By Matt Welch
Promise them free food and they will definitely come. Such was the case on Wednesday, Feb. 1, when Southern Arizona SAG-AFTRA members were invited to a mixer hosted by SAG-AFTRA at Zinburger Wine and Burger Bar Restaurant. Over 27 members and industry people got together to meet Cynthia Williams, the new regional education and outreach liaison for SAG-AFTRA. Also in attendance were Arizona-Utah Local President Joe Corcoran and Margie Ghigo, Arizona-Utah Local’s National Board representative.
While the meeting was social in nature, it was also the first attempt in the years since the merger, to recognize Southern Arizona and Tucson as a strong member of the SAG-AFTRA family. Williams and Corcoran both welcomed attendees and commented the huge turnout. No one could recall such a large group. The energy in the room was evident, as members renewed old friendships and vowed to revive the Southern Arizona part of the Arizona-Utah local. Three members even came from Casa Grande and Phoenix. The oldest member in attendance joined SAG in 1964 and the newest member just joined in January. All decades and talents were covered.
Members at the mixer
Williams emphasized that since we no longer have a SAG-AFTRA staff member in our local, we may contact her if we have any questions, issues or concerns. She also answered questions from the crowd. One question and discussion centered around our partnership with Utah when it seemed New Mexico would be closer in matters of concern with Arizona.
Corcoran, welcoming such an energetic turnout, told the group that there are close to 300 dues-paying SAG-AFTRA members in Southern Arizona alone and it would be welcome and prudent to try to reach out to members to get them involved locally, whether for lobbying or even just attending events like this mixer. He encouraged attendees to consider the two positions for Southern Arizona on the Board.
Cards were exchanged, good food was shared and a group photo was taken before the evening ended. One longtime member, Rev. Bill Killian, said he hasn’t felt this excited or energized about the Southern Arizona part of SAG-AFTRA in years and was looking forward to great days ahead.