FOR THE UNEMPLOYED.
BY THE UNEMPLOYED.
What we're about
We empower every person to take bold action in advancing and expanding fair and inclusive worker-focused COVID relief legislation for The People. We offer tools, resources, and talking points to make it easy. Relief should be retroactive and extended until the pandemic is over. We should ensure all workers can survive and recover from this crisis. And we all have to advocate for those solutions ourselves.
We especially want to encourage our industry (Live Events & Entertainment), with its unique reliance on a freelance and face to face workforce, to use the microphone at our feet to make demands for our own needs, but also for the needs of all of the people who don’t have the same access.
Our messaging strategy and current specific asks change often in reaction to what is happening on the Hill and in our community.
Transparency builds power. Check our current strategy and asks here:
Summer 2021 |
The Federal Government MUST:
Extend of all federal pandemic UI programs based on the REAL unemployment rate and full recovery of pre-pandemic jobs numbers (instead of arbitrary dates that lead to benefit cliffs.
Reinstate federal pandemic UI programs in all states.
Continue healthcare and rent relief.
Enact a serious plan to overhaul the UI system and make fair and equitable benefits available to all workers. #FixUI
Overarching Policy goals
The Federal Government must:
1. Provide retroactive compensation for the lack of government inaction in 2020. This solution should compensate all unemployed and underemployed people, as well as low-wage essential workers. This should be at least a $6,000 payment or refundable tax rebate payable immediately.
Why? FPUC for the unemployed July 25: $600 x 23 weeks = $13,800
Stimulus checks should have been offered monthly: $1200 x 8 months = $9,600
$2000 x 8 months = $16,000
2. Extend and expand enhanced unemployment insurance until the pandemic is over. This must include:
Additional weeks for both UI and PUA claims added and those weeks must include the FPUC.
Assistance tiered off via recovery triggers, but not until the pandemic national emergency is over, unemployment rates have returned to near pre-pandemic levels, and pre-pandemic jobs numbers have been recovered.
Work search requirements and job refusal eligibility waived in all states until the pandemic is over.
Make the mixed earner fix passed in the December relief bill mandatory for all states.
Give unemployment benefits to job seekers and working people, including immigrants, who have been excluded. We also recognize that UI has been designed to exclude BIPOC and we aim to challenge racism in the UI system.
3. Provide direct cash payments targeted to all affected workers in the US. 76 million people are out of work and only 21 million of those are receiving unemployment. Underemployment is also rampant. We must support these workers.
4. Extend and expand health care relief including:
100% subsidy for the COBRA program to protect workers’ healthcare, and extension of eligibility to 36 months.
Expansion of Medicaid and requiring, not just allowing, all states to extend Medicaid coverage for COVID-19 testing to the uninsured.
A continued open enrollment period until the pandemic is over for all people to access or change their health insurance based on their new financial situations.
5. Bolster the rent relief plan with more funding and expand it to all affected, including, but not limited to, low income families. Additionally, extend the eviction moratorium through the end of the crisis and recovery.
Additional fights we support:
Offer comprehensive and retroactive relief to front-line and essential workers by providing hazard pay, PPE, and workplace protections standards.
Expanding unemployment and stimulus aid to all people in this country, regardless of job history or immigration status.
Provide unemployment security for workers in the live events and entertainment industries. Relief must continue until face-to-face industries are able to operate at standard capacity confidently.
Provide long-term support for small businesses and independent contractors by implementing additional forgivable loan programs. Allow non-profits, BIPOC-owned businesses, and labor unions fair access to pandemic relief.
Provide funding for state and local governments to strengthen their unemployment systems and pay out millions of backlogged claims, keep employees on payroll, and provide much-needed social services to individuals who are struggling. There are no blue states or red states. We are People.
Overhaul the UI system and other Justice in Recovery efforts.
Make improvements and amendments to State specific UI systems, particularly a fix for the Partial UI issue in NYS.
Reinstate paid leave due to COVID-19.
We do NOT support corporate immunity in any liability legislation. Endangering workers is not an acceptable provision of a relief bill.
We want empathy and leadership from
the American government during a global pandemic.
Weird, we know.
WHO WE ARE
Our 100% Volunteer Based effort
ExtendPUA.org was created by two members of the entertainment industry who are currently unemployed due to COVID-19 and were relying on the FPUC $600 to pay their bills. Now we're relying solely on savings, what little we can gather from PUA, and rage. We noticed despair around the FPUC expiration and wanted to offer a resource for people to easily take clear and informed actions. In our research around the $600, we learned more about the additional needs from a comprehensive pandemic relief bill and the overwhelming inequity of the system and we aim to change that too.
We made and maintain this resource to create awareness, empower workers, and promote tangible action around an issue that is affecting not only us, but the nearly 30 million who are currently unemployed (and countless underemployed) who have been abandoned by the US government. Our work and our community has grown enormously in the last five months.
We started as a letter writing campaign and have grown into a national movement that has met with dozens of US Senators and are actively in the process of impacting comprehensive COVID relief legislation and shaping the national dialogue around People-centric pandemic response. Check out our year in review here.
This site is updated around the clock so continue to check back for updates and more actions as we work tirelessly to build this movement from the ground up. It is important to us and we appreciate your help in this fight. It is a fight that we shouldn’t have to fight, but we are so proud to be fighting it with all of you.
We cannot wait to collaborate with you.
We are joined by a team of incredible collaborators.
This doesn’t happen without them.
We stand in solidarity with the over 30 million people who are unemployed.
Oh. And we want everyone to wear a mask.
Thank you for being a part of the movement.