Fellow SF-NorCal Members,

We are living in extraordinary times. The world seems in chaos, between the devastation of the novel coronavirus and the heartbreaking loss of lives of our minority brothers and sisters, followed by unprecedented, but understandable, civil unrest.

I enclose a link to the statement from our national leaders on the death of George Floyd and others, as these words express my sentiments exactly. Click here.

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones well, and you are weathering these uncertain times with strength and serenity. It is a time when optimism is our strength, a time to reflect and a time to lay groundwork for better days ahead. Although our industry is on hold, we will be back — and better than ever.
It is times like these that also highlight the importance of union protections. The collective response to the moment has been one of resilience, strength and innovation.
SAG-AFTRA remains actively in conversation with California Film Commissions, sister industry unions and guilds, as well as government and health officials to prepare guidelines for a safe to return to work.
Our SAG-AFTRA SF-NorCal Local staff was able to seamlessly move operations online to work from home. From the outset, local staff assisted in identifying emergency resources for our members while continuing to focus on their core functions.
Industry Outreach: Although several planned events were postponed, our local office continues to receive requests to join virtual panels and classes to share our union message. This is especially important work during these uneasy times while industry workers have questions and need protections.
Film and Television: As many of you know, we had two high-profile projects filming earlier this year as well as several smaller productions spread throughout the region. More than 1,750 of our members were employed. Most of these projects thankfully wrapped just ahead of stay-at-home orders going into place. 
We look forward to the industry coming back. We are optimistic that the addition of Film Treasure Island to our roster of Northern California stage spaces will entice large-scale production, while the beauty and variety of our region will continue to attract independent filmmakers.
Commercials and Co-Ed: As commercial messages pivot and many members are being asked to record from home, it is more important than ever to protect yourself through union contracts. The Commercials Department and local staff have actively reached out to local advertisers about our Regional Commercials Code, a simplified agreement for made-in/played-in commercials. 
Broadcast: We are grateful to our many broadcast members who continue to provide essential services and keep us informed. SAG-AFTRA has distributed safety guidelines to protect those in the field, while local broadcast reps have been instrumental in guiding members affected by the economic fallout of COVID-19.
Conservatory: Although our local SAG-AFTRA SF-NorCal Conservatory offerings have been put on hold, there are some incredible learning opportunities available to our members through the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. Visit its website to sign up for weekly offerings. Also, The Actors Fund is hosting a daily series of career skills classes.
Membership Gatherings and Meetings: During this time, while our local SF-NorCal office is not able to organize industry mixers, I have been encouraged by the membership engagement happening online. Happy hours, interactive webinars, game nights, play readings — the list goes on! Now, more than ever, connection is important. I urge you to reach out to your fellow members to share ideas and support each other.
Continue to check the SAG-AFTRA SF-NorCal Local Facebook page, as well the National SAG-AFTRA Facebook page and website for the latest information and to stay connected.
I have never been more proud of our union — our leadership and our staff — for the job it is doing to support all industry workers through these trying times. We will get through this. We will be stronger for this.
All my best moving forward. Stay safe. Stay well. Stay connected. Stay kind.
In solidarity,
Kathryn Howell
SAG-AFTRA San Francisco-Northern California Local President


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