• Advocacy, Community

Highlights from the #FreelanceIsntFree Rally

Yesterday at 12 p.m., City Council Members, labor leaders, and New York City freelancers gathered on the steps of City Hall to rally for the #FreelanceIsntFree bill. It was truly an historical moment - the #FreelanceIsntFree bill is the first proposed legislation protecting freelancers against client nonpayment in the nation.

Join the #FreelanceIsntFree Campaign Today!

See some highlights from yesterday's rally below:

Rallying at City Hall with @freelancersu and @paythewriter for #FreelanceIsntFree

— David Hill (@davehill77) December 7, 2015

"The freelancers in NYC are the backbone of this city, but more than 70% have struggled to get paid. That is NOT ok." - @Sara_Horowitz

— Freelancers Union (@freelancersu) December 7, 2015

Freelancers Union Founder and Executive Director, Sara Horowitz, kicked off the rally. She spoke about the #FreelanceIsntFree campaign and the state of freelaning in New York City and the economy at large. Next, she introduced the many City Council Members and labor leaders supporting the bill.

Proud to support NYC bill for payment of #freelancers today at City Hall with @freelancersu #FreelanceIsntFree

— 32BJ SEIU (@32BJ_SEIU) December 7, 2015

Council Member Brad Lander and #FreelanceIsntFree bill sponsor spoke about the importance of supporting freelance workers in New York City and outlined the proposed legislation - but first, he polled to crowd to illustrate just how pervasive the nonpayment issue is:

.@bradlander: "As a freelancer, how many of you have had trouble getting paid at some point?"

— Freelancers Union (@freelancersu) December 7, 2015

Following Councilman Lander, City Council supporters including Stephen Levin, Laurie A. Cumbo, Rafael Espinal and Margaret Chin said a few words about the bill and the impact they hope it will have on the freelancers in their respective districts.

We can't afford to wait any longer to protect independent workers in NYC! #FreelanceIsntFree @freelancersu

— Stephen Levin (@StephenLevin33) December 7, 2015

Workers deserve fair treatment! Freelancers lose $6,000 annually due to late & nonpayment.#FreelanceIsntFree

— Laurie A. Cumbo (@cmlauriecumbo) December 7, 2015

Standing up 4 the 1.3 mil #NYC freelancers fighting 4 protections other workers enjoy @freelancersu @bradlander

— Margaret S. Chin (@CM_MargaretChin) December 7, 2015

We also had a ton of supporters from major labor groups in New York City! Hector Figueroa, the leader New York City's biggest labor union, 32BJ, declared solidarity with freelance workers and Deborah Axt of Make the Road, which empowers Latino and working class communities, also showed her support.

President of the National Writers Union, Larry Goldbletter, applauded the bill that will positively impact many of his membership and Andrew Rasej, the founder of New York Tech Meetup, underscored the tech community's commitment to making the industry a great place for freelance workers.

.@figue32bj of @32BJ_SEIU takes the podium at the #FreelanceIsntFree rally:

— Freelancers Union (@freelancersu) December 7, 2015

Support for #FreelanceIsntFree Act from @MaketheRoadNY. "Car wash workers have something freelancers don't have. Basic protections."

— NationalWritersUnion (@paythewriter) December 7, 2015

"It's time to honor real work for real pay in real time. Freelance is not free!" - @Rasiej

— Freelancers Union (@freelancersu) December 7, 2015

Finally, member leaders Lily Meyer and Lucy Reading-Ikkanda got up to share their nonpayment stories and give voice to the nonpayment issue. A big thanks to Lily and Lucy for their courage in sharing their stories and their leadership on the #FreelanceIsntFree Campaign!

All in all, it was a fantastic afternoon at City Hall! Stay tuned to learn more details on the bill and how you can support it.

Proud to be introducing #FreelanceIsntFree Act to make sure freelancers get paid!

— Brad Lander (@bradlander) December 7, 2015

"Our freelancers are what makes NYC cool. They're what makes NYC hot. We need to make sure they have their rights protected." @cmlauriecumbo

— Freelancers Union (@freelancersu) December 7, 2015

Laura Murphy A new soul and media geek, Laura writes about community, poetry and pop culture.

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