Councilwoman Cindy Bass (8th District) is introducing legislation on Thursday, January 24, to establish the Philadelphia Federal Worker Emergency Fund, designed to provide financial relief for local federal government workers affected by the government shutdown.
The Fund will appropriate approximately $50 million for federal workers living in Philadelphia.
“This fund could protect Philadelphians from the very real possibility of going under water while they are unable to receive pay from the federal government,” Councilwoman Cindy Bass said.
“Our people, right here in the City of Philadelphia, are hurting because of an ego-driven, ideologically unsound and completely bizarre government shutdown. It is absolutely unacceptable, and it is clear that we cannot wait for the current administration in Washington to do the right thing by our people. Now more than ever, it’s incumbent upon local government to step up and fill the gap.”
Philadelphia is home to 12,000 federal government workers. Philadelphia International Airport employs about 3,000 of those workers as TSA agents. The airport has its own system in place to help relieve financial burden for its furloughed workers. The remaining federal workers living in Philadelphia will be able to benefit from the Philadelphia Federal Worker Emergency Fund. Philadelphia residents with proof of residence, proof of federal government employment and salary information could be eligible for the grant.
The Trump Shutdown, in its fourth week, is now the longest federal government shutdown in United States history. It has already had devastating results on the American economy, and threatens to negatively affect Philadelphia’s nearly 500,000 SNAP food assistance beneficiaries, and families struggling to pay household bills while they are out of work or working without pay.
“While we wait for the ridiculousness in Washington to end, the Philadelphia Federal Worker Emergency Fund will provide just a bit of relief to families under immense stress because of the shutdown,” Bass said.
PECO and PGW have also taken steps to help address hardships faced by federal employees during the shutdown. Federal workers are encouraged to reach out to PECO at 1-800-494-4000 and PGW at 215-235-1000 for more information on assistance with bill payment.