters were asked about the specific provisions of the Just Hours policy. Eighty-seven percent supported requiring employers in chain retail and food service to post schedules two weeks’ in advance. Eighty-eight percent supported requiring employers to offer available hours to current employees before hiring new workers. You can read the poll results...