2011 Equal Justice Works Fellow, Drake Hagner

Drake Hagner

City, State: Washington, District of Columbia
Issue area: Workers' Rights, Public Benefits/Welfare Reform
Sponsors: Arnold & Porter Foundation

The Project

I will enforce the right of low-wage workers to receive unemployment insurance after a job loss in the District of Columbia. I will further advocate with the client community for effective implementation of recent changes in D.C. law to benefit low-income claimants.

The Inspiration

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The economic crisis has made it increasingly difficult for low-wage workers to find a job and stay employed. Unemployment rates in D.C.’s lowest-income communities are among the highest in the nation. In Ward 8, the lowest-income area of D.C., unemployment rates have reached Depression-era levels with more than 30% out of work. Higher levels of unemployment lead to more families living in poverty. Many families rely on unemployment insurance to survive the transition between jobs and ensure access to food and shelter. However, in D.C., only 10% of parties in unemployment insurance appeals are represented by counsel. By focusing on providing effective legal counsel to low-wage workers, the D.C. Unemployment Insurance Justice Project will expand access to unemployment insurance for low-income D.C. residents.

Biography

Hometown:

Rockville, Maryland

Law school:

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