I’m someone who typically believes in government’s ability to help people — that’s why I got into a career of public service.
That’s also why my colleagues, my staff and I are at our wits’ end — because the California Employment Development Department (EDD), responsible for processing unemployment benefits, is failing Californians every day. In this time of economic crisis, as folks are staring down another rent or mortgage payment on July 1st they can’t meet, it’s unacceptable that a government agency is hanging them out to dry.
On Tuesday, I started a hashtag on Twitter called #EDDFailoftheDay for folks to share their stories. I invite you to share yours on social media or by filling out this form — let EDD know how their failings have impacted you, and what you need from them.
My staff and I get heartbreaking, maddening stories every day from San Franciscans who have waited for months for an unemployment check they desperately need. Constituents with depleted savings, under severe debt and in deep panic, whose checks have yet to be processed after weeks of radio silence from EDD. We have even had constituents hung up on when they did manage to speak with someone.
Before starting this social media effort, my fellow legislators, my staff and I tried to engage EDD through many private meetings, public hearings, letters and emails. But things have not improved.
We need to raise our voices and demand change — because clearly, what has already been tried isn’t working. If we’re going to fix this broken system, it’ll take all of us — so please share your story here, or to do so online with the hashtag #EDDFailoftheDay.
In these uncertain times, as thousands of San Franciscans are trying to stay on their feet, we all need to work together. I’m confident we can fix the EDD — we have to.