Federal Shutdown Response


The 2018-2019 federal shutdown was the longest in U.S. history, and hit every part of the DC community and economy. DC JWJ responded early in 2019 to make sure that workers across industries could get back to (paid!) work quickly. The shutdown affected federal employees as well as workers in related industries like cafe workers, taxi drivers, office cleaners and flight attendants. 

DC JWJ worked closely with local and national leaders to organize mass actions like “Take Me Back To Work” at Nationals Stadium during the Republican Senate retreat and “Occupy Hart” to demand the Senate end the shutdown. To keep many partners around the country connected, DC JWJ facilitated nightly calls during the final week of the shutdown to prepare for direct actions and birddogging.

DC JWJ participated in Senate lobby visits with contract workers and HUD recipients to highlight the joint impacts of loss of work and loss of public benefits. DC JWJ and housing allies also crafted and distributed a letter to DC-area landlords regarding how they should engage in a sympathetic manner with any tenant whose livelihood was affected by the shutdown.

After 35 days, the shutdown ultimately ended after the flight attendants union called for mobilization. DC JWJ is proud to have been a leader in the fight in the only ways we can: by using our proximity to decision-makers to make ourselves known.

Written by Elizabeth Falcon

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