An open letter to the U.S. Congress

Please extend COVID-19 emergency unemployment!

48 so far! Let’s get to 50 signers!

I am a skilled worker in the entertainment industry. Covid-19 has left us unable to do live theatre until at least 2021. There are thousands of us who've spent our entire careers honing our skills to work in this business who have now found ourselves with no business at all. It was a tough industry already, with freelancing being standard, misclassification of workers running rampant, and health insurance a luxury. Now even the tenuous hold we had on a support structure has collapsed. This is not like when an industry becomes obsolete and workers need to retrain for other professions. While I'm sure some will do that, there are so many of us that it's a huge task. More importantly, theatre is not obsolete. Once we're able to do productions again, we plan to. We must! Theatre is a critical part of the cultural fabric of our society. We cannot let this downtime decimate the workforce of our industry. So I'm writing to you to ask that you please lend your support to any efforts to extend the emergency unemployment support for workers whose industries remain shut down by covid-19. The extra $600/week from the federal government has made a huge difference in the ability of myself and my colleagues to weather this long storm, but the storm continues to rage. We cannot do theatre until we can do theatre safely. Please help us ensure that we still have a workforce to do theatre when that time comes.

First sent on July 2, 2020 by Kevin

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