Summer 2020

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60 SAG-AFTRA | Summer 2020 | Stepping Forward E ven though it's not Friday, we're taking this opportunity to flashback to our SAG-AFTRA National Convention and hear from some who were elected first-time delegates and/or local board members. News from Locals Across the Country Vanessa Thorpe F rom the time I landed in Cali to the time I boarded my flight back home, I learned what it really meant to be #UnionStrong. As part of the New York Local, I was prepared as a first-time delegate at the SAG-AFTRA National Convention. Guess what? I was ready and not ready for what I walked in to — and that's a good thing. It was hard work, from the process of submitting resolutions, to endorsing them and following the chain that ends in voting for constitutional amendments and new officers. I'd love to say everyone agreed on everything we were tasked to vote on, but, no. We are a vocal group with many opinions and points of view. You could feel the energy pulse through the room, sometimes negative and sometimes it breathed with solidarity. Delegates are a passionate group and we care. Evoking change. It's what we do, and our union does it better because we anticipate and are ahead of the curve. Every time I voted, I felt the weight and impact of our collective voice. If anyone out there also wants to be of service, there's a seat at the table. ● New York A Martinez O ne of the more delicious secrets of our profession is that if you choose to become an actor, you may very well end up spending significant portions of your life in the company of other actors — that particular slice of humanity that combines an appetite for attention with a reverence for storytelling to such compelling effect. In my experience, there is no cohort of humans more fascinating and consternating and inspiring than actors gathered with a purpose, and feeling this proven yet again was a pleasure writ large at the SAG-AFTRA convention. It's easy to forget that all of us, despite the partisan differences that have lingered from our merger, have much more in common than not. And for that saving grace, we should be on our knees in gratitude. Because the same pressures threatening the future well-being of workers all over the world have fallen hard upon our union, and in a rush. The business that sustains us is changing faster and more radically than ever before, and if we are to hold on to the economic power we've forged over the decades, we're going to have to fight for it. It was a revelation and a call to arms to witness the clarity with which our institutional leadership recognizes this stark fact, and is preparing to meet the challenge. ● A Martinez and Houston-Austin Local 2nd VP Liz R. Graham at the 2019 SAG-AFTRA National Convention. Los Angeles

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