Unemployment Insurance Hearing: September 16, 2020

On Wednesday, September 16, 2020, Councilmember Elissa Silverman (I-At-Large), Chair of the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development held a Public Oversight Hearing on on the District’s unemployment compensation program during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hearing aired on the DC Council's Live Stream channel and TV Channel 13. The official hearing announcement can be found here.

The government witness portion of the hearing with the Department of Employment Services (DOES) was reschedule for September 30 at 3:00pm. The hearing can be viewed on the DC Council's Live Stream channel and on TV Channel 13.

DC workers and others interested in submitting their thoughts or official testimony for the record can do so in two ways:

  1. Written and voicemail statements submitted by email to [email protected] or by calling 202-455-0153.
  2. Filling our our new online survey. You can choose to submit your survey responses as official testimony, or just use the survey to provide feedback to the Committee and Councilmember Silverman to inform and improve their work with the Department of Employment Services (DOES).

The deadline for survey responses and formal testimony submission is October 7, 2020.

The hearing agenda, list of witnesses, and testimonies can be found here and below.


  1. Maya Sheppard, Managing Attorney, Economic Security Unit, Neighborhood Legal Services Program
  2. Tilahun Zewdie Hailemeskel, public witness
  3. Thomas Kennerly, public witness
  4. Drake Hagner, Supervising Attorney, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia
  5. Adela Perez Guzman, public witness
  6. Cynthia Spencer, public witness
  7. Sam Epps, Political Director, Unite Here! Local 25
  8. Ronnisha Martin, Intake Officer, Unite Here! Local 25
  9. Robert Duker, public witness
  10. John Purification, public witness
  11. Freddy Wiggins, public witness
  12. Vontanell Tillman, public witness
  13. Nataki Edison, public witness
  14. Taalib-Din Uqdah, public witness
  15. Lisa Kaneff, Founder, Freelance DC
  16. Laura Gardner, public witness
  17. Daniel Katz, Senior Counsel, Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs
  18. Bridgette Davis, public witness
  19. Sam Bonar, public witness
  20. Shelley Sims, public witness
  21. Lori Wallach, public witness
  22. Zachary Hoffman, Executive Vice President, D.C. Bar and Restaurant Workers Alliance 
  23. Michael Haresign, public witness
  24. Andrew Shapiro, public witness
  25. Aubrey McKithen, public witness
  26. Mark Lee, Coordinator, D.C. Nightlife Council 
  27. Laura Brown, Executive Director. First Shift Justice Project
  28. Shaheen Robinson, public witness
  29. Jordan Weissman, Senior Business and Economics Correspondent, Slate
  30. Nicole DelCasale, public witness
  31. Dia King, public witness
  32. Keith Miller, public witness
  33. Gregory Allen, public witness
  34. Akin ‘AK’ Adams, public witness
  35. Glorianna Flanagan, public witness 
  36. Yvetta Limon, public witness
  37. Danielle Corbin, DC Jobs With Justice    
  38. Alex Kirshner, public witness 
  39. Trupti J. Patel, public witness
  40. Ho Chun (“Matt”), Owner & President, Twelve 22
  41. William Shelton, President, Hire from DC
  42. Amy Nelson, Director of Legal Services, Whitman-Walker Health
  43. Timothy A. Macek, public witness
  44. Hamere Taye, public witness
  45. Sarah M. Sherry, public witness
  46. David Taboh, public witness
unemployment insurance