Wednesday, December 15, 2010

99er Letters to Bernie: UPDATE: Letters to Rep Peter Welch

 UPDATE: Thursday, Dec. 16:   
The Letters to Bernie Campaign is growing! 
Congressman Peter Welch wants to hear from 99ers.  
It's not too late - 99ers are still suffering and the Congressman wants your stories ASAP. Please send your story to:  
Alexandra will print each one out and take it to the Congressman's office.  Use the power of 99er numbers to send your stories all to one place, printed out and piled together.  Send your story NOW to  
Watch the CNN coverage of this story here.
 Thank you.

Updated: Sunday, Dec. 12: 
 Please keep sending your letters in!  
Each one will be printed out 
and delivered to the Senator's office. 
Help Senator Sanders Help 99ers.  
Send your 99er story NOW
Watch the CNN story here..

Please, DO IT NOW.

Senator Bernie Sanders (Indp.VT), is one of the few who have consistently stood up for 99ers, the unemployed and regular Americans against the corporations, big banks and stone-walling politicians.  Help Senator Sanders Help 99ers.  Send in your 99er story and why we need a Tier V or more weeks included in the UI legislation currently being negotiated on Capital Hill.  Even if you are not a 99er, but know and care for someone who is, we want to hear from you.  Many Senators and Representatives are very angry that a deal has been made to extend tax cuts for the rich, while current and future 99ers are being thrown under the bus.  Give them the back up they need to fight for us.  Email your story to: .

Many, many 99ers, unemployed still receiving UI and our supporters spent the last year, and longer, faxing and emailing letters to our elected representatives.  NOW is an opportunity to put all  our letters together as one STRONG statement that Senator Sanders and all the other Senators that support us can use to show that we are suffering and MUST be included.  If you have one of your letters still on your computer, you are only a few clicks away from doing your part.  Send it to

99er Alexandra J. will print them out and take the letters to the Senator's office, with whom she is working.  CNN went to Vermont to cover Alex reading a few of the letters and taking the stack of printed letters to his office.  The Senator is, of course, in DC, but he is aware and very supportive of this campaign.  DO NOT DELAY!  We are off to a GREAT start, but we need many more personal stories  if our plight is to be heard. There IS HOPE.  Please do your part for yourself and all 99ers:  Thank you.


  1. Hello,
    Extending unemployment insurance benefits to the "Tier 5" unemployed is essential.
    As we spend every moment searching for a job, a loss of Tier 5 UI assistance is forcing us into losing every asset that has enabled us to afford food, gas to drive our cars to job interviews, losing our homes and destroying the lives of hard working American's who are trying to cope with unbelievable personal and financial losses.
    Please keep this issue "front and center" until these careless politicians grasp the level of financial desperation into which we are being dumped.Extend Tier 5 UI coverage to the "99ers" who have given so much to their country and their former employers.

    Dear Mr. President,

    Extending unemployment insurance benefits to the "Tier 5" unemployed is essential.
    As we spend every moment searching for a job, a loss of Tier 5 UI assistance is forcing us into losing every asset that has enabled us to afford food, gas to drive our cars to job interviews, losing our homes and destroying the lives of hard working American's who are trying to cope with unbelievable personal and financial losses.
    Please keep this issue "front and center" until these careless politicians grasp the level of financial desperation into which we are being dumped. Extend Tier 5 UI coverage to the "99ers" who have given so much to their country and their former employers.

    I never imagined that this could happen to me. My parent's told me about the horror's of the Great Depression. I am now living that horrific reality. We voted for you because we expected strong leadership from your administration and the Congress. When will you deliver that leadership?

    When will you execute an Executive Order to provide extended UI to so many suffering American's?

    If your Administration and the Congress want support and VOTES from us, stand proud and deliver this for the American people. We will vote to retain and strengthen your Administration and a Democratic Congress.

    While we are searching desperately for jobs, will you tell us when we can expect an immediate continuation of extended Unemployment Insurance benefits for the tier 5; the 99'ers?

    Thank You,

    Vincent Scaturro

  2. Hi Vincent:
    Very well said; thank you for posting here. My parents are also children of the depression, so I know exactly what you mean. I, too, was raised with an image of an America I never, ever, thought I would see or experience for myself.

    I also completely agree with you about the lack of Presidential leadership. My God, what do they expect 5 mil 99ers, and growing, to do? Vaporize off the face of the earth? I'm unemployed, but not a 99er. I will greatly benefit from the proposed plan, as we all understand it. I am, however, opposed to it because it's unAmerican and inhuman; I don't want to benefit while you, or other 99ers, suffer. It is just WRONG.

