Posts tagged with "lyft"

Javier Ramos illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Javier Ramos Vigil

Rideshare Driver Killed in Chicago Amid Carjacking Crisis Targeting Uber and Lyft Drivers

Drivers Guild Demands Action from Uber, Lyft, City of Chicago

7pm Tonight: The Independent Drivers Guild will take part in Prayer Vigil Tonight Honoring Javier Ramos – Details Below

The Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) is mourning the loss of rideshare driver Javier Ramos who was killed in a carjacking early Tuesday morning in Chicago. Ramos is survived by his 9-year-old daughter and a close-knit circle of family and friends. His death comes amid a carjacking crisis in the city in which rideshare drivers have been targeted repeatedly. 

Ramos was killed exactly one week after the IDG held a vigil for other rideshare drivers who were attacked in car jackings earlier this month, one of whom was left paralyzed from the waist down and one who was kidnapped, robbed, and sexually assaulted by her passenger. The vigil was followed by a vehicle procession to Uber and Lyft’s Chicago offices where the Guild posted its safety demands in letters to the companies’ CEOs. 

“Javier Ramos was found lying in the street by police and transported to a hospital as a John Doe. Unable to communicate and robbed of his belongings, he passed. He tried to fight off his attackers. They shot him in his face and head. He was then removed from his car, and the violent criminals proceeded to run him over with it,” said IDG organizer and longtime Chicago rideshare driver Lenny Sanchez.

“Javier Ramos was a father, a brother, and a beloved member of our community. And he did not have to die. Say his name, Dara Khosrowshahi. Say his name, Logan Green. Blood is on your hands and it’s not the last of it. Comply with our driver safety demands now,” demanded Sanchez.

In January, the IDG launched a driver safety campaign, demanding action from Uber and Lyft, and the City of Chicago to protect rideshare drivers. The Guild has called for a City Council hearing on the crisis. Drivers and members of the community who wish to learn more and show their support are urged to go to IDGactnow.org where you can sign a petition to the City Council and sign up for updates on upcoming actions and events.

“If Uber and Lyft won’t protect Chicago’s hardworking drivers, the city needs to act to compel them to. Chicago cannot allow these apps to be used by criminals to hunt down their next victims,” said Brendan Sexton, executive director of the Independent Drivers Guild. “While Uber and Lyft have made rider safety a priority with constant improvements, driver safety has been virtually ignored and this is the result. Rideshare drivers must be licensed, and background checked before they can begin serving our community, but Uber and Lyft do not even require passengers to verify their identity. End the disparity and protect drivers now.”

Earlier this month, the Guild launched a fund to support Chicago rideshare drivers and their families affected by car jackings and assaults.

The Independent Drivers Guild is the largest rideshare driver organization in the nation, organizing for drivers’ rights, fair pay and better working conditions. Together, we’ve won landmark victories that put billions of dollars in drivers’ pockets. The Independent Drivers Guild is a non-profit affiliate of the Machinists Union that advocates for more than 250,000 drivers in NY, IL, NJ, CT and across New England. We are driver-led and driver-powered.

Learn more

Javier Ramos Vigil Information

Friends and family of Javier Ramos will gather for a prayer vigil in his honor Friday, March 26, 2021, at 7 pm in North Park, 10040 Addison Avenue, Franklin Park, Illinois. Invited guests include Congressman Jesus “Chuy” García, Senators Don Harmon, Karina Villa and Ram Villivalam; Representatives Maura Hirschsuer and Kathy Willis; Franklin Park Mayor, Barrett Pedersen; Director of Police, Michael Witz; and Independent Drivers Guild advocate, Lenny Sanchez.

The vigil will honor the life of Javier Ramos who was killed by his passenger during an attempted carjacking earlier this week. Those who knew “Javi” knew that he lived for the joy of his life, his 9-year-old daughter. 

Javier’s death comes as Chicago is seeing an exorbitant increase in city-wide car jackings, some of which have culminated in the deaths of the victims. It is well past the time to address the issue of senseless gun violence. Javi’s death should not be in vain. 

Cousin and spokesperson for the family, Ms. Illinois International 2021, Hortencia Ramos said “This could have been anyone’s brother, anyone’s son, anyone’s father, anyone’s cousin,” The vigil is open to all who want to share their love and support of Javier and his family. Attendees are encouraged to wear orange in support of a future without gun violence.

Uber/Lyft Drivers Demand Action from Rideshare Companies After Recent Driver Killings

Drivers Guild to Hold Rally, Caravan To Protect Drivers’ Lives

Drivers and supporters can learn more at IDGActNow.org

Rideshare drivers are being assaulted in targeted attacks at an alarming rate and just last week two drivers were killed by their passengers. The Independent Drivers Guild is demanding that Uber and Lyft take immediate action to protect driver safety, starting with verifying customer identities. On Friday, the Guild will hold a rally at the O’Hare airport TNP waiting lot before caravanning to the Uber and Lyft hubs where rideshare drivers, including carjacking victims, will hold a press conference with community activist Ja’Mal Green, city leaders and the family of Javier Ramos, the driver who was killed by his passenger in Chicago last week.

