Gloria Nieto

An Open Letter to My Senators

Filed By Gloria Nieto | May 03, 2010 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: benefits, boxer, government, insurance, unemployment

Dear Senators Boxer and Feinstein:

My last unemployment check came the first week of April.

Yesterday I went out to talk to someone about some work and I could not find her. I almost ran out of gas trying to find her.

After putting a little bit of gas in my car so I could continue looking for work this week, I now have $7 left.

I have been unemployed for over a year. Despite what lots of nasty people say, I do not sit around waiting on that check to come. I have interviewed on numerous occasions only to finish second every time.

Maybe I am too old to work again, after all I have hit the magic number of 55 where apparently employers draw the invisible line. All my peers without work are experiencing the same phenomenon, we are all too old. Of course no one is going to come right out and create a law suit for themselves by admitting this.

However, look at the fastest growing age group and they we are. Friends in IT tell me they are terrified of losing their job if they have gray hair.

I make a lot of effort to give back to my community. Last weekend I volunteered with the local La Mesa Verde program to assist a family planting a garden in its backyard to produce their own healthy food.

But Senators, where is the understanding from Washington that so many people are hurting? We need another unemployment extension. It is time to act on our behalf, without fear, the same way we have to face each day, despite rejection after rejection.

We, the unemployed, are staring over a precipice, looking at loss after loss. Our homes gone, our lives destroyed through greed, avarice and an uncaring system that has spit us out as collateral damage, unneeded any longer. We need you to listen to the pain, the anguish, the cries of us weeping from all the loss.

That was me crying in my room last night, maybe you heard me? No one in DC seems to hear those moments of terror and pain and loss. Did someone hear us?

I was wondering what I was going to do on Monday with $7. Eat maybe? Probably not.

Perhaps someone could see into my room Saturday night as I lay weeping on my floor, asking for someone to believe in.

Please do something to help. Really, our lives depend on you.



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This is so true the older one gets the harder it is to get rehired when you are looking for work.

Margaretpoa Margaretpoa | May 3, 2010 8:56 PM

I got laid off on January 13, 2009 Gloria and I turn 50 this month. I know times are tough out there but never before have I had such a hard time finding work, nor have I ever been unemployed so long since I was 15. I have to wonder if age is playing a role. Hang in there. You've got company. Good luck. To us all.

It's not just hurting the older workers, us youngins are having a tough time as well. I've been looking for work for almost a year after graduating college, but what was described in the above post sounds a lot like my experiences. Except I'm not even on unemployment because I was a part-time employee while in college.

Unfortunately for me, I'm not even able to rely on the parentals for support, emotional or monetary. Having a TS girlfriend kind of put an end to that. We're just lucky that she makes enough that we can afford housing and food (albeit barely). Not that just making it by means much when it means we can't set aside any money for srs.

Gloria, I hear you sister. I am 58 and have been out of work for over TWO years. I suspect this week's unemployment check is my last, in which case I will be homeless by the end of the month.

What really gets me is the sneaky ways a preospective employer asks you your age without asking your age. Like, "What year did you graduate from college?" Bye-Bye job.

I too have never been out this long - ever. The sensation of total despair and hopelessness is frequenly overwhelming and more than I can stand. In fact, I have not been this close to doing something permanently drastic (I'm sure you can read between the lines) since before my GCS. Something has to give and soon.

Any initiation to join the club? I'm 56, and it's been 2 years on Wednesday. I have an interview on Thursday, 40 miles away. Drove 4 hours for one. 20 years experience, another 15 related, killer portfolio and website. Nada. Here in Washington state there is a non-discrimination law. Since I'm trans that means they say you're "not a good match" instead of "we think you might be trans and our customers might get offended". Either way, no joy.

Not that I think my senator(s) are likely to be reading this, but you can include me in the group without work, running low or out of unemployment benefits, and above the 55 age line. Oh, add in the fact I am Trans and got let go for them finding out I was starting transition. I have had interviews but what offers I did get where less than half of what I had been making.

In my humble opinion these same banker types who were the first to get the hand outs where some of the same bunch that have been pushing to export jobs overseas.

I have too many assets to be covered by the social security net in Australia. I own the home my pensioner parents-in-law live in (rent free). Both are in their 90's.

The last income I had was in January. I expect some soon from the few hours of teaching I did last month, but it could take awhile for that to come through.

After I complete my PhD, I'll attempt to get a job lecturing. No guarantee, I'm 52 now.

My total income since 2005 has been about $80,000 US - $16,000 a year, before tax - but I've had $70,000 in co-pay from the medical bills.

It's not just the US that has problems. But I expect to surmount them, things have been worse in the past.

I'd advise anyone still with a job to cut back expenditure, and save as if you were jobless.

All of these comments are heartbreaking and there are far too many of them. That said, simply extending unemployment benefits isn't enough; it's not a real solution.

So what is the solution? How do we get so many people back to work again?

Margaretpoa Margaretpoa | May 4, 2010 3:58 PM

We need a real stimulus without focusing on tax cuts. That's a starting place anyway.

One thing I have found im TG but at that stage I can go with either look so yes being 55 wont help next time I have to look for work. I work the second shift so it pays to take the shifts nobody wants.

My brothers and sisters, I know this is a long journey and it totally sucks to have to live this way. I have long been aware of what my TG brothers and sisters go through in a decent economy, the lies, the prejudice. This economy certainly doesn't make it better.

It is my hope that all of you will write a similar letter to your senators and be real and be brave and tell them you are not a number. I don't for a second believe they know anyone like "us." If they did they would be fighting for us instead of betraying us. I'm looking at you, Max Baucus.

Daily Kos had a posting saying they may not get to this until Sept, after their vacations. As Kathy Griffen would say, say suck it.