Things That Matter

She Hasn’t Started Her Term Yet And AOC Is Already Offering Interns $15 An Hour

If you want 2019 to be all about making positive changes in your life and working to better the lives of the American people, you may want to look into a job in politics. The problem with most civic jobs — such as teachers, council members, working at a non-profit — is that they don’t pay much. In fact, just to get your foot in the door landing an unpaid internship is the only way to go. Thankfully some people are looking out for the common man because they know what it’s like to hustle for money.

Newly elected congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is looking to hire interns and is offering at least $15 an hour.

CREDIT: Instagram/@iridescentwomen

“Time to walk the walk,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Very few members of Congress actually pay their interns. We will be one of them.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who hasn’t technically started her new job in Washington, is ge changes. Paying her interns is one of them.

According to The Washington Post, a 2017 study found that only 8 percent of House Republicans and 4 percent of House Democrats pay their interns.

The Washington Post also reports that while some senators pay their interns (51 percent to 31 percent); House representatives pay even less (8 percent to 3.6 percent).

This year, however, President Trump has approved a bigger budget for senators, which means they now have money to pay interns.

CREDIT: Twitter/@thehill

According to reports, this year money allotted for senators’ staffing increased from $871 million last year to $920 million for 2018. But it’s still their choice whether they choose to use that money for staffing or other costs.

Thanks to Carlos Mark Vera, founder of advocacy group Pay Our Interns, senators are now feeling the pressure to pay their interns.

“I write to encourage your office to take action and use some of the surplus funds to launch a paid internship program,” Vera wrote in a letter to senators. “So that, once again, opportunities on Capitol Hill are open to all young people, and not just those who can afford to work for free.”

Ocasio-Cortez broke down how the funds are used, and how lawmakers are allowed to do what they want with their own budget.

CREDIT: Instagram/@ocasio2018

“Each member of Congress gets around $1.2 million (give or take a bit) for their entire operating budget,” she said on Twitter. “That’s supposed to cover all salaries (DC and district), rents for district offices, travel home, tech devices, services, contracts, etc. Members decide how it’s all spent.”

She went on to say that “There’s a little wiggle room—everyone isn’t given the same exact amount, but it’s pretty close. If you’re from a district with high transportation costs, high rents (urban/suburban areas), or both, it can have the potential to pressure wages downward for similar operations.”

She’s basically getting $20,000 to hire four interns. But as she said, she wants to pay them at least $15 an hour.

CREDIT: Twitter/@Ocasio2018

Are you interested in working for her? Apply here. And good luck.


READ: It’s The 21st Century And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Using Social Media To Call Some Things Out

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Latinos In New York City Face More Layoffs Than Non-Latino Peers

Things That Matter

Latinos In New York City Face More Layoffs Than Non-Latino Peers

Bytemarks / Flickr

The country is witnessing a high amount of mass layoffs across several industries in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. Last week, 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment, the highest number in history. Economists anticipate a 20 percent unemployment rate in the United States and some cities are already feeling the impact of these layoffs. In New York City, Latinos are facing more layoffs than their peers.

Latinos in New York City are facing higher levels of unemployment caused by COVID-19.

MSNBC Legal Analyst Maya Wiley tweeted about the foreseeable disproportionate impact these layoffs would have on minority communities. The tweet is ringing true as 41 percent of Latinos in NYC have been laid off from their jobs in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy of the City University of New York conducted a survey with 1,000 participants. The survey found that roughly 4 out of every 10 Latinos in NYC have lost their job or someone in their household lost their job due to the health crisis. The survey found that 24 percent of white and Asian employees and 15 percent of Black employees reported losing jobs.

“It’s likely because the Hispanic community, many are in service jobs like restaurants or hotels,” Professor Scott Ratzan, a senior scholar at CUNY SPH, who led the survey, said in a statement. “We do the survey in English and Spanish, and [job loss is] higher among the Spanish-speaking community.” 

New York is the hardest-hit state in the U.S. with more than 30,000 confirmed cases of the virus.