The Guild will also hold rallies in New York and Connecticut in memory of Javier Ramos and Mohammad Anwar and in solidarity with rideshare drivers nationwide facing violence on the job.

FRIDAY 4/2 RALLY, CARAVAN, AND PRESS CONFERENCE

10AM rally at O’Hare Uber/ Lyft Waiting Lot (ORD TNP lot)

11:30AM Caravan to Uber and Lyft Chicago Hubs

12:00PM Press conference at Uber Hub: We stand up for ourselves and demand action now!
Uber Greenlight Hub on North Avenue

1401 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Chaos Ignites Agility Illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Chaos Ignites Agility

2020 exposed the collapse of standardization. We are rapidly moving away from an era defined by outdated standards that held people to conformity and limited their creativity—to today’s new era of personalization that honors one’s individual contributions and embraces fresh ideas and ideals,” said Glenn Llopis, president of GLLG, a leadership and business strategy consulting firm that authored a new report available today: CHAOS IGNITES AGILITY (download full report).

CHAOS IGNITES AGILITY captures the most intimate and disruptive insights from 46 executives across healthcare, corporate, and education. These leaders came together virtually for three days last October to share how they are working to restore individual dignity in how they serve patients, customers, employees, and students to thrive in a post-pandemic reality.

Themes emerged across the sectors, as doctors, professors, executives, deans, and presidents got real about how they have been adapting throughout the challenges and unpredictability of 2020. They collectively zeroed in on these major challenges and opportunities:

  • How to put patients, employees, and students at the center – to activate individual capacity.
  • How to lead through industry transformation when there’s so much uncertainty.
  • How to pursue and employ inclusion as a growth strategy going forward.

This riveting video tells the story.

Organizations represented in CHAOS IGNITES AGILITY include:

Healthcare:

  • CVS Health, Mount Sinai Health System, Anthem, Cancer Treatment Centers of America, Woman’s Hospital, Lenovo Health, Keck Medicine of USC, City of Hope Cancer Medical Center, and American Association of Critical-Care Nurses

Corporate:

  • Starbucks, Microsoft, Twitter, ViacomCBS, Mitsubishi Motors North America, Cost Plus World Market, Chico’s FAS, Inc., RBC Capital Markets, Farmers Insurance, H&R Block, Lyft, and Banfield Pet Hospital

Higher Education:

  • Clemson University, College of Business, Google, USC Marshall School of Business, Drake University, The Eagle Academy Foundation, Fairfield University, Lynchburg, College of Business, University of Washington, Bothell, University of South Florida, College of Business, California State University, Stanislaus, and Metropolitan Community College

Learn more at Age of Personalization.

CEELO GREEN – LEAD ME

Five-time Grammy award winning singer, songwriter CeeLo Green releases new music today with the first track “Lead Me” from his forthcoming album entitled “CeeLo Green is… Thomas Callaway” (Easy Eye / BMG). This is CeeLo’s first album in five years and for this highly anticipated next project, he has collaborated with Dan Auerbach of The Black Keys, who took on the role of producer of this new, artistic endeavor with CeeLo. The album is available for pre-order today and is slated for release in June 2020.

LISTEN TO “LEAD ME” HERE.

WATCH LYRIC VIDEO HERE. 

Dan Auerbach invited CeeLo to Nashville for some writing sessions without the intention of creating an album, but this unexpected, musical pair started vibing and walked away with a timeless record. For the first time ever while recording, CeeLo sang with a live band in the same room. It was comprised of noteworthy Nashville musicians including Gene Chrisman and Bobby Wood of the Memphis BoysRuss PaulDave RoeBilly SanfordRay Jacildo and Mike Rojas. Working closely together in the studio, the two award winning artists along with renowned writers Bobby WoodDavid FergusonRoger Cook, and Paul Overstreet created a lyrically positive and inspiring, redemption album that is easy to listen to from start to finish.

“I didn’t walk into the studio as the artist CeeLo Green going to record songs for a new album; I went in solely as myself, the writer Thomas Callaway. CeeLo Green preforms the songs that Thomas Callaway writes,” he explains. “I’m a shaman for that old soul and it came through on this album.”

The name of the album gives fans an idea of what to expect from the overall music as “Thomas Callaway” is CeeLo Green’s given name. This raw album is a real glimpse inside his true soulful character and life beyond the Gnarls persona and “Forget You” pop-sound. “CeeLo Green is… Thomas Callaway” is soulful, with gospel undertones and naturally was influenced by its surroundings in Nashville. It is a reflection of who Thomas Callaway is and a nod to his church-going, southern family roots. The soulful single and overall album finds CeeLo channeling luminaries like Bill Withers, Donny Hathaway and Staple Singers.

“We spent weeks writing and singing songs and we never once talked about trying to write a hit….it was so liberating. I think it freed us to where we could follow our hearts. So, we ended up singing about the things that mattered most in our lives – our kids and our loved ones and what we hope for them. We always came back to love and forgiveness and the passing of time. I feel like together we captured some very special moments on tape. For me, this record is about love, healing and peace of mind,” explains Dan Auerbach.

