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NEWS

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.... read more

Take 10 Minutes to Win Hero Pay

Last week the Council voted to eliminate Hero Pay from the budget! Only Councilmembers Silverman, Nadeau, and Lewis George stood with essential workers and supported the bill. Please use the script below to call  your ward councilmember. Please note that if you councilmember’s name is in pink, underlined and in italics  then please use script 2, if their name is not purple use script 1. Script 1 Hello, my name is [NAME] and I’m a [DC / WARD X] resident [and member of X  union and/or essential worker if applicable]. I am calling to express my disappointment in your vote against enacting and fully funding Hero Pay for essential workers. Essential workers risked their lives by working through a deadly pandemic and they deserve far more than empty praise. I strongly encourage you to prioritize finding funding to restore the Heroes Pay Act during the second vote on the Budget Request Act on Tuesday. [If you’d like, share an anecdote about why Hero Pay for essential workers is important to you personally, if you are an essential worker you can share about your experience working during the pandemic]   Script 2 for Silverman, Nadeau and Lewis George Hello, my name is [NAME] and I’m a [DC / WARD X] resident [and member of X union and/or essential worker if applicable] and I wanted to thank you for your vote in support of Hero Pay at the July 13th Committee of the Whole meeting!   Call ALL the at-large council members and the chair Elissa Silverman    At-Large (202) 724-7772 Anita Bonds At-Large (202) 724-8064 Christina Henderson At-Large (202) 724-8105 Robert C.... read more

Undermining Excluded Worker solidarity reflects anti-Blackness

Photo: Members of the Excluded Worker coalition from No Justice No Pride and HIPS speaking out for the needs of sex workers at the Don’t Exclude Me rally.   By Eliana Rondon, DC JWJ Organizer Excluded workers consist of tens of thousands of DC residents—including those who are undocumented, sex workers, day laborers, and returning citizens. Excluded workers have all been locked out of unemployment benefits and other cash assistance. Despite our advocacy to include all individuals being locked out, Chairman Mendelson  insists that the  funds intended for all excluded workers to undocumented workers only. The DC Council must amend the Budget Support Act to include all excluded worker.  Undocumented excluded workers only account for part of the communities we are fighting for. The  undocumented residents in DC includes many races. However, of the US-born excluded workers are overwhelmingly Black. When solutions for excluded workers only include undocumented workers, it excludes Black excluded workers from the funds. The Council continues to refer to the excluded workers’ funds as only intended for undocumented residents, despite the fact undocumented individuals are not the only communities excluded. Reducing the language from excluded worker to undocutoment worker disregards the needs of DC Black communities. The language used by the council is anti- black and demonstrates systematic racism. Anti-Blackness means more than just racism against Black people. It’s a structure that demonstrates society’s inability to recognize  the humanity of Blacks. Anti-Blackness voids Blackness of value, while systematically diminishing Black people and their problems.    Underneath this anti-Black racism is the covert structural and systemic racism, which systematically  mandates the socioeconomic status of Blacks in America. The... read more

DC JWJ statement on SCOTUS decision ending LGBT discrimination in the workplace

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled to protect transgender and queer people from discrimination at work. As a worker justice organization that recognizes the intersections of our struggles, we breathe a sigh of relief and then take a deep breath to acknowledge there is more to do. We affirm that Black Lives Matter and center the precarity of the lives of Black trans women. We hold of up the names of Ashanti Carmon and Zoe Spears, two Black trans women who were murdered this year just outside of Washington, DC. On this 51st anniversary of the Stonewall riots and in “pride month,” we recognize that it is the fearless organizing and visibility of and by trans and queer people of color that have led us to this moment. At DC JWJ, we believe that there is no place for discrimination of queer, trans, and gender nonconforming workers. And of course, simply preventing discrimination is not enough. Workplaces must be welcoming. Policies must reflect our diverse families. Solidarity must include all gender identities and expressions. We know that our bodies, hearts, and minds are our own, and do not belong to the courts or laws to define. For too long, our legal system has not protected queer and trans people, instead criminalizing and punishing. DC JWJ is proud to stand with the trans women of color who are leading the Decrim Now campaign to decriminalize sex work in Washington,... read more

DC JWJ statement on wage theft settlement at Matchbox

DC Jobs With Justice applauds Attorney General Racine and his office for ensuring Matchbox workers are fairly paid. Unfortunately, wage theft is rampant in the restaurant industry, including in well respected establishments like Matchbox. Nationally and within the District, bussers tend to be Latinx immigrants, who face additional barriers to accessing fairness in the workplace. The OAG has demonstrated once again a commitment to strategic enforcement of DC’s labor laws by focusing enforcement action on key industries where wage theft is widespread, expanding individual complaints to company-wide investigations, and pursuing large companies. We are glad that to see that 100 workers have been made whole, and look forward to the day when wage theft is over in Washington,... read more

