Publisher’s Note: I recently received an email from the Seattle Film Summit suggesting for all freelancers (like myself) to write an email to our US Senators and Representatives. This is my modified version of the email template that they suggested that I sent to my California Senators and Representative Mike Levin. If you are also a freelancer, it would be a good idea for you to write to your US Senators and Representatives too.
Subject: Please include freelancers and gig workers in COVID-19 economic relief package
Dear US Senators and Representatives,
I live in Del Mar, California and am a (self-employed) freelancer as a rideshare driver. I’ve recently lost my income because of COVID-19.
Even before California became subject to a state-wide Stay at Home Order, I had chosen not to be part of the problem and risk spreading this dreaded virus, but I do need a way to be able to support my family. Like many Americans, the next several months or longer will bring a lot of uncertainty and financial hardship.
However, as you know, as a freelancer, I don’t qualify for unemployment, so the COVID-19 economic relief packages being floated seem to ignore all freelancers and rideshare drivers.
Please make sure freelancers are included in the economic relief package and expand unemployment benefits to us during this time. I know many other freelancers in the same boat, and since we make up more than a third of the workforce (57 million American freelancers) and contribute $1 trillion annually to the U.S. economy, this is a huge blow to us. And right now, we’re invisible in the relief being discussed.