The following is a guest post from U.S. Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey. Please take a minute to sign our petition to Speaker Boehner, and demand that House leadership stop turning their backs on our friends and family members who are looking for work.
I first heard from Gerri Battista after she posted on my Facebook page.
Gerri was an HR professional who lost her job last May, and without unemployment insurance was forced to choose which bills to pay so she could save money for gasoline to get to her next job interview. We met weeks later, and I was able to share her story as my guest at President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
Last December, 1.7 million job-seeking Americans like Gerri lost their unemployment benefits after Congress failed to extend them — and with every week that passes, 70,000 more join their ranks.
The last time my colleagues in the Senate voted on this issue, we came up one vote short. I’m confident that the next time the roll is called, we’ll find the sixty we need to send an extension to the House.
But passing this crucial bill in the House will be difficult. Just last Friday, Speaker Boehner’s spokesman said he hasn’t seen a bill they’d bring up for a vote. It’s up to us to help change his mind.
“United in the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide and dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families…”
The dignity and worth of workers…
That part of SEIU’s mission statement gets to the heart of why this issue is so important. It’s about recognizing the dignity, worth, and limitless potential of all Americans. The loss of one person’s potential is a tragedy – and the loss of millions’ is a national emergency.
Stand up for the dignity and worth of millions of job-seeking Americans who are desperate for Congress to act on this critical issue, and tell Speaker Boehner to bring unemployment insurance up for a vote.
Gerri’s story has a happy ending. Just this past week, she told me she found a new job. She also told me that after what she’s experienced in so many months without a job she is resolved to keep fighting for those still searching. I feel the same way.
Thanks for joining us in resolving to fight.
This article was originally printed on SEIU on March 12, 2014. Reprinted with permission.
Author: Cory Booker (D), U.S. Senator from New Jersey