Additionally, CeeLo Green has partnered with @LYFT to provide essential workers in his hometown of Atlanta with transportation. CeeLo is giving away rides to those who need it most. If you or someone you know has a critical need for transportation in Atlanta (i.e., hospital workers, transit workers, first responders, etc.), DM CeeLo (social handles below) and he will respond to as many essential workers possible with a discounted ride code (up to $10). The campaign launches tomorrow April 11th and will run until April 14th. #DoYourPartChallenge #LyftUp

Watch a campaign video here

A man of many talents and projects, CeeLo Green is still traveling globally preforming his solo act as well as touring with his original, rap-group Goodie Mob, but all dates have been postponed during the pandemic. Additionally, on August 11th, CeeLo will return to Las Vegas for his 3rd residency entitled “Man in the Mirror” this time at The Flamingo. He also recently appeared on WEtv’s “Marriage Bootcamp” alongside his lifetime partner Shani James, which was also a glimpse into his real life as Thomas Callaway.

As CeeLo’s lyric states in his single ‘Lead Me’, please remember during this unpredictable time in the world that, “It doesn’t matter where we started, just as long as we finish together.

Sara Sandman, 360 MAGAZINE, illustration

Who’s Liable When an Uber Driver is Involved in an Accident?

Whether you’re a driver or a passenger, the last thing you’d want to imagine is being involved in a car crash. A car accident is often a deadening experience that, in addition to causing physical and emotional pain, can wreak havoc to the victim’s financial health. But accidents do happen from time to time, and they don’t come knocking at anyone’s door.

Since its founding in 2009, Uber has grown to become inarguably the most popular cab service not only in the US but in many other countries around the world. When you’re new in the city and want to navigate from one point to the other, you just call an Uber and you’re good to go. You get into a club, take several shots and you feel you’re not confident enough to drive yourself home, you can simply leave your vehicle, call an Uber and come pick your vehicle the next day when you’re not intoxicated. They’re an affordable and highly convenient means of transport.

However, this is not to say that an Uber driver cannot get into a car crash, which may arise from his negligence or the negligence of another driver. If you’ve been hurt in an Uber crash or another ridesharing service, the folks at http://www.brookslawgroup.com/car-accident-lawyer/uber-lyft-accidents/ say that finding an accident lawyer should be one of the first things to do. This is because car accident issues can sometimes be complicated, lengthy, and emotionally draining if you approach it alone. With a good car accident lawyer, the process of seeking compensation for your injuries and losses becomes smooth and less stressful, giving you enough time and peace of mind to heal and get back to your normal life. 
The big question, however, is, who’s liable for the damages in case this happens?

Car Insurance

In essence, all drivers are required to carry car insurance to be on the road. Remember, most cars under the Uber umbrella are actually owned by third parties or the drivers themselves. But since Uber is a large, well-reputed brand, many cab drivers choose to operate under Uber instead of conducting business as individuals or under other smaller ridesharing services. The good thing is that before Uber accepts a driver, they have to carry car insurance, which is meant to protect them from liability in case they were at fault in n auto accident.

Who’s Held Liable?

Now, if you or a loved one has been injured in an uber crash, liability lies in the driver who caused the accident. In other words, there are various scenarios to it. You could be a passenger in the Uber or a passenger/driver in the other vehicle. Either way, the driver who is found at fault for the crash (or their insurance company) should be the one to cover the resulting damages, including medical costs and compensation for your losses, pain, and suffering. But sometimes accident compensation matters can be highly complex and difficult to navigate, which is why is important to work with an accident attorney from the word go.

Supplemental Uber Insurance

The other good thing about Uber is that they also provide supplemental insurance to their drivers. This is specifically meant to help passengers who may get hurt in an Uber car crash. The accident policy, in the US, for instance, covers a liability of up to $1 million, which may be enough to compensate you for your losses, pay your medical bills, and other out of pocket expenses the persons involved in the accident might have incurred after the car crash. The ridesharing service also provides coverage of up to $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident, along with $25,000 coverage for property damage caused by the accident. However, the caveat to this is that for the insurance to become available, the Uber driver has to have had the Uber app on during the ride. This makes it important that as a passenger, you always ensure that your driver has the Uber app on as soon as you board the vehicle.
 
After an Uber driver is involved in a car accident, the liability lies in the person at fault. They, the other driver, or their insurance company could be held liable. In a rideshare accident, some common types of compensation available include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship, among others. Whether you’re the driver or the passenger in the accident and you’re injured, it is important to seek medical attention, talk with an accident attorney, file a police report, and get insurance information as soon as possible. This helps ensure that whoever is to blame for the accident is brought to justice and that you receive your compensation where due.

Independent Drivers Guild Launches Chicago Driver Safety Campaign

Rideshare Drivers are Being Targeted By Carjackers, Demand Action By App Companies

For several years now, the Independent Drivers Guild has stood at the forefront of advocacy for ride hailing and delivery drivers’ rights and safety concerns along with allied partner organizations. In light of the recent spate of carjackings targeting rideshare drivers and delivery drivers in Chicago, the lDG Chicago has launched a driver safety campaign to demand action from the transportation network/delivery app companies and lawmakers to do more to protect driver safety.

