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The Bottom LineThe Bottom Line

Economics in Brief: Ohio Lawsuit Demands Return of $300 Weekly Unemployment Benefit

Also: NYC frontline workers boycott parade meant to honor them and a non-profit launches a $100,000 award for Black women

governor mike dewine

(Photo by Jason Whitman/NurPhoto via AP)

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Ohio Faces Lawsuit in Effort to Restore $300 Weekly Unemployment Benefit

Two Cleveland attorneys have filed a lawsuit asking Governor Mike DeWine to restore the state’s participation in federal unemployment programs, according to the Columbus Dispatch.

While these programs are not set to end until Sept. 6, 25 Republican governors have decided to cut the $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits early, hoping it will incentivize workers to return to the office, despite a preliminary lack of evidence supporting this claim, as Next City previously reported.

This decision follows the filing of similar lawsuits in Indiana and Maryland where — CNN adds — judges have blocked states from cutting the benefit.

The plaintiffs in Ohio argue that the governor’s decision violates state law that mandates the state to cooperate with the federal government so citizens have access to all unemployment provisions under the Social Security Act.

If judges rule similarly to the two other red states, then the more than 270,000 unemployed Ohioans will be able to reap unemployment benefits for an additional two months.

NYC Frontline Workers Ask for Better ‘Pay, not Parades’ as they Boycott deBlasio’s ‘Hometown Heroes’ Parade

Hundreds of union members from the New York City Fire Department of Emergency Medical Services (FDNY EMS) boycotted a parade meant to honor their work during the pandemic, the New York Times reports.

Union workers’ cite multiple grievances with the city as they bargain for contracts, proper pay and the opportunity for eligible employees to retire early.

Oren Barzilay, president of Local 2507, which represents 4,100 paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and fire inspectors, notes that many first responders worked up to 18-hour shifts nearly four to five times a week when COVID-19 cases spiked last year. With a starting base salary of around $35,000 without overtime, many workers were left struggling to make ends meet.

“A parade does not put food on the table. A parade does not put a roof over our head,” Barzilay said.

Members of Local 768, a union representing social workers and contact tracers, also declined to participate in the parade, calling it “an injustice to how we have been treated and continue to be treated,” through an online statement on their page. As the city pushed for a return to normalcy, they claim that many union members were forced to work in unsafe conditions.

Nonprofit Launches $100,000 Award for ‘Impactful’ Black Women Working to Close Racial Wealth Gap

The Highland Project, a nonprofit focused on creating a pipeline of Black female leaders, is launching a new award, Essence reports.

The project will select 15 Black women working in education, politics, economic empowerment, among others, and grant each of them $100,000.

Recipients will meet over the course of a year, with funds being used to support each woman’s initiative or solution they want to implement in the community.

Founder Gabrielle Wyatt notes that this new award is part of their efforts to help build multigenerational wealth for the Black community. “Instead of waiting for empty promises, we are the solution we seek,” she states.

The inaugural cohort will be chosen by next spring.

This article is part of The Bottom Line, a series exploring scalable solutions for problems related to affordability, inclusive economic growth and access to capital. Click here to subscribe to our Bottom Line newsletter.

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Solcyre (Sol) Burga was an Emma Bowen Foundation Fellow with Next City for summer 2021. Burga graduated from Rutgers University with a degree in political science and journalism in May of 2022. As a Newark native and immigrant, she hopes to elevate the voices of underrepresented communities in her work.

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Tags: new york citycovid-19unionsunemploymentracial wealth gap

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