New York state is facing the most extreme outbreak of the novel coronavirus when compared to the rest of the country. Governor Andrew Cuomo delivers an address to the media every morning and has told New Yorkers to brace for a serious viral outbreak. More than 30,000 New Yorkers have tested positive for COVID-19 and 325 deaths. Around 20,000 of those cases and about 280 of those deaths are in NYC.

Gov. Cuomo shared data that showed how the measures New York has taken to slow the spread is contributing to a slowing hospitalization rate. According to The New York Times, the hospitalization rate in New York state is slowing. On Sunday, the governor shared stat showing the rate doubling every two days. By Thursday, new data shows the hospitalization rate doubling every 4.7 days.

There are resources available for New Yorkers who are losing their jobs during the outbreak.

Some New Yorkers are reporting some delays in getting a hold of people in the unemployment offices. While the waits are long, it is worth being persistent.

According to NYC Emergency Management, there are several options for people who are being laid off during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment assistance is available to everyone in New York state and the state has waived the 7-day wait period to alleviate the added pressures of COVID-19. Employees should know about the Shared Work program offered as an alternative to worker layoffs that provides some income assistance while workers have to work a reduced schedule.

The Office of Nightlife is also asking nightlife employees to fill out a survey about lost income in an attempt to help contractors, performers, workers, and business owners impacted by the closures.

READ: Latinas Are Sharing How They Protect Their Loved Ones From Coronavirus

AOC Has Strong Words About The Trump Administration’s Response To The COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis

Things That Matter

AOC Has Strong Words About The Trump Administration’s Response To The COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis

@CNNSotu / Twitter

The Trump administration’s COVID-19 response has left a lot to be desired by health experts, scientists, and politicians. Many believe that President Donald Trump fumbled the response at the beginning of the pandemic, leading to the current crisis. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one person demanding more action from the federal government.

AOC was a guest on Jake Tapper’s “State of the Union” and the topic was COVID-19.

AOC’s hometown is experiencing the worst spread of COVID-19 infections than any other city in the U.S. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo addresses the press every morning offering updates on how the virus is spreading through New York state in comparison to the U.S.

Gov. Cuomo has echoed the same warnings from health experts on the need for social distancing and self-isolation to flatten the curve. The fear right now is that hospitals will be overrun with cases in the coming weeks. By social distancing and self-isolating, health experts predict that the U.S. would be able to flatten the curve and alleviate some of the stress that will be placed on the U.S. healthcare system.

AOC’s argument of the Trump administration not doing enough is being heard across the medical industry.

“I have several major hospitals in my district from Jacobi Medical Center to Elmhurst Hospital, New York-Presbyterian, and one of the things that we are hearing over and over again from hospitals again is this point on personal protective equipment,” AOC says. “There are not enough face masks, gloves, ventilators, [and] hospital beds to get us through this. Many hospitals are already at capacity or are approaching capacity and there is kind of no real stream insight from the federal government on where these materials are coming from.”

AOC added: “Companies are donating what they can. That is great. It is not enough. The fact that the president has not really invoked the Defense Production Act for the purpose of emergency manufacturing is going to cost lives.”

AOC continued in calling out the Trump administration and how it downplayed the very serious risk at the beginning of the outbreak.

“It is absolutely needed. We are thankful to anyone who is pitching in on this effort, but we are nowhere near the bed and the capacity that we need in this country. We’re hearing it every step of the way with this administration. First, we were hearing that it’s a hoax. Then we were hearing that everything was fine. Then we were hearing that the fundamentals of the economy were okay until the crash comes,” AOC says. “We cannot wait until people start really dying in large numbers to start production, especially if more complicated equipment like ventilators and hospital beds. We need to start this production right now to get ready for the surge that is coming in two to three weeks.”

Health experts have criticized the president for downplaying the true dangers of the virus at the beginning of the U.S. outbreak. Trump has faced renewed criticism for wanting to open the U.S. for business by April 12. Experts claim that opening the country for business that early could lead to more deaths and an increased infection rate.

Remember, the best things you can do is work from home if possible, practice social distancing when in public, and washing your hands. This can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve.

READ: Hand Sanitizer Was Invented By A Latina Nursing Student In The 1960s