Portland: City of Bridges

Union members, it seems the topic of elections is on every media these days. At the Portland Local, we’ve recently completed our own.

Democracy is a messy business, isn’t it, and a wondrous one. We are very lucky indeed to have a system where every member, background performer and superstar has a voice and can use it in ours.

In Portland, I’m excited to start service with our new president, Michelle Damis, Vice President Harold Phillips and Treasurer Chrisse Roccaro. It’s important to me to add that I am grateful beyond measure to continue serving with my union brother Robert Blanche as board member and, of course, the rest of our local union team. On the national level, I’m looking forward to working with President Gabrielle Carteris. Vice President Rebecca Damon and Secretary-Treasurer Camryn Manheim. 

I represent a city of bridges, and I’m using that image to guide me as I return to a changed boardroom. Because this is a time to build bridges: to span the distance between the largest local and one of the smallest. To strengthen relationships on all sides of the aisle so our structure withstands the storms we face daily. To lead the way across with creativity and diplomacy so that PNW members, and every member, has the full force of the National Board and all local boards devoted to protecting our wages and working conditions, and to moving us forward victoriously into a future that challenges us all. 

Advances in digital production. The rise in non-union work. Increasing danger on sets for all workers. The nation’s anti-labor sentiment. A wobbly economy weakening investment in our work product. These are the battles we must, and will, fight: not each other. So when I attend National Board meetings, I’ll have my bridge-building plans in my back pocket and my hand out, ready to get to work.

By Mary McDonald-Lewis for the Portland Local newsletter.


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