Mary McDonald-Lewis 

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

We stand on the threshold of an exciting and challenging time for our local. New ways of producing and distributing product on advertising-based television, subscriber-based TV, film, and Amazon, Netflix, Google, YouTube and any number of present and emerging platforms mean more work for us, but at wages that don’t yet reflect our value.

As a union, we are striving to get ahead of businesses that are already turning profits for shareholders, but who do not share those profits with the working men and women who create the content. This is why I served as a negotiator on both the Commercials and Animation contracts — so I can play a role in demanding equity for our members in Portland and everywhere cardholders live and work.

We are also confronting the specter of sexual harassment nationally, with training sessions, panel discussions, meetings and promulgation of a hotline to report any issue dealing with safety: (844) SAFER SET. I am proud to have played a role in organizing the women telling their stories and, locally, you always have a board ready to hear you out if you face harassment on set. Know this: We believe you.

In fact, your board is ready to hear from you at any time. You are always welcome to attend a board meeting if you have something on your mind or a great idea to share. 

Locally, our film, television and other digital work continues, with our film commission constantly courting interested productions. This means we need to be in “all hands on deck” mode for those trips to Salem to meet with legislators and talk about the industry — stronger incentives equals more work for you and me.

So, as we fight for parity with management, as we tell our stories and support others’ experiences, as we seek more productions for our region, it seems like our work is endless, doesn’t it? I look at it this way: We’re lucky enough to work a little or a lot in a field we’re deeply passionate about. We’re union members, which makes us the best of the best. We owe it to ourselves, to each other and to our union to contribute time and energy to supporting and growing the union that in turn protects, defends and provides us safe working conditions and fair pay through our contracts. That’s why your board volunteers its time to serve you, and we hope you’ll join us in that cause.

Speaking of, I’m delighted that our new board is comprised of working pros, rich with experience and energy. Our focus is to enhance our members’ skill sets with educational and training opportunities, and to create more work through organizing.

Union strong,

Mary McDonald-Lewis


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