I am writing to invite you to participate in a Telephone Town Hall on unemployment benefits, medical and family leave, and other programs that can help you if your job has been affected by the Coronavirus/COVID-19 or the stay-at-home orders.
You can listen to this event on your phone or stream it from my web site beginning at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8.
This pandemic has turned our world upside down. It has caused more disruption to our economy and our jobs in a short period of time than any disaster in our lifetimes. But there are existing and newly enacted programs that will soon provide an unprecedented level of financial help to those affected.
Unfortunately, many of these programs are complicated and the rules surrounding them are difficult for the average person to understand. Making matters worse, the agencies that run them have been overwhelmed by requests for help from millions of people who have been thrown out of work. This has made it even harder, in some cases impossible, for people to get the information they need.
I can’t fix all of those problems. But I can make experts available to explain these programs and answer some of your questions about them.
For this Town Hall, my guests will be two lawyers from Legal Aid At Work, a non-profit organization based in the Bay Area that advocates for workers and provides individual counseling for low and middle-income employees.
My guests will be:
- George Warner, a lawyer and fellow at Legal Aid At Work’s Wage Protection Program
- Jenna Gerry, senior staff attorney at Legal Aid At Work
To listen to this call, dial 877-692-8954 and use access code 6926426 #.
You may also stream the audio live on my web site at https://sd07.senate.ca.gov/
A recording will also be available after the program.
Because of the number of participants, we will only be taking written questions for this conversation. Please submit any questions you may have before or during the call to [email protected].
You may submit questions whether or not you intend to participate.
Recordings of my first nine Coronavirus Town Halls are already on my website.
The topics are:
- Grocery/Pharmacy Shopping, home delivery and store curbside pick-up (April 2)
- Small Business Relief (March 31)
- Pet Safety (March 24)
- Coping With Stress from the Pandemic (March 22)
- The Unfolding Health Crisis, With Sen. Richard Pan, M.D. (March 19)
- Food and Grocery Supply Chain and Product Shortages (March 17)
- School Shutdowns (March 16)
- Hospital Capacity and Preparedness (March 15)
- The Nature of the Virus and the Public Health Response (March 10)
These town halls are part of my effort to use my office to bring you accurate and up-to-date information from trusted sources. In these difficult times, I believe that access to reliable information is the best way we can arm ourselves to deal with the health, economic and personal issues that the pandemic has thrust upon us.
On my web site, which my team has redesigned to focus on COVID-19, you can also find information, links and key documents on the following topics:
- Health, including the text of the Bay Area Stay-at-Home orders
- Business and Labor issues, including small business grants and loans, unemployment insurance, and paid medical and family leave
- Education, including the school closures, distance learning and meals available to children even while they are learning from home
- Food, including information on food banks and delivery of meals to seniors and other vulnerable people
- Housing, including the latest information on the suspension of evictions
- The Department of Motor Vehicle and its plans to provide services during the shutdown
- State and local government, with links to the latest actions taken by Gov. Gavin Newsom and Contra Costa and Alameda counties
I know that these developments have created great stress on everyone. Thank you for taking the time to be as informed as possible so we can keep each other safe.