    I hope you sent your letter in, and will encourage others to do the same. Right now, many Reps & Senators are fuming over the extension of the tax cuts for the millionaires. I hope we get tons of letters in the next 24 - 48 hours. I think these folks in DC opposed to the tax cuts will be happy to have some tangible way to contrast these tax cuts vs. what real America needs. The real stories of 99ers, personal, yet gathered in one place, are a powerful tool for the folks who want to help. 99ers vs. millionaires. I say that's a conversation we WANT Washington to have :) Thanks for your great post, and I hope you'll post & tell every 99er you know to send their letter in. There IS HOPE.

    Thanks, Kian

  3. Hello,
    I know that another extension will definately help my family and hundreds of thousands of families. I and all unemployed americans have been looking for jobs relentlessly,We do not want to sit at home,There aren't any jobs out there.I personally was laid off two years ago,lost my health insurance,which I cannot get now because of pre existing conditions,My husband is self employed with a small fabrication buisness,he has watched many of the buisnesses go out of buisness,and if I wasn't able to collect unemployment my husband would be out of buisness right now,and if we don't get a 5th tier which will seriously help me and my family and many other families the economy is just going to get worse,criminal activity will rise,The depression is obvious,and who knows where our family will be! PLEASE HELP US 99ERS WE ARE STILL OUT HERE

  4. Hi Anon:
    I hope you sent your post to Senator Sanders. Out fight is most immediately for help for the 99ers, current and future, but we also know that many small businesses are hurting because of this depression. Our efforts are to help all struggling Americans, and that certainly includes small business. Thanks for your post, Kian

  5. I have applied for temp jobs, permenant jobs etc. No luck. What will happen to the millions of Americans in this so called 99 group. I voted for Obama, but I think that this extension for tier 5 will boost th the economy. If the economy picks up as they claim, want the cost decrease!

  6. Dear Jesse,

    This is a blog that you will want to see. "FEMA Camps for the Homeless."

  7. I am a 55 year old unemployed factory worker. I worked 14 years and watched my job slowly go south of the border. My husband works seasonal and it's almost impossible to make ends meet. He wonders if he'll even get a call back in the spring . The worry is horrible on his health , as he is a diabetic. The extension to tier 4 or tier 5 is so desperatly needed in our house, Please see the need and do the right thing ..

  8. Hi All:

    Thanks for your posts. It really feels to me like our entire government has been slowly moving to another planet over the last 30 years, or so, and we are just realizing it now. 99ers, we MUST stay as strong as possible and fight for ourselves and our families. There IS HOPE if we stick together. Please, please, remember to send these posts into Senator Sanders, if you haven't already. We have a lot, but need more. Each 99er story is so valuable, and sharing it will help make a difference. Thanks, Kian

  9. FYI: Here's my letter to Bernie:

    Subject: Collecting UI but oppose extension without 99ers

    Dear Senator Sanders:

    Thank you for your advocacy on behalf of the 98% of us regular Americans. Your strong voice brings such hope to many, especially now, when our President, elected representatives and the entire government seems to have packed up and moved to another planet.

    The current “deal” being debated in Washington to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% and extend unemployment insurance for 13 months, but only up to 99 weeks, is one example.

    I have been unemployed for just over a year and am currently at about 54 weeks. Without new legislation, my UI is scheduled to exhaust in mid-February, after just 60 weeks. Under the proposed “deal”, as I understand it, I would receive an additional 39 weeks of UI, a lifeline I desperately need as I continue to look for a job. Even though it is against my immediate self-interest, however, I deeply oppose this “deal” because, in the longer term, limiting UI to 99 weeks while wasting money on unneeded tax cuts for the very wealthy harms our democracy, our economy and, in my view, is simply un-American.

    There are currently approximately 5 million 99ers, those who have already exhausted their UI, with another 4 million projected to join these ranks over the next year. How is it possible to say the economy is so bad – and projected to stay that way – that UI must be extended for 13 months, and at the same time ignore people who have reached this arbitrary 99 weeks of benefits? The 99 week cut-off was invented out of whole cloth; there is no connection between 99 weeks of UI and the current, or projected, state of the economy. What are these former middle class people to do? Week 98, they are valuable Americans, worthy of UI support. Two weeks later, at week 100, they, and their children, instantly become worthless; forced into poverty by the policies of their own government.

    By the end of next year, there will be about 10 million people in this situation. This is, literally, the melt-down of the middle class, right before our eyes. Besides the shame of the human cost, how can this possibly help our economy grow? What will the tax cuts for the rich do for us then? Tax cuts that have already been in effect for 6 or 7 years, and which have proved ineffective at creating economic growth. The choice is clear: We can fast forward to a third world country by giving more and more to the rich, or we can stand up and be America by extending unemployment to ALL unemployed, including current and future 99ers.


