I've been asked about the best way to contact Congress to urge them to renew federal extended unemployment benefits which expired at the end of the year. So, I've compiled the tips I've received for letting your representatives know that renewing unemployment is important to you.
Contact Your Representatives
The AFL-CIO has a directory of elected officials. Enter your zip code to find links to your representatives' websites, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Make Phone Calls. Call both the Washington, DC and the local/home office of your representatives.
Post on Facebook. Post your concerns about unemployment running out on their Facebook page. They don't all accept posts, but some do. For example, here's Majority Leader Eric Cantor's Facebook page.
Use Twitter. Encourage your representatives to not let unemployment expire. Also retweet as many unemployment related posts as you can. Search for unemployment, #unemployment or #renewui to find them. You can also use Unite Blue to easily tweet Congress.
Send Email. You'll be able to send an email message directly from most representative's websites.
Call Congressional Leaders
Even though the House has recessed you should be able to at least leave a message. The National Employment Law Project (NELP) recommends calling House Republican leaders: Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Dave Camp and Budget Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan. Call toll-free 1-888-245-0215 and tell them not to shut down federal unemployment insurance.
NELP also suggests calling Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), the majority leader, and Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Max Baucus (D-MT):
Call toll-free 888-245-0215 (1-888-245-0215 for service requiring a "1"). Ask for the office of each of those Senate Democratic leaders and tell them: "You must act to stop the shut down of federal unemployment insurance. Renew federal UI - the EUC program - for 2014 without delay! If the House's failure to act causes federal benefits to lapse, you must act to restore them quickly and renew federal unemployment insurance for 2014. Thank you."
- Contact the White House - Send an email message to the White House or call.
- AFL-CIO - Sign a petition, email your friends and ask them to support unemployment, and share on Facebook.
- Share Your Story - Your stories are needed for the NELP campaign to renew federal EUC benefits.
What can you do if your unemployment checks have run out, are about to run out, or if you can't get by on unemployment benefits, which typically aren't enough to live on? Here's information on assistance available for unemployed workers.
I will post updates here as soon as there is news on what will be happening with unemployment in 2014. Also, follow me on Twitter, add me to your Google+ Circles and like About Job Search on Facebook for more news and information.
Share Your Suggestions
If you have suggestions on how to spread the work about unemployment expiring, please share in the "Comments" section below. Thank you!