NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Airey Jordan has worked at Legacy Lounge since it opened. She said city council’s decision to revoke the club’s conditional use permit had put her in financial hardship.
“I am a windowed mother of three, so bartending allowed me the flexibility to not only be a mother first, but to also have funds,” she said.
Now, bills are stacking up.
“I am a one-man show, so [I’m] trying to go ahead and pay bills,” she said. “It’s the money you make daily. You can always catch up on something. Now, I can’t catch up on anything. Everything is just piling up, waiting to be paid. I take care of my household and my children and help my mother at the same time. Now, I am unable to do that.”
She and a few other Legacy Lounge employees created a petition which already has 1,072 signatures.
In the petition, the author, Charita Parker, said, “Single mothers and fathers, students, retired military veterans, business owners and just individuals trying to make an honest living.”
She continued, “We have yet to hear from the city about how they will assist with employing those who lost Primary and Secondary income. We are sending them this letter to see how they plan to assist those that they snatched jobs away from with the unemployment rate already being a 3.6 as of August 2022.”
In the petition, employees are asking to be heard. They want an opportunity to secure additional employment with businesses the city “considers preferable” to their vision.
The employees are asking the City of Norfolk to provide a job fair or online resource in partnership with Downtown Norfolk Council, Downtown Norfolk Civic League or the local universities.
The petition ended with, “many of us have voted for you, shaken your hands and laughed at your jokes when you visit our churches or schools. We are asking that you do not put us both out of work and out of mind.”
Jordan hopes the city shows some empathy towards the employees left without a job.
“Regardless of what people feel is going on, if the city council isn’t showing compassion to the business at least they can show some compassion to us as employees,” she said.
If you would like to sign the petition, click here.