YouTuber, entrepreneur, and California EDD claimant advocate Ginny Silver has created a petition to bring attention from Governor Gavin Newsom to the needs of over two million unemployment claimants who will reach the end of their federal pandemic unemployment benefits September 6, which is nearing 10,000 signatures obtained in just its first three days.
Silver states, “As the September 6 end date for the federal pandemic provisions for unemployment rapidly approaches, Californians are in desperate need of support from their state government officials. Pandemic unemployment programs have been a lifeline for millions who lost their source of income due to the pandemic and, with the end of PEUC, PUA, MEUC, and the $300 boost approaching within days, many Californians remain unable to find suitable work or engage in self-employment as they continue to experience both the lasting long-term effects of the pandemic as well as experience a new surge in cases with the Delta variant, leading to additional complications returning to work. As over two million unemployed PEUC and PUA claimants prepare to lose their benefits in mere days, they urgently need support from their state representatives.”
While unemployed workers and previously self-employed individuals struggle to find safe, suitable work, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that California holds the second-highest state unemployment rate, with the July unemployment rate coming in at 7.6%. According to the California Economic Forecast put out by the State of California’s Department of Finance, the state’s unemployment rate is not projected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2024.
Silver states, “Regardless of whether the funding which has already been allocated for other programs can be re-allocated to include extended weeks or not, California’s unemployed need to hear clear communication from their government officials in order to know what to expect. Unfortunately, we do not yet have a statement from Governor Gavin Newsom on this topic.”
The petition calls upon Governor Gavin Newsom to do the following:
1) Consider reallocating funds from the state/local funds from the ARP to extend PEUC and PUA for additional weeks in order to bring essential aid to unemployed Californians while they continue to resume suitable work amidst a heavily impacted workforce and economy.
2) Issue a statement immediately to California’s unemployment claimants who have relied upon these benefits and communicate clearly the following pieces of important information:
- Does California have the ability to re-allocate any state/local funds from the ARP for the use of extended unemployment benefits as described in U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen’s statement?
- If those funds are in fact available to be re-allocated, will California commit to providing additional weeks of unemployment benefits and, if so, in what amount?
Silver states, “My viewers are what allowed me to bounce back from collecting unemployment benefits myself when my business was closed. I am forever grateful to my viewers and, with the end of these programs approaching, they need to be heard and have these important issues addressed. It is my responsibility to make their voices heard and that is my hope in creating this petition.”
Ginny Silver is an entrepreneur whose YouTube channel has pivoted during the pandemic to provide informative content to help those struggling to navigate receiving unemployment benefits from the California EDD. When her wedding photography business was temporarily closed due to the pandemic, she saw a need for claimants to find help in navigating the complicated and glitch-ridden EDD programs. Her channel receives an average of one million views per month from unemployed claimants and has grown from approximately 30 subscribers to over 75,000 subscribers during the course of the pandemic. She provides primary sources and interviews with experts and has communicated directly with the EDD to raise issues and obtain information several times per week. ABC, KTVU, CalMatters, Sacramento Bee, and other news outlets have featured Silver in stories and articles about California unemployment issues.