    Kian Frederick
    Director (volunteer)

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  11. I am 56 years old I have been a social worker for 25 years. i worked at the same job for 20 years only to be let go because programs that I was involved with were defunded. then I started to work for a non profit only to be layoff because once again funds were cut. i will not give up because I am very good at what I do and I love my work. Please extend tier 5 so I can focus on getting back to work. All I do now is worry about my bills and how I will pay then.

  12. I think the government should create jobs for the unemployed.
    I am more than willing, eager ! to clean parks, sweep streets, re-hab apartments, paint walls, anything in order to work.
    I am 61 years old and I can not find a job anywhere.

  13. I am a 99er in CO and am stunned by Obamas willingness to leave the 99ers to fend for themselves. Thank you Ed, Ketih and Rachel for all of your great work! I want to also give Rachel a special thank you for putting Austan Goolsbee o...n the spot in her interview on Thursday night when she asked "What about the 99ers". It was amazing! Watch Goolsbee squirm in this short 1-minute video clip - and then send Rachel a huge thank you!

    Also, if I may be so bold, please read my 'open letter' to my congressional Representatives, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Speaker Pelosi on the tax cut 'compromise' - and then, PLEASE get involved!

    Kelly, Denver Unemployment Examiner


  14. Please post this to your facebook accounts to get others to write. I am 51 and have been looking for work for over 2 yrs. My last unemployment check was mid Nov. Something has to happen soon or I will not be able to pay rent January 1st. We need help, we need JOBS, we need everyone we can get to get involved.

  15. This recently proposed 13 month extension of Emergency Unemployment benefits for the “long term unemployed” is misleading.

    Of the 7,000,000 million currently unemployed Americans, 5,000,000 (71%) are "99ers" – those who have exhausted up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits but still cannot get a job. Why would this 13 month extension ignore 71% of the people it is designated to help? Something's wrong with that picture!

    I would urge all 99ers to e-mail, call or fax their individual Senators to include the 99ers in the recently proposed 13 months extension.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained; make the call, send the fax and join the lobby to protect the other 71% of unemployed Americans who are excluded by this proposed unemployment extension! Notwithstanding that the 99ers are the longest “long term unemployed” in America!

  16. Anon (the one just above), you are right; contacting your individual representatives is important. 99ers, however, have been doing this for over a year. Individual calls & faxes from constituents are good, but they represent an individual person, not a whole movement of 99ers. We weaken the strength of our message by not making good use of our numbers.

    Sending a letter to Senator Sanders, through the volunteer efforts of Alexandra, allows 99ers to use the POWER of our numbers by sending our stories to one place, where they will have a much greater impact. 500 or 1000 personal stories, printed out and piled together, are a much more powerful statement. Send a constituent letter if you wish, can't hurt, but we should not miss this opportunity to use the POWER of our numbers to make our collective voice heard.


  17. @rashid1891:
    Thanks! We appreciate the compliment. Please check back often for updates and new projects and actions that are in the works. Hopefully you will find some activities you can participate in.


  18. Dear Mr. President or who ever will read this at this point,
    The last 2 years have been very frustrating indeed. I lived for 10 years in upstate NY, beautiful and I felt peaceful. Jobs were scarce but I kept one at all times. I managed an auto parts store in the end and when the corporate bailout did'nt work, my store was one of 3 that were dusted. Without any notice, I was without a job. Luckily UI was there. Had never done that before and thought it would be short term. I feel I am well spoken, even though I lack the AA's and BA's behind my name and I know I am a hardworker. I prepared my resume', made my list for interviews, gas to get there, ink to print more and internet to look even more thoroughly when not on foot. I will be 50 next month, a young 50 mind you, and in the last 6 months there have only been 4 interviews. I have the letters of apology or that they have persued other candidate. I'm not asking for a hand out, if indeed even you have a job for me, I can be a future prospect, however toilet paper and ink are lacking and I have about an inch of computer paper left. I suppose you could say, things are looking grim with my last pay being the first week of December. People live on week to week paychecks as it is, but on UI you live on less and are thankful none the less and make due and man, can I make pennies scream, however it is impossible to make due when nothing is coming in. The words Christmas and fantasy go together now for me. I am not een worried about that part of life anylonger, being clean and have the tools to look for work, well to be honest, I am terrified these things also will be gone. If tax cuts and such is what is needed, then so be it however I thought this bill that was signed December 17 was to help all americans and then I read on and on and am finding out that when you slip off UI, you are no longer counted. That terrifies me that my life is that meaningless and easily discarded. If I am important enough to pay taxes, live for and stand up for my country, am I not important enough to be counted. I do not have children that are young so welfare is'nt an option and I am married to someone that refuses to work, divorce is in the works but I need a bit of help here, so I guess all I can say is do for me what you would do for your family and be proud of your works. There are so many of us that need you and we are all praying for your help.