Missives from Minnesota
By Randal Berger
National Board Member
Since our last “gathering around the fire,” I attended our National Board meeting in L.A. in April.
President/Executive Vice President Election
This meeting was quite different than usual. It was but a few short weeks after the death of our national president, Ken Howard, so one of the major tasks of the weekend was to elect President Howard's replacement — and, consequently, immediately thereafter an executive vice president — to serve their remaining terms. We elected Gabrielle Carteris (the previous executive vice president) as president and then Rebecca Damon (previously N.Y. National Board member) as executive vice president to fill Gabrielle’s vacated seat.
Approval of Commercials Contracts
The National Board unanimously recommended a yes vote for the tentative Commercials Contracts reached with the ad industry. Ballots were sent out and it was ratified by the national membership! The next steps are continued focus on recapture of commercial work. Tools for educating yourself can be found here.
Steady progress has been made on the member services initiative, encompassing staff training, testing of union staff support tools and work towards a mobile app for use by members for union-related activities.
The financial report was positive and we remain financially healthy.
The membership census will be taken on Oct. 31, 2016. You must be paid up by that date in order to be counted. The census determines the number of delegates we are allotted for the 2017 convention, so being a member in good standing (dues paid!) by Oct. 31, 2016, is vital.
Please consider volunteering time to support us, your SAG-AFTRA local. Being involved is entirely reasonable in terms of energy/time commitment. As I’ve said before, it feeds the “work begets work” mindset. Please contact me to learn more at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ken Howard Celebration of Life
I remained in L.A. for a few days after the board meetings, representing the Twin Cities, along with Local Board President Bob Davis, for A Celebration of Life for Ken Howard. It was a joyful and moving day of many remembrances for a man who was even more committed than I had imagined. It is impossible to define what he gave to his fellow members and we are in his debt in ways we will never completely know.
Cheers until next time,