Don’t Exclude Me

DC Excluded Workers Need $30 Million to Survive the Economic Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic RSVP to the Don’t Exclude Me action June 29th – 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM – Freedom Plaza DC is home to over 30,000 residents we know cannot access federal assistance through unemployment insurance and/or the federal stimulus. The DC FY21 budget must include cash assistance for those excluded by the federal government so that they too can survive the prolonged health and economic crisis through next year. DC is Home to Workers in Dire Need of Support Tens of thousands of DC residents are excluded from federal unemployment insurance (UI) relief efforts. This includes undocumented workers, day laborers, sex workers, street vendors, people doing hair out of their homes, returning citizens, and other informal economy workers. The vast majority of these DC residents are low-income workers who do not have the savings needed to get by without work for many months. Excluded workers are overwhelmingly Black and immigrant residents who have also been among the hardest hit by COVID-19. Cash Assistance is Urgently Needed for Excluded Workers In late March, Congress passed a measure that softened COVID-19’s economic blow to millions of Americans, including one-time direct payments of up to $1,200 for most adults and an additional $500 for each child under age 17. Congress also approved four months of federally-funded Unemployment Insurance (UI) payments of $600 per week that will be in addition to state UI benefits that jobless workers receive. In addition, they established Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)—a program for people who are ineligible for UI, such as those who have... read more

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... read more

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... read more

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... read more

EVENTS

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.... read more

Job Posting: DC JWJ Organizing Director

Download this description here.  Overview DC Jobs With Justice (DC JWJ) is a coalition of labor unions, community organizations, faith institutions, and student organizations dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights of working people in the DC metropolitan area. DC JWJ has helped win a precedent-setting minimum wage increase in DC, as well as led various campaigns to hold large corporations accountable to DC communities. In the past we have worked on a range of issues, from labor law to health care; from union organizing campaigns to immigrant rights. Please see www.dcjwj.org for more information. DC JWJ is seeking an Organizing Director to oversee staff as well as manage a limited portfolio of campaign responsibilities. The ideal candidate has experience managing organizers and will excel at supporting their leadership as well as developing and implementing strategic campaigns. This person will be a team player, excited about the role of unions and coalitions in social change, and committed to justice in Washington, DC. This position will report directly to the Executive Director of DC Jobs With Justice. Job Responsibilities Staff management: (50% of time) Provide direct supervision to DC JWJ’s 4 organizing staff to support leadership development, campaign development, work planning and activities. Campaigns: Coordinate and facilitate coalition campaigns to promote economic, racial, and social justice in Washington, DC by working with members and allies to develop campaign strategy and plans. Grants management: Monitor grant spending and track staff activities relative to grant deliverables.   Required Qualifications: Two or more years managing staff Outstanding leadership skills and the ability to connect with and build effective teams of diverse partners across... read more

Monday Jan 25th: Excluded Worker Fund Opens!

Excluded workers finally can access real assistance thanks to their hard work and advocacy during the excluded worker campaign. Despite delays, applicants can begin to apply for assistance Monday, January 25th and will be accessible at http://dccares2021.org. Over 8,000 residents will receive $1,000 gift cards (with the ability to access cash withdrawals) to sustain them through this ongoing emergency. For more information you can access guides here: English: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qYDmLEbzk8JlwBagbxj3YEYv3C004uTl/view?usp=sharing Spanish: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Lb6E-iJzpk-eGM0-nK4tSJFiXYX2fL3m/view?usp=sharing Who is eligible for assistance Residents excluded from Unemployment Insurance (UI) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): • Qualifying Returning Citizens released from custody on or after March 11, 2020 • Informal/cash economy workers: day laborers, domestic workers, street vendors, and other cash economy workers • Undocumented workers or immigrants without Employment Authorization (EAD) Get ready to apply Step 1: Review your eligibility • Qualifying returning citizens released from custody on or after March 11, 2020 • Informal/cash economy workers ineligible for UI/PUA • Undocumented residents ineligible for UI/PUA • Unsure? Apply and a DC CARES representative will review your eligibility   Step 2: Gather your documents • A photo ID with name and Date of Birth • Proof of DC Residency • Eligibility Documents by category (see guide for more details) • Your Updated Contact Information (phone, email) Step 3: Apply online or by phone starting Monday, January 25 • Visit www.DCCARES2021.org or call 202-332-1264 • Website and phone are English/Spanish bilingual • For other languages, please apply by phone • General Inquiries: info@dccares2021.org None of the organizations who previously processed assistance are accepting applications, all applications must be sent through the above options. Please direct all questions there.... read more