To dramatize the need for the Unemployment Bridge Program in New York, advocates shut down the Manhattan Bridge during rush hour on Monday morning, March 6. The march was led by a broad coalition the people who are currently left out of unemployment insurance and would be included by the Unemployment Bridge Program: immigrants who are undocumented, freelancers, cash earners, people re-entering the labor force after a period of incarceration, and more.
The news coverage was stunning.
Reports ran on ABC TV, CBS TV, Long Island’s leading television news station News 12, Univision, Univision’s Última Hora. The only major television station that missed it was NBC news. This was a made-for-TV action, but print media covered it too, including AM New York and a great, long story in El Diario.
Every one of these reports used the Immigration Research Initiative data to show how many people would be affected. They typically didn’t cite IRI, but that’s OK—we like to get credit, but sometimes it’s just as good for our estimates to be reported as simply the accepted answer!
For those who want to look, though, here is the IRI report: 750,000 people will gain the security of knowing they could be covered if they lose work, 30,000 would receive the payment at any given time. And we can give data by region of New York State and show how the Unemployment Bridge Program would address racial inequities in existing unemployment insurance.
Among the groups at the rally were:
African Communities Together
Cabrini Immigrant Services
Caribbean Equality Project
Carroll Gardens Association
Chinese-American Planning Council
Community Resource Center
Don Bosco Workers Center
DRUM, Desis Rising Up and Moving
DSI, Diligently Serving Immigrants
El Centro del Inmigrante
La Red De Pueblos Transnacionales
Laundry Workers Center
LIUNA LOCAL 79
Make the Road NY
Movement for Justice in El Barrio
NATIONAL WRITERS UNION & Freelance Solidarity Project!
NDLON, National Day Laborer Organizing Network
New York Taxi Workers Alliance
NICE, New Immigrant Community Empowerment
NYCC, New York Communities for Change
Obreros Unidos of Yonkers
RAPP, Releasing Aging People in Prison!
Street Vendor Project
Sunnyside Community Services
United Community Center of Westchester
Yonkers Sanctuary MovementMore at