In the first three weeks of this year alone, Chicago averaged more than six carjackings per day, many of those specifically targeted rideshare drivers and gig delivery workers. IDG Chicago is demanding that ride hailing and delivery app providers work with drivers to address the recent increase in carjacking and other criminal incidents, whereby offenders are easily able to exploit a lack of security protocols with the apps themselves and take necessary measures to increase driver safety. 

“Dozens of Chicago rideshare drivers and delivery workers have been lured in by carjackers in the last few months alone.  We are driving around with targets on our backs. It’s terrifying. The app companies must do more to protect worker safety,” said IDG Chicago organizer and rideshare driver Kevin Nelson. “We urge fellow drivers and delivery workers to stand with us in unity and join with us to fight for the changes we need for a safer industry.”

Drivers can learn more and sign the petition at this website.

Chicago Drivers Guild Safety Demands

These common sense improvements will protect both drivers and their passengers to ensure safe transit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Passenger verification
  • Mandatory passenger profile photos
  • Mandatory mask-wearing selfie when ordering a ride
  • Credit card fraud verification
  • Stolen account warning
  • Police zone warnings in app
  • Passenger background check
  • Panic Button
  • Special Crime Victim Insurance
  • Increased Penalties for Assaults
  • In-Vehicle Cameras
  • Safety Violation Charges

While rideshare drivers must be licensed and pass thorough background checks to protect riders, very little is done to ensure driver safety. Riders are not even required to submit photos or use their real name. IDG has been able to demonstrate that anyone with any mobile device can originate a new account on these apps and order rides or deliveries without any real verification of identity.  The methods of payment do not need to be tied to any specific person, nor is a phone number or email address verification required. What that means is that “ghost accounts” with completely fictitious information are being created to lure unsuspecting drivers into traps where their vehicles along with their phones, wallets and subsequently their livelihoods, are taken away.  Additionally, various incidents have occurred within the past months and weeks where Lyft and Uber have shifted liability for damages to the driver, specifically in the form of high deductibles or damage bills on rental program vehicles originating from these incidents.  

It’s important to note that if unaddressed, Chicago’s rideshare carjacking crisis can become a passenger safety issue as well. Passengers may find themselves stranded as drivers may be unwilling to pick them up at certain times and locations due to safety concerns and passengers may be targeted by criminals for their phones as part of these carjacking schemes.  As these incidents continue to persist at a rate of an average of over 6 times per day within the city, many still-active drivers have begun discriminating or refusing to service customers in various areas, meaning the transportation network companies are losing revenue. 

“Until we win broader safety measures, we urge all drivers to use extra caution. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and share phone locations as well as planned working hours with trusted contacts,” rideshare driver and IDG Chicago organizer Mark Smithivas.  “We also encourage the use of secondary cell phones and keeping extra credit cards and cash in a separate place on one’s person in the event that they are robbed.  As of the moment, the most important thing the city, the companies and the media can do is spread the word.

“Every rideshare and delivery driver as well as customer in Chicago needs to know that we are specifically being targeted for these crimes and as such, we ask for your help and solidarity in fostering a safer industry,” added Smithivas. 

The Independent Drivers Guild is the largest rideshare driver organization in the nation, organizing for drivers’ rights, fair pay and better working conditions. We are Uber, Lyft, and Via workers united for a fair industry.  Together, we’ve won landmark victories that put billions of dollars in drivers’ pockets and improved safety, including advocating for a ban on pooled rides during the Covid-19 pandemic and distributing masks and sanitizer to thousands of drivers. Founded in 2016, the Independent Drivers Guild is a Machinists Union affiliate that advocates for more than 250,000 across NY, NJ, CT and IL, including more than 80,000 For-Hire Vehicle drivers in New York City. 

7PM TODAY: Chicago Rideshare Drivers to Hold Candle-light Vigil for Carjacking Victims

Independent Drivers Guild will Pray for Uber and Lyft Drivers, Call for City Leaders to Act and Lead a Procession to Uber and Lyft Offices to Demand Action 

On the evening of March 9, Members of the Illinois chapter of the Independent Drivers Guild (IDG) will host a candle-light vigil to pray for their fellow rideshare drivers who were gravely injured in carjackings last week, one of whom remains hospitalized in critical condition and another who is paralyzed as a result. In the past several months, multiple drivers in the Chicago area have been carjacked by riders matched to them via the apps and just last week, these two drivers were shot and are fighting for their lives.  Rideshare drivers, carjacking victims, family, friends, city leaders and supporters are invited to attend the vigil.

The IDG will also call for city leaders and app companies to act now to protect Chicago rideshare drivers by requiring verification of all passenger accounts. Following the vigil, the IDG will lead a procession to the Uber and Lyft offices to demand immediate action. 

The Independent Drivers Guild launched a rideshare driver safety campaign earlier this year demanding swift action to protect drivers amid Chicago’s carjacking crisis, however nothing has been done and now two rideshare drivers are fighting for their lives.

