SAN FRANCISCO, April 22, 2019 — Shahid for Change, the campaign to elect Shahid Buttar, a Pakistani-American constitutional lawyer challenging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her seat in California’s 12th Congressional District, will host a livestream with Veena Dubal, an Associate Professor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and an expert on the gig economy. The live stream will start at 5pm PST today on the campaign website.

According to a report this week from the San Francisco Labor Agency Formation Commission, 43% of gig workers said the major platform company they work for was doing nothing to adequately protect them and 81% report that their primary platform company is not requiring customers to report that they are sick before they accept the job. As tens of thousands of gig workers across the state of California apply to the State of California only to find the State is telling them they will have to wait for Federal dollars because Uber, Lyft et al. haven’t paid into the State Unemployment Insurance Fund, we will discuss what options gig workers have.

The conversation also takes place at a time when Uber and Lyft are spending tens of millions of dollars on a ballot initiative later this year to exempt themselves from AB5, the law that went into effect on January 1 categorizing gig workers as employees.

This conversation will provide critical analysis on what moves lawmakers and advocates should be making to support gig workers in these difficult times. We will hear from the foremost academic on the topic of gig workers and how companies are using their extensive legal and lobbying teams to ensure that workers don’t have the basic benefits afforded to them by the law.

COVID-19 forced politicians around the country to change tactics rapidly. Shahid’s campaign is doing this in creative ways, and the campaign’s already strong web presence puts it in a strong position to continue to grow the base as the lockdown in San Francisco continues into May. The campaign raised over $300,000 in Q1, putting it in a strong position to continue the challenge Nancy in November and continue to grow the progressive movement in San Francisco. Moreover, in recent weeks the campaign has received endorsements from respected local community leaders including Cat Brooks, news anchor at KPFA and Trevor Timm, Executive Director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation.