A Brief History of the Mon Valley Unemployed Committee
1983 – 1985: Funded and coordinated the National Unemployed Network. The Network won several extensions of Federal Unemployment Benefits.
1986 – 1990: Established a five-year project, the Unemployment Council of Southwestern Pennsylvania, which organized four more Unemployment Committees and won a change in tax sale laws, giving homeowners an extra year to pay back taxes before foreclosures.
1986 – 1989: Changed state and federal retraining policies winning tens of millions of dollars in cash and retraining benefits for workers who lost their jobs due to imports. MVUC wrote several sections of the 1988 Trade Act.
1990 – 1993: Won passage of a state law eliminating 180,000 welfare liens worth over $680 million. We ended this lien policy by involving thousands of homeowners with welfare liens in our Campaign to Remove the Welfare Lien.
1994: Organized a coalition of churches, unions, and community organizations for the Stop the Welfare Cuts Campaign. The Campaign forced a compromise in the Governor’s proposal to eliminate the general assistance program for adults.
1996: Worked with other groups to limit the health care cuts for low-income people in Governor Ridge’s proposed budget.
1996: Recognition of our efforts, 22 low-income members were invited to the White House when President Clinton signed the bill raising the minimum ware to $5.15 on August 20, 1996
1997: Organized Community Hearings on Welfare Reform in four counties in Southwestern Pennsylvania. MVUC took a busload of welfare recipients to Harrisburg to present our recommendations to officials in the Department of Public Welfare.
1998: Stopped the April 17th, 1998 Treasurer’s Sale of homes and got city and corporate officials to agree to affordable payment plans for low income homeowners.
1999 – 2000: Won rollbacks of drastic increases in co-payments for 90,000 Pennsylvania families with children in subsidized childcare.
2000 – 2001: Worked with the Pennsylvania Welfare Coalition to force the state to eliminate the five-year time limit for cash assistance.
2004 – 2005: Provided feedback on adultBasic and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) to the Pennsylvania State Department of Insurance through special advocate’s meetings. The recommendations were implemented within both programs.
2004 – 2006: Successfully worked with many organizations and elected officials to raise the Pennsylvania minimum wage.
2008 – 2009: MVUC spearheaded a collaborative regional effort to create a conciliation process through the court system that provides the opportunity for clients to meet directly with their mortgage loan servicers to attempt to work out an affordable payment arrangement in order to preserve homeownership.
2009: MVUC is responding to the economic crisis and increased joblessness by expanding our capacity to handle cases and speak out about systemic issues related to the high unemployment levels.