Unemployed metro Detroiters ask Mich. lawmakers for help - FOX 13 News

Unemployed metro Detroiters ask Mich. lawmakers for help

Posted: Updated:
Representatives Gary Peters and Sander Levin lead the discussion Friday Representatives Gary Peters and Sander Levin lead the discussion Friday
(WJBK) -

Auto workers, teachers, health care professionals and union members were all represented at the "Lunch and Listen" event Friday, hosted by U.S. Representatives Gary Peters and Sander Levin. Everyone in attendance is among the 1.6 million Americans who lost unemployment benefits in December.

"Everyone thinks we just want to sit at home and take that money and that's not the case. I want to work. I'm losing my insurance, [I have] two little girls at home and it's just a tough time," says Curtis Rodriguez. He is a master plumber who has been out of work for 10 months. 

One laid off engineer told the lawmakers the benefits did not stop him from trying to fine other job, saying, "My average take home pay when I'm working is at least a thousand dollars a week. Unemployment gives me $300 a week. You think I like living on $300 a week?"

"The stories, it's so compelling. People who want money for gas so they can keep looking for a job. People who need some food," says Rep. Sander Levin. tells FOX 2's Robin Schwartz.

VIDEO: Click on the video player above to watch the report from Schwartz


Still, Congress has failed to find a solution, leaving all of these families hanging. The lawmakers listened Friday and promised to continue to fight to get the payments restored.

"I think it's outrageous that the Congress is in a recess now. We're back home, not in Washington, doing the job that we need to be doing," says Rep. Gary Peters.

Congress will be back in session on Monday and the lawmakers say they will push for a vote on the issue as early as Tuesday. They plan to bring many of the stories they heard here back to Washington.

  • Robin SchwartzRobin SchwartzMore>>

  • Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Vandals damage historic Detroit cemetery

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 PM EDT2014-07-26 02:38:55 GMT
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
    Police are looking for suspects after vandals disturb the peace at a historic Detroit cemetery. Someone broke into a mausoleum and made a mess with spray paint and ashes.
  • 33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    33 suspects arrested with ties to Latin Counts street gang

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-07-26 00:10:22 GMT
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
    Right now, nearly three dozen violent criminals are off the streets. The U.S. Attorney says they have ties to the Latin Counts gang in southwest Detroit. Their arrests are part of a joint effort called Detroit One.
  • Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Handmade furniture from Detroit reclaimed lumber

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 4:18 PM EDT2014-07-23 20:18:32 GMT
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
    A new brand of furniture is made with wood from deconstructed Detroit homes. The tables are now being sold at Gardner White Furniture stores.
  • Download the FOX 2 Apps


  • FOX 2 News Five-Day Forecast
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Trench collapse in Pittsfield Township

    Trench collapse in Pittsfield Township

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:24 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:24:07 GMT
    Emergency crews are at the scene of an apparent trench collapse in Pittsfield Township.
    Emergency crews are at the scene of an apparent trench collapse in Pittsfield Township.
  • Two in custody after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Two in custody after search connected to Armada teen's murder

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:22 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:22:13 GMT
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
    The FBI and state police were at a home on Marquette Road in Goodells, Mich. most of Wednesday executing an investigative search warrant related to the murder of 14-year-old April Millsap.
  • Reward offered for info on who killed father of six in his driveway

    Reward offered for info on who killed father of six in his driveway

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 5:16 PM EDT2014-07-30 21:16:49 GMT
    A Detroit businessman and father of six, is gunned down in front of his own home.Tonight, his grieving family is demanding justice for Jacob Fry-Hooper, who was murdered in June.He was heading home from his brother's house on the night he was killed.Hooper had just pulled into his driveway. But as he was getting out of the car, someone fired several shots, killing him.Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward for tips that can lead to an arrest. To help, call 1-800-SPEAK-UP. Tipsters can rem...
    A Detroit businessman and father of six, is gunned down in front of his own home.Tonight, his grieving family is demanding justice for Jacob Fry-Hooper, who was murdered in June.He was heading home from his brother's house on the night he was killed.Hooper had just pulled into his driveway. But as he was getting out of the car, someone fired several shots, killing him.Crime Stoppers is offering a $2,500 reward for tips that can lead to an arrest. To help, call 1-800-SPEAK-UP. Tipsters can rem...
Powered by WorldNow

FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
3213 West Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, Florida 33609
Main: (813) 876-1313
Newsroom: (813) 870-9630
Fax: (813) 871-3135

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices