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Join us for our first Hacker Trivia Night supporting beneficiaries in the food (and drink) service industry!
One of the hardest-hit sectors of New York City’s economy has been bars and restaurants. Restaurants and bars have been forced to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, leaving hundreds of thousands if not millions of food service workers struggling to make rent.
Due to years of neglect and defunding by state and federal policies, New York’s unemployment systems crashed and were unavailable for weeks on end, leaving workers unable to even file for benefits, much less actually receive them when they were needed. And even after enlisting help from tech giants like Google, unemployed residents still describe the situation as a “living nightmare” and “kafkaesque mess,” reporting delays, backlogs, and even cases where the system leaked applicants’ social security numbers to strangers.
Meanwhile, although government officials have temporarily ceased evictions on paper, many landlords have moved to evict tenants anyway. At the same time, property owners are receiving mortgage relief but renters are still expected to pay rent, and medical debt collections have continued unabated even while health insurers lobby for federal aid while telling investors their business are not negatively impacted by the pandemic.
It all underscores the obvious design of existing governmental structures intended to get benefits to the rich while the poor and working class pay for the privileges corporations and billionaires are so “free” to enjoy.
The struggling workers we are talking about are not merely numbers on a labor statistics report. They are our friends. So we’ve decided to debut Hacker Trivia Night as “Restaurant and Bar Worker’s Night” and award collected donations to food service industry workers.