What: Candlelight Vigil for Chicago’s Uber and Lyft Driver Carjacking Victims

Who: Independent Drivers Guild, Illinois Chapter
        Rideshare Carjacking Victims, Family, Friends, Supporters  

When: 7PM TODAY, Tuesday, March 9

Where:
Candlelit Vigil

The vigil will be held at 2622 W Jackson, Chicago outside the office of the 28th Ward (the ward where the most recent carjacking occurred)

Vehicle Procession to Uber and Lyft Offices
Following the vigil, IDG will lead a procession by car to the Uber and Lyft offices.
Drivers will post and sign a letter demanding immediate action.

Chicago Lyft Driver Center & Vehicle Services
1020 N Elston Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

Uber Greenlight Hub 
1401 W North Ave, Chicago, IL 60642

RSVP: Members of the media are requested to RSVP.

Members of the public can sign up to attend and learn more here.

“When you sign up to be an Uber or Lyft driver, you never expect that you may not make it home to your family after your shift. Yet two Chicago rideshare drivers are fighting for their lives after being shot in carjackings this week and two more families find themselves praying for their loved ones. We are coming together to lift up our fellow drivers and their families in prayer and to show the support of the driver community,” said Kevin Nelson, an IDG organizer and Chicago-based driver for Uber and Lyft.  “Across Chicago rideshare drivers are terrified to go to work. Criminals are ordering rides through fake accounts with Uber and Lyft and then violently carjacking the drivers. The app companies must act now before yet another driver is shot.”

The Independent Drivers Guild is the largest rideshare driver organization in the nation, organizing for drivers’ rights, fair pay and better working conditions. Together, we’ve won landmark victories that put billions of dollars in drivers’ pockets.  The Independent Drivers Guild is a non-profit affiliate of the Machinists Union and advocates for more than 250,000 across NY, NJ, CT and IL. We are driver-led and driver-powered. To learn more, please visit this website.


 

Rideshare Rooftop Ads

Today more than 80 members of the Independent Drivers Guild descended on City Hall to call for the city to reverse its ban on rooftop advertising for for-hire vehicles. The Guild testified at a City Council Transportation Committee hearing in favor of City Council bill Intro 1738, sponsored by Transportation Committee Chair Ydanis Rodriguez, which would allow for-hire vehicle drivers to earn much-needed extra pay through rooftop advertising. 

Exterior roof-top advertising opportunities are currently only afforded to medallion owners, but not FHV owner-operators, including drivers for app-based and livery services. Drivers can earn as much as $300 per month and $3600 per year through rooftop advertising without driving extra hours and adding to congestion.  Intro 1738 is the first of a handful of bills in the works to address the demands and concerns raised in IDG’s Drivers’ Bill of Rights, which has the support of more than nine thousand drivers so far. 

“For years, drivers have been struggling to make ends meet. Rooftop advertisements are an easy way for drivers to supplement their income without having to drive longer hours and add to congestion,” said IDG executive director Brendan Sexton. “In the life of an Uber or Lyft driver, an extra $300 per month can mean the difference between being able to afford health insurance or not. It can cover a month’s worth of fuel expenses or after school child care.”

“We are thankful to Chairman Ydanis Rodriguez and Members of the City
Council Transportation Committee for listening to drivers and we urge the Council to support this bill as an important step to provide immediate and much-needed relief to drivers,” added Sexton. “We are also pleased that the Taxi and Limousine Commission today voiced support for rooftop ads with the amendment we have urged which would require that ad revenue goes to drivers, rather than Uber or Lyft, leasing companies, or big fleet owners, as has occurred in the taxi industry.”

The IDG led a years-long campaign to win the nation’s first minimum wage for app-based drivers in New York City at a rate of $27.86 per hour, however app companies violated these rules and city regulators failed to take enforcement action. In response, more than 100 IDG members unveiled the Drivers’ Bill of Rights at City Hall this past fall, calling for the city to address concerns affecting drivers’ livelihoods. A week later, thousands of IDG members temporarily closed down the Brooklyn Bridge and the FDR in protest and in response to the city’s TLC ignoring Uber and Lyft’s violation of the City’s own minimum pay law. Now more than nine thousand drivers have signed on to the Guild’s Drivers’ Bill of Rights. Members of the Transportation Committee responded and have told the Guild they are working on a number of bills addressing the issues raised in the Drivers’ Bill of Rights. Today marks the first hearing addressing one of these issues and what the Guild hopes is the first of several bills to come before the committee to provide relief to struggling drivers.

Here is IDG’s prepared testimony for today’s hearing:

Testimony of Brendan Sexton, Executive Director
Independent Drivers Guild (IDG)
Before the City Council Committee on Transportation
January 22, 2020

Good morning Chairman Rodriguez, members of the Transportation Committee. My name is Brendan Sexton and I am the Executive Director of the Independent Drivers Guild, otherwise known as IDG. We are here to wholeheartedly support Intro 1738. 

Joining me today on this panel are some drivers who will help me tell our story — the story of how app-based drivers who, despite the reforms passed by this Council and despite what TLC claims, continue to struggle to make a fair and livable wage. (and I’d also like to acknowledge the IDG members drivers who have joined us here today in the audience) As we explained to this Committee back in September, the minimum pay rules are failing to meet their intended goal as Uber and Lyft continue to circumvent the rules and the TLC continues to ignore our pleas for assistance and enforcement. 

