New York, NY — Today, the Freelancers Union co-endorsed Maya Wiley and Andrew Yang for Mayor of New York City.
Since its founding in 1995, the Freelancers Union has been the largest and fast-growing organization representing the 56.7 million independent workers across the country. The Freelancers Union has fought for and won protections for freelance workers, providing their over 500,000 members a powerful support system and voice through policy advocacy, benefits, resources and community. FU led the way in securing groundbreaking legislative protections through the Freelance Isn’t Free Act in New York City, which guarantees a written contract and timely and full payment as well as protection from retaliation, serving as a model for the country.
In the wake of the pandemic, the Freelancers Union sprang into action to ensure that independent workers who have been previously excluded from traditional government benefits, were included in federal stimulus efforts such as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Paycheck Protection Program. The Freelancers Hub is a one-of-a-kind partnership between the City and the Freelancers Union to provide free co-working space and educational and skill-building programming for freelancers in NYC. The next Mayor must present a plan to support the growing independent workforce and ensure that these workers are treated as a priority in our economy, not just an afterthought, as has been the case for decades.
The co-endorsement of Yang and Wiley comes after a rigorous endorsement process, including multiple screenings and in-depth analysis of each mayoral candidate’s plans and policies to support New York’s vibrant but struggling freelancer community.
Said Rafael Espinal, “These candidates clearly understand that the economy isn’t going back to the employer/employee model that dominated the 20th century and empathize with the lack of stability and security that gig, temporary, and contract workers experience every day. Fortunately, they have solutions. Both candidates have listened to our concerns and worked to come up with smart plans to address issues at the forefront for independent workers, which include health care, retirement, and wage security. I am proud to co-endorse both candidates who will bring their vision and execution to bear on the challenges facing participants in the freelance economy.”
Said Andrew Yang, “I am honored to have the support of the Freelancers Union, whose members are essential to keeping our City afloat and will drive New York’s recovery. Not many people know this, but I was a freelancer, getting my start selling cutlery door-to-door and I also freelanced as a nightlife promoter and tutor. As mayor, my administration will be committed to giving New York’s independent workers a fair shake. We will create Freelancers hubs in all five boroughs so that independent workers have a place to gather and collaborate, and we will make it easier for freelancers to gain vital workplace protections and ensure they have a safety net. Lastly, we will give all workers in New York, whether they’re full-time employees or contractors who move from gig to gig, the opportunity to enroll in a portable City-run retirement savings program. I’m thrilled that my vision and policies resonate so strongly with members of the freelance community and look forward to working together in the years to come.”
Said Maya Wiley: “Independent workers are such an important part of our economy and have played a critical role in keeping New York City running throughout the COVID-19 crisis. As a former freelancer, I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Freelancers Union and look forward to fighting alongside them to advocate for wage parity and workplace protections so that all independent workers can live with dignity.”