1: Go to this website , enter your zip code, and find your representatives!
2: Under the picture of your rep is a letter icon; click on that to email your
3: COPY + PASTE the letter below. Feel free to change and personalize the letter however you wish.
Dear __________________ ,
As a working member of IATSE Local 16 in San Francisco I must report that our technical work for corporate events, concerts, live theater, and film production has completely ceased since Shelter in Place was ordered 4 months ago.
Our work situation is uniquely difficult in the current environment as our employment relies on events involving large gatherings of attendees and audiences. At this time, as the pandemic continues to spread and there is no foreseeable date for us to be allowed to return to work, I am in danger of losing everything; my health, my home, my hard earned security as my wages are reduced to zero and my employer sponsored healthcare ends. Even as other industries slowly reopen with new guidelines and smaller workforces, the available job forecast for stage technicians, film workers, and event professionals - a workforce of hundreds of thousands - is bleak.
The provisions of the Heroes' Act that include an extension to enhanced unemployment compensation through January 2021 and COBRA reimbursements are necessary lifelines for IATSE members and all workers throughout our country. Specifically, those of us living in the Bay Area are experiencing even greater financial challenges, as the high cost-of-living completely outpaces our UI benefits.
Many in the San Francisco area did not qualify for the $1200 stimulus payment. Our income in this local economy is not equitable to those in middle America who qualified with $75,000 a year or less. We are in danger of losing our homes as state unemployment alone provides a maximum weekly payment of $450 - not enough to cover rent, food for a family, and healthcare. Workers should not have to choose between food, rent, or healthcare in a crisis like the one we are experiencing during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Production and entertainment workers need you to act NOW! Extend enhanced unemployment benefits. Provide reimbursement benefits for COBRA payments for continuing healthcare. Pass the HEROS Act. Extend these benefits for as long as large gatherings are not safe. Our industry constitutes an economic backbone of our great state,creating jobs and putting hundreds of millions of dollars into the State’s economy each year. The benefits we receive return directly into the state’s economy and without them, the economy only suffers more while families wind up on the street, only increasing the risk of the pandemic’s spread and more lives lost.
Please do all that you can to ensure an extension of unemployment benefits and COBRA reimbursement to all displaced workers through this difficult time and guarantee passage of the HEROES Act.
Thank you for your support, attention, and action!
4: Send a copy to Dianne Feinstein and Kamala Harris too.
Click here to message Dianne Feinstein
Click here to message Kamala Harris