Summer 2018

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6 SAG-AFTRA | Summer 2018 | A Letter from the Executive Vice President R E B E C C A D A M O N "Be a responsible citizen. Think critically. Stay informed, test arguments, gather news from multiple sources and come to your own conclusions based on the facts." Dear Member, I 've been deeply troubled by the increasing attacks on labor, the emboldening of racists and any number of disheartening news stories during this uncertain time. If you feel as I do, I encourage you to remember that it's up to us to shape the future. As performers and broadcasters, we SAG-AFTRA members are uniquely positioned to lead change. Social media sites are filled with memes quoting popular culture, frequently citing our members and our work. These references, whether obscure or well known, often reflect our values and shape how we think. Never forget how instrumental we are in creating our culture. Always be thoughtful of the message we want to send. Artists have a long tradition of speaking out against injustice — and I don't just mean overt political statements. I am reminded of performers like Frank Sinatra, who fought against racism throughout his career, and The Beatles, who refused to play to segregated audiences. Those acts were not symbolic; they made a difference. And there are thousands of these courageous acts, by artists and broadcasters, selfless people of good conscience, found throughout history. They all add up to make the world better than it was before. The times may present unique challenges, but the curve of positive change moves ever upward. Our journalists have a different role to play. By shining light in dark places and keeping the public informed, they serve a critical role to a functioning democracy. As moneyed interests erode workers' rights, don't despair. And don't go quietly. Fight for what you believe is right in this world. Be a responsible citizen. Think critically. Stay informed, test arguments, gather news from multiple sources and come to your own conclusions based on the facts. And be sure to participate in your democracy by voting. You have the power. Use it. Our SAG-AFTRA President Gabrielle Carteris is a great example of a member using her influence to make the world a better place. When she learned of the unconscionable treatment of Spanish- speaking performers, she sat down with the SAG-AFTRA team and devised a systematic approach to address the injustice. She jumped in to the fray in a way that inspired others as our union embraced the community of Spanish- speaking performers. After 15 months of negotiations, all of that effort culminated in a historic agreement with Telemundo and a huge first step toward fair treatment for Spanish-speaking performers. I want to congratulate and commend President Carteris, Negotiating Committee Chair and Telemundo performer Pablo Azar, former Screen Actors Guild President Richard Masur, Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree- Ireland and the members and staff whose courage, convictions, solidarity and steady hands kept the process on track. With your help, I am confident this will be but one of many victories to come. It is with great sadness that we mourn the passing of legendary New York broadcaster Dan Ingram, beloved husband of our friend and colleague Maureen Donnelly. Dan was the best at what he did. He inspired a generation of broadcasters. His many years of union service benefited countless individual broadcasters and those who had less fame and power than he did. He was an A-list broadcaster who showed up for his union colleagues. Dan will be deeply missed. Onward together, Rebecca Damon

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