Drivers, Gig-Workers, Freelancers and Other 1099 Workers Need Help NOW!

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Stephen Wolfe
Stephen Wolfe signed this petition

Gig-Workers, Drivers, Freelancers, and Self-Employed 1099 Workers Need Financial Aid NOW!


The unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 Crisis has had profound effects on workers and businesses across all industries. Governments at all levels have started to work on relief packages – but too many of the ideas floated have failed to adequately address the challenges facing the growing numbers of  gig-economy workers, like Rideshare, Taxi and For-Hire drivers, Freelancers, and other Self-Employed 1099 workers and small business owners.

These people who are our neighbors living in our communities in cities like Seattle and across Washington State have seen their incomes drop off since the onset of the crisis and they need immediate aid.  Many 1099 workers are now wondering how they are going to pay their rent or mortgage on April 1 or put food on the table for their family.  Programs set up to help for employees or more traditional small shops and restaurants are not available to these workers. 

Now is not the time to try to fix or debate  whether existing programs should serve one group of 1099 workers or another – we need immediate assistance!

Other cities, states and countries have already acted to help these workers and small businesses!  Washington and Seattle need to act as well!  The District of Columbia passed a bill creating a small business grant program to assist nonprofit organizations and small contractors who do not qualify for unemployment insurance.  The Government of Canada introduced an Emergency Support Benefit delivered through the Canada Revenue Agency to provide up to CA$5.0 billion in support to workers who are not eligible for Employment Insurance and who are facing unemployment.  Elected leaders in Seattle and Washington need to lead and they need to lead now!

We the undersigned supporters of Gig-Workers, Rideshare, Taxi, and For-Hire drivers, Freelancers, and other Self-Employed 1099 workers and small business owners call on Governor Jay Inslee, Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, Washington State’s Members of Congress, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Mayor Jenny Durkan, and the Seattle City Council to create a government grant fund to provide immediate direct financial aid to these types of workers and small business owners.  We call on the fund to be created and able to accept applications and begin to disburse funds by April 1, 2020.