The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop #00517

Submission Number:
00517
Commenter:
Keli Blackburn
State:
California
Initiative Name:
The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Hello, My name is Kelli Blackburn and I have been an Airbnb host for almost a year. I am a third year law student at California Western School of Law. I have a son who is 5 years old and I have 100% custody of him. Prior to law school I was an Admissions Counselor for Ashford University. I was earning about 7000 gross a month. I was with Ashford University for four years and well it was an okay job, it was not a suitable long term career. The turn over rate, the stress, and the ever-changing expectations made it insufferable. Throughout the past year I have rented my condo in downtown San Diego. I have made almost enough money to cover all of my living expenses in San Diego. The opportunity to rent the condo through Airbnb has allowed me to stay in school full time and intern for the Public Defenders without pay. As many of you know, interning is a critical part of your legal education and without it your degree will be very hard to use. I have financially survived and supported my son using only federal financial aid, student loans and Airbnb. Although, I am trying to finish law school as quickly as possible, I have still taken 2 years off of work. Airbnb has allowed me the opportunity to stay in school full time-minimizing the amount of student loans I will ultimately take out-and it has allowed me to dedicate my time, uncompensated, to public interest law; another critical piece of what it is to be an American. Without Airbnb my son and I would have had to apply for (and would have qualified for) welfare, afdc, etc. Airbnb can be, if not abused, the most amazing opportunity for middle class families. Please contact me with anything further.