More than 100 IDG members came before you that day to seek your help as we rolled out our Drivers Bill of Rights to address these and other concerns affecting drivers’ livelihoods. A week later, thousands of our members temporarily closed down the Brooklyn Bridge and the FDR in protest and in response to TLC ignoring Uber and Lyft’s blatant violation of this City Council’s own minimum pay law. I am pleased to know that the City Council, and especially the Members of this Committee, have heard our pleas and a number of bills addressing the issues raised in our Drivers’ Bill of Rights are in the works. Today marks the first hearing addressing one of these bills and what we hope is the first of several bills to come before this committee to provide immediate and much-needed relief to drivers.

As many members of this Committee know through our discussions over the last few months, we believe Intro 1738 is a very important measure that would provide app-based and livery drivers with an opportunity to supplement their income from driving. This is money that will go directly into the pocket of FHV owner-operators – not base owners, not Uber, not Lyft.

This legislation would require that the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) issue permits to allow for exterior rooftop advertising on any type of for-hire vehicle, provided such advertising complies with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations. Exterior roof-top advertising opportunities are currently only afforded to medallion owners, but not FHV owner-operators.  This bill would provide for parity, equality, andNa significant step in the fight for the fair treatment of these hard-working New Yorkers. 

We were all dumbfounded when, in August of 2019, TLC took away this ability — and only from FHV drivers.  Given the continuing struggles FHV drivers continue to go through, this just added insult to injury. 

Intro 1738 corrects this injustice by affording FHV drivers the opportunity to contract with TLC approved advertising companies for digital rooftop advertising and earn $300 per month/$3600 per year in
supplemental income. As you will hear from the drivers themselves, this additional income can and will make a big difference in the lives of FHV drivers as it can cover any number of expenses, such as health insurance, which is not provided by the app-based companies, a months’ worth of healthy groceries (according to the USDA),  or 100% of a driver’s monthly fuel expenses.

It is also important to note that this opportunity to earn additional income comes without any obligation to spend additional hours on the road and, as a result, will not increase congestion.  It will also allow hardworking drivers to bring home the same income while spending less time on the road and more time with their families.

All that being said, we also want to ensure there are additional driver protections built into this legislation to ensure that it is the drivers who benefit from this opportunity, not the app companies, not leasing companies and fleet owners. ALL drivers must be afforded this opportunity without undue interference from the exploitative nature of app-based or leasing companies. While 80% of our industry’s drivers own their own cars, 20% do lease.  And as you all know, our industry’s drivers have major issues with predatory leasing companies. (and we have been talking with Council Member Moya about his leasing legislation). Therefore, while this legislation as currently drafted will definitely benefit a majority of our drivers, we are less certain, given the leasing industries tendency to take advantage of our drivers, about the rest.

We would like to see an amendment to Intro 1738 that provides TLC with the regulatory authority to ensure drivers are protected and not further exploited by preventing leasing companies as well as the app companies from either requiring or prohibiting drivers from obtaining rooftop advertising and ensure that any and all revenue derived from such advertising goes directly and fully to the driver at a fair and mutually agreeable rate.

In speaking with some of you on this Committee, another concern has been raised that I would like to address. We have spoken to a major rooftop advertising company (who we understand will be testifying here today) who currently provides exterior rooftop advertising to the taxi industry and it is very clear: the existing benefits to the taxi industry from digital rooftop advertising will not be diminished or diluted by this bill in any way. To the contrary, if advertisers and drivers are able to deploy rooftop advertising on both taxicabs and FHVs, the advertising coverage to advertisers would be expanded within the city, and rooftop advertising becomes more attractive to advertisers and ultimately becomes more sustainable for all vehicle classes.

For the past few months, our team has engaged numerous council members on this and other pressing issues, and I’d like to thank Chairman Rodriguez for spearheading the effort to introduce this bill.  I’d also like to take a moment to thank those of you who have chosen to stand with IDG, our drivers and working-class New Yorkers by sponsoring and supporting this bill – it’s clear that you all truly understand just how important this income will be for drivers and their families. Your care is also demonstrated by the other issues on the agenda today–with regard to legislation that would create a Black Car and Livery Task force, we applaud any efforts that would assist with the viability of this industry and help our brother and sister black car and livery drivers. We would only recommend that the legislation be amended to provide for driver and/or driver labor organization representation on the task force.

It’s important to note that Intro 1738, which is related to exterior advertising, is very different from the internal panel advertising legislation. The policy question regarding internal panels entails different considerations that have been the subject of litigation, and although IDG supports any effort to provide increased opportunities to supplement FHV driver income, we believe these issues should be separated. The exterior advertising legislation already has broad support within this committee and we want to ensure that the support that we have worked to secure is in no way jeopardized by an unrelated piece of legislation.

In closing, I want to thank the Committee for all the work you have done and all we have accomplished together over the last few years in providing relief to 80,000 working families – specifically the approval of landmark driver income and transparency legislation in 2018. And while this has provided some needed relief,  the TLC’s resulting regulations and their lack of enforcement has caused some real problems whereby the full intent and goal of this legislation has still yet to be realized.

