You know, I cannot speak to the politics of Stand for Children, but I can speak to the ways of which they execute business with their canvassers because I was one. My name is Mar'Quella Scott, and I was hired to work for Stand for Children on June 21st of this year. I canvassed in the neighborhoods along with several other folks, making only $10 an hour.
I was promised by Organizer Henry Jones, and Mark Sturgis at least 4 hours of part-time work for whichever days I canvassed. I was supposed to canvas on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Also, since I, and other canvassers were going to endure very hot weather for everyday we would work, we were guaranteed water, break times, and snacks to refuel us and make sure we did not suffer heat exhaustion.
From my first day at work, on June 23rd, none of those promises were met. The canvass leads did not have anything organized. We had to purchase our own water, snacks, and canvassers with cars were forced to find their own way to the neighbors to be canvassed. Some of my former co workers were promised a full reimbursement of gas and never got it.
The neighbors we had to canvas had a lot for us to deal with; vacant addresses, loose pit bull dogs, or apartment complexes that specifically forbade solicitation of any kind.
The worst days were paydays. I counted on earning $120 for 3 days work, but what always happened is Jones or someone else always lost the 'Sign-In' sheet. What is a Sign-In' sheet? Since Stand for Children does not have a time clock to accurately record when workers clock in, they made us sign a piece of paper with our name, and phone number and time we came in. I came in at about 3:00 on my work days, but week by week, 30 minutes stared to go missing from my paycheck. At some points, I actually heard Jones tell canvas leaders to sign us in and out at times that did not reflect our true work hours. Canvassers, who were mostly high school students started to quit when they realized they were victims of wage theft, and I certainly can't blame them. Right now, I am in a fight for $35 dollars Stand for Children owes me for working July 16th and July 31st, but I am not counting on them to do the right thing.
The only good thing I have to say about Stand for Children is I met a lot of beautiful people in Memphis through work and the neighbors who truly care about what happens with their kids, but they are sick and tired of people playing games and saying they are one thing, but are actually something else. That sums up my thoughts on Stand for Children, and I want my $35, because I earned it fair and square.
If any of you have any questions, find me on Facebook. Look for Mar'Quella Scott-the picture in my profile will be of a Golden woman. Thank you.
By Leonard Gill
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