#SaveTheArts: a testimony from DAN FURMAN (#14)

“I am a jazz pianist and earn most of my money playing for singers, for school classes or on gigs. My wife was an adjunct professor of biology at Medgar Evers – but after 11 years at the school (right before she would have been offered a three-year contract and raise), she was terminated. They claim it is because of Covid. It is clear, though, that CUNY has been losing funding over the years, forcing them to worry more about money than education. The extra $600 per week in federal pandemic unemployment assistance has allowed us to keep paying our $2,100 rent and to spend money on things we need. Without it, things will get very tough and we won’t be able to keep paying our rent and participating in the local economy. My principal field of work – entertainment – will not be opening for at least a number of months. To members of Congress: please consider the many people in my situation. We can’t work in an economy that does not allow us to work. Until it opens, we need both the state benefits and the federal benefits to survive.”

– Local 802 member DAN FURMAN

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