If you didn’t catch all the reporting-from-the-scenes #LobbyDay action on Twitter last week, I’ll fill you in on one our most successful advocacy actions yet! Last Tuesday, dozens of brave, dedicated freelancers got up before dawn and braved the rain to lobby for the Freelancer Payment Protection Act.
Six in the morning is early for a bus ride, but it was more than worth it! Members were joined by two representatives from the National Writers Union, including the President of their local, folks from Loosecubes, who provided us with snacks and wi-fi for the ride, and a videographer who volunteered to document the day for us!
All together we were 60 people, a veritable sea of red “Squeaky Wheel” t-shirts. In fact, while one team sat in on the Assembly Labor Committee’s vote on our bill (it passed!), we overheard one Assemblyperson say to another, “Who are those people?” To which the reply was, “That’s Freelancers Union. They’re a powerful new union.” To which we can only say, Yeah, baby!
Splitting up into teams, we zipped around the Capitol building meeting with our representatives—a whopping 36 in all! We snagged lunches from a pretty superb line of food trucks outside, then had an intel-sharing session with our longtime lobbyist Richard Winsten and heard from a few of our bill’s supporters. Barely a day later, we heard that 3 more legislators had already signed on to the bill!
On the bus ride back to New York City at the end of the day we were pooped. Pooped but proud, and pumped to keep pressing to get this bill passed! We were pleased to see that so many policymakers agreed with us that extending the rights and protections that regular employees have to us freelancers is pretty common sense.