More work needs to be done, but Intro 1738 is an important and significant first step and FHV drivers need to know that this committee, that the City Council is listening and doing all they can do
to help.

RITAS × DAN MAGRO

Mistletoe Kiss

Not sure why kissing under a plant is a holiday tradition…but we’re good as long as a cocktail is involved.
 
Ingredients:
1oz London Dry Gin
0.5oz Fresh Lime Juice
0.5oz Vermont Maple Syrup
Mint and Fresh Cranberries (for garnish)
RITAS’ Cran-Ber-RITA
 
Directions: 
Fill a shaker with ice and add gin, lime juice, and maple syrup.
 
Shake vigorously for 20 seconds and strain into a coupe glass.
 
Top off with RITAS’ Cran-Ber-RITA and garnish with mint and fresh cranberries.
 

Ebenezer Rita 

Holidays got you feeling sour? The Ebenezer Rita will have you saying bah humbug to any drama!
 
Ingredients:
1.5oz Bourbon
1oz ounce Fresh Lemon Juice
3oz RITAS’ Cran-Ber-RITA
Rosemary Sprig (for garnish)
 
Directions: 
Fill a pint glass with ice and add all ingredients except rosemary.
 
Stir well.
 
Strain into a rocks glass over a large ice cube. 
 
Top off with more RITAS’ Cran-Ber-RITA if needed and garnish with a fresh sprig of rosemary.
 
Feeling extra festive? Make ice cubes out of RITAS’ Cran-Ber-RITA and add fresh cranberries and tiny sprigs of rosemary.
 

Home for the Holidays

A cocktail so sweet and smooth, even your cousins won’t be able to complain. Pairs perfectly with a warm fire and hot gossip.
 
Ingredients:
1.5oz Blanco Tequila
0.5oz Vermont Maple Syrup
1.5oz Lime Juice
RITAS’ Cran-Ber-RITA
Pinch of Fresh Ground Cinnamon
Cinnamon Stick, Fresh Cranberries (for garnish)
 
Directions: 
Fill a shaker with ice and add tequila, maple syrup, and lime juice.
 
Shake vigorously for 20 seconds and strain into a collins glass over large ice cubes.
 
Top off with RITAS’ Cran-Ber-RITA and garnish with a cinnamon stick, and fresh cranberries.
 
*Carefully* light the end of the cinnamon stick ablaze, then quickly blow out. Gently rest the smoking cinnamon stick on the edge of the cocktail to send a seasonal scent wafting through the air.
 

*Credit: RITAS and Dan Magro, Author of Suck It Up: Extraordinary Cocktails for Everyday People.

Uber/Lyft Drivers Shutdown Rush Hour Traffic in NYC

On Tuesday morning thousands of Uber and Lyft drivers with the Independent Drivers Guild led a slow vehicle procession over the Brooklyn Bridge and up to Gracie Mansion to call for the Mayor and City Council’s help in response to new app changes from Uber and Lyft in New York City that will harm drivers’ ability to make a living. Approximately 6,000 drivers participated in the action which slowed rush hour traffic to a near stand still in a procession that stretched across the city at times covering the full length from the Brooklyn Bridge up FDR Drive to Gracie Mansion.

Starting on Tuesday Uber launched new policies to kick drivers off the apps between trips and in areas of lower demand in order to avoid paying drivers as required by New York City’s pay regulations. Lyft enacted a similar policy earlier this summer to protests from the Drivers Guild. The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission has failed to take action, so the Drivers Guild is calling for the Mayor and City Council to stop the apps from violating the pay rules in an attempt to scam drivers out of fair pay. The Guild, a Machinists Union affiliate representing and advocating for New York’s 80,000 app-based drivers, led a two year campaign to win the nation’s first minimum pay rate for Uber and Lyft drivers. Rules which the apps are now violating.

“Uber and Lyft are flouting New York City’s driver pay rules to avoid paying drivers what they have earned and the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission has done nothing to stop them. Today drivers are saying: We will not be ignored. We are calling on the Mayor and City Council to step in and help us fight back against the app companies. More than 1,000 Uber and Lyft drivers logged off the apps to take part in a procession over the Brooklyn Bridge and through Manhattan to Gracie Mansion today to protest the app companies and demand action from the city,” said Brendan Sexton, Executive Director of the IDG, a Machinists Union affiliate which represents and advocates for more than 80,000 app based drivers in NYC. “For months we warned that if the city failed to take enforcement action against Lyft for violating the pay rules, that the other apps would follow suit and drivers’ pay would suffer. Already thousands of drivers are struggling to pay their bills because Lyft is blocking them from the app.

Now with Uber following suit more than 80,000 New York City families will pay the price if the city refuses to stand up for drivers and crackdown on the app companies.” Council Member Brad Lander who sponsored the law requiring a minimum pay rate for Uber and Lyft drivers has also spoken out against the app companies’ actions and voiced his support for the drivers today. “Kicking drivers off the app between rides and controlling where and when drivers can work directly undermines Uber and Lyft’s pretense of employing independent contractors who set their own hours. Far from providing flexible work schedules and a solution to transit deserts, Uber and Lyft are forcing drivers to avoid serving low-income outer boroughs and limiting their ability to make a living wage, in violation of the spirit of NYC Council’s ground-breaking legislation to guarantee for-hire drivers a minimum hourly wage.

