SAG-AFTRA Vice President, New York Local President, Rebecca Damon

As the weather heats up throughout the city and all across the New York Local, I hope this email finds you safe and well. There are a number of important topics I want to update you on during this difficult time.

Today New York City enters Phase 3 of reopening which includes personal care businesses, but does not include indoor dining which will not reopen as part of Phase 3. Per the governor, it is postponed until further notice, due to the surge in COVID-19 cases across the country.

There will be an expansion of certain film and television production activity to include principal photography with a maximum of 25 cast and crew. The City of New York Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment (MOME) will begin accepting permit applications for Phase 3 production activity commencing on July 13 or later. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, MOME has implemented restrictions on film permits involving public property.

Please familiarize yourself with the latest protocols for our work at SAG-AFTRA's Back to Work hub. This hub is regularly expanded with additional protocols for all industries and areas in which SAG-AFTRA members work. All production activity must also comply with New York Forward Industry Guidance.

Our progress relies on everyone remaining vigilant by physical distancing, wearing a mask, practicing good hand washing hygiene. New York State has expanded COVID-19 testing capacity. To find a site near you, visit: On Wednesday, July 8, NYC is coordinating a day of action to ensure folks get tested. Learn more at

Renters. The Rent Guidelines Board passed a rent freeze on one year leases and for two year leases, 0% increase the first year, 1% increase the second year.

Eviction Moratorium. A new law provides tenants experiencing COVID-19-related financial hardship with protection from eviction. The Tenant Safe Harbor Act sponsored by Senators Brad Hoylman and Liz Krueger and Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz prohibits courts from evicting residential tenants for non-payment of rent that accrues or becomes due during the COVID-19 period. It applies to any unpaid rent accrued between March 7 and the to-be-determined date on which all COVID-related restrictions on non-essential gatherings and businesses are lifted.

Federal & State Tax Returns. The deadline to file both federal and state tax returns is Wednesday, July 15. 

Health Insurance Coverage. The state is extending the special enrollment period for an additional 30 days through July 15, 2020. You can apply for a plan through NY State of Health or visit

Mental Health Resources. Health care workers can text NYFRONTLINE to 741-741 to access 24/7 emotional support services. Any New Yorker can call the COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline at (844) 863-9314 for mental health counseling and resources.

On June 29, the SAG-AFTRA National Board met and reviewed the 2020 TV/Theatrical Contracts and voted to approve and recommend a “YES” vote. Visit for more info or RSVP to attend an informational meeting. You can click here to vote online.

Please also take 10 minutes and fill out the 2020 Census. Our response determines how the federal government allocates billions of dollars every year to states and cities for important programs and services including education, transportation, infrastructure and healthcare. Additionally, the census determines the number of seats New York, New Jersey and Connecticut get in Congress. 

Stand up and be counted.

Onward together,


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