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NYUP is committed to building leadership among diverse groups of unemployed New Yorkers to build a new constituency for expanded, extended and accessible income support for jobless workers. NYUP members take action to fight for jobs and benefits in a sophisticated blend of direct action and advocacy that has included mass rallies, policy briefings, press events, meetings with administrators and elected officials, and much more.

Demanding Fair Revenues and Fighting Budget Cuts

On March 25, 2003, NYUP-Nassau members stood together with other members of the Families First Coalition to tell New York State Senate that “Working Families Will Not Stand Idly by as Governor & Republican Senate Guts Schools, Forces Government Shutdown, and Destroys Local Economy.” The Families First Coalition is a broad-based group comprised of the Working Families Party, the New York Unemployment Project, the Health and Welfare Council, Fight for Families, and a host of other social service agencies, health care professionals, civic groups, students, and home owners.


Holding FEMA Accountable

On January 27, 2003, NYUP Members Angela Cedeño, Nereida Peña, Felix Batista and Napoleon Morales joined U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney, City Comptroller William Thompson and Long Island Council of Churches Executive Director Rev. Thomas Goodhue at a press conference at City Hall organized by the New York Immigration Coalition calling on the Federal Emergency Management Agency to stay in New York and to expand their efforts to provide Mortgage & Rental Assistance to New Yorkers who have lost their jobs as a result of September 11th and the economic downturn.


Fighting for Extended Unemployment Benefits—In Song

Inspired by the holiday spirit and by Congress’s latest attempt to ignore the unemployed, NYUP members gathered near City Hall to serenade Christmas shoppers with their own, unemployment-themed versions of favorite holiday carols. The NYUP carolers, along with an NYUP member dressed up as the Grinch, were drawing attention to federal government’s plan to cut off over 1 million Americans from their unemployment benefits on December 28, just three days after Christmas. Newspaper and television reporters swarmed the crowd singing NYUP members. The caroler’s voices were heard—days later, Congress voted not to cut off unemployment benefits at the end of the year.

Fighting for Jobs and Income Support

Days before the state gubernatorial elections, close to 700 New Yorkers gathered in front of Governor George Pataki’s office to demand the Governor respond to the needs of unemployed and low-income New Yorkers. The 400 NYUP members at the rally were joined by 300 members from other NYC groups, including Community Voices Heard, Make the Road by Walking, the New York Immigration Coalition and ROC New York. As the large group outside protested loudly for an extension of unemployment benefits and a higher minimum wage, a small team of NYUP members made its way to the governor’s office with a stack of resumes from 100 unemployed New Yorkers. Staffers in the governor’s office refused to accept the resumes, barring NYUP members at the door. While the governor’s staff stood indoors, NYUP members led a loud and lively march up Third Avenue calling for good jobs and extended unemployment insurance benefits.

Fighting for Extended Unemployment Benefits

Throughout the summer and fall of 2002, members of the New York Unemployment Project were at the forefront of a campaign to extend unemployment benefits both on the Federal and State levels.

NYUP members and leaders lobbied in Albany and Washington, and joined Senator Clinton, Rep. Rangel and Senator Daschle in press conferences and hearings throughout the fall.

On September 12, 2002, the Senate Health, Education, Labor & Pensions committee was joined by two busloads of NYUP members who filled the Senate hearing chamber to advocate for an extension of benefits for unemployed Americans. NYUP was the only membership based organization invited by Senator Edward Kennedy to testify at the hearing on extended unemployment benefits. Felix Batista, NYUP member and former employee of Windows on the World restaurant, testified before the committee on behalf of NYUP as 120 NYUP members behind him raised red signs reading “Extension Now.” Committee members committed to continue the fight in Washington for a full extension of unemployment benefits.

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