These are the same companies that have been arguing that they don’t control their drivers’ work and it isn’t central to their business model. Uber and Lyft can’t have it both ways. Either recognize drivers as employees entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, health insurance and all the rights that entails, or follow the law we passed to ensure that drivers make a fair wage,” said Council member Brad Lander.

Today’s protest shows growing driver anger at the app companies and the city’s failure to protect driver pay. Just last week more than 100 IDG members gathered at CIty Hall to call for the city to abolish the TLC due to its failure to stand up for drivers, including on this issue of enforcing the pay rules. The Guild also called for the city to pass a Drivers’ Bill of Rights, which specifically included blocking apps from trying to get around the pay rules.

Further Background:

For months Lyft has been kicking New York City drivers off the app to avoid paying them and the Independent Drivers Guild has been calling on the city to take aggressive enforcement action, warning that without enforcement other apps may follow suit.  On Friday, just days after more than 100 IDG members rallied at City Hall calling for action, Uber announced in an email to drivers that it would indeed begin the same practice to flout the city’s pay rules on Tuesday.

In June, the Guild wrote a letter to the City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission calling for enforcement on this issue and drivers testified to this issue in July calling attention to the fact that Lyft was using this policy to further enrich the company by giving preferential access to drivers who pay them upwards of $400 per week to rent a vehicle from Lyft’s Express Drive program. However, the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission failed to act and failed to include any further regulatory guidance during its summer rule making, despite having the clear opportunity to do so.

Spark Joy with these 4th of July Cocktails

The most-anticipated summer weekend is just around the corner! Level up and make your Independence Day celebration sparkle with these simple yet elevated cocktails, each profiling a different flavor and sure to suit everyone’s preferences. After a heavy afternoon of  burgers and hot dogs, wash it all down with refreshing and low-sugar cocktails while jiving to your favorite tunes.

From a delicious Watermelon Firecracker Margarita to a Berry United Lemonade and elevated G&T, sip back and enjoy the summer weather.

The Independent G&T

    • 4 ounces Fever-Tree tonic water
    • 2-3 frozen cranberries (garnish)
    • 1 popsicle (garnish)
  • Ice

Pour Jaisalmer Gin and tonic water over ice in a tall glass. Stir and garnish with a popsicle and cranberries.


Berry United Lemonade

    • 3 cups lemonade
    • 1 cup cold water
    • 4-6 dashes Angostura bitters
    • Lemons (garnish)
    • Blueberries (garnish)
  • Ice

In a pitcher, pour Diplomatico Rum, lemonade and water. Add in lemon and bitters. Garnish with lemon slices and blueberries. Serve chilled.


Firecracker Margarita

    • Kosher salt
    • 1 lime wheel
    • 3 ounces fresh watermelon juice
    • ¾ ounces fresh lime juice
  • Watermelon (garnish)

Place some salt on a small plate. Rub rim of an old-fashioned or rocks glass with lime wheel (reserve for serving); dip in salt.

Combine watermelon juice, Partida Tequila, and lime juice in a cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. Strain cocktail into prepared glass and garnish with watermelon lime wheel.


YUNGBLUD and Billie Eillish Party at Coachella House

Interscope Records Hosts 5th Annual Coachella House

Interscope Records hosted its annual Coachella House Party on Saturday, April 13th at a luxury estate in Palm Springs, California. Billie Eillish, Benny Blanco, Cuco, Liam Payne, Tierra Whack, Ama Lou and more joined tastemakers and industry elite for a day in the sun, celebrating one of music’s biggest weekends. The party — sponsored by Marriott Bonvoy, Dosist, Lyft, Prive Revaux, Mad Tasty, LA Tourism, RTA, Heineken, and Gaiam Tea — was catered by Chef Stefanie Izard from Girl & The Goat.

MIAMI MUSIC WEEK 2019

CASABLANCA RECORDS CELEBRATES MIAMI MUSIC WEEK 2019 WITH THE ESSENTIAL ELECTRONIC POOL PARTY AT DREAM SOUTH BEACH

IN PARTNERSHIP WITH LYFT, SPLICE, BILLBOARD DANCE, AND HITS 97.3

GUESTS INCLUDED DON DIABLO, SG LEWIS, NETSKY, PHANTOMS, M-22, DZEKO, BLACK CAVIAR, AUTOGRAF, FELIX JAEHN, AND MORE

Casablanca Records hosted The Essential Electronic Pool Party celebrating Miami Music Week 2019 at the Dream South Beach.

In addition to DJ sets from SG Lewis, Netsky, Phantoms, M-22, Dzeko, Black Caviar, Autograf, the event featured attendees such as Don Diablo, Felix Jaehn, NOTD, Felix Cartel, and more.

The event was hosted in partnership with Lyft, Splice, Billboard Dance, and HITS 97.3.