Fall / Winter 2021

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Page 14 of 151 | Fall/Winter 2021 | SAG-AFTRA 11 A Letter from the President F R A N D R E S C H E R "We must never forget who we are and what joins us together as one, for only in unity can we champion our goals." To All My Dear Fellow Members, T hank you for believing in my abilities to lead this union into exciting new places! I enter this position without bias, but rather hope for unity and big ideas to elevate our positioning on all fronts. We performers and informers are the lucky few, special people in this world who get to be a part of this industry, express our talents and pursue our dreams! We must never forget who we are and what joins us together as one, for only in unity can we champion our goals. I intend to build up the perception of SAG-AFTRA as one of power and strength to the envy of our industry peers and reservation of our employers. Only if we take a stand and commit to the things that matter, do we have influence both in D.C. and at the negotiating table. We must lead on environmental responsibility and become the beacon for others to follow a new industrywide eco-responsible paradigm. To this end, I have created a Green Council that will partner with NGO environmental groups and high-profile celebrity environmentalists. At long last, our industry will become part of the solution! On the legislative front, I am taking a deep dive into gaining support of the bills that impact the lives of our members. This pandemic has affected everyone, so I plan to propose a PSA Pandemic Exit Strategy education program. This is an opportunity to forge a mutually beneficial partnership with the White House in support of our fellow Americans. May this collaboration become a non-partisan tradition between SAG-AFTRA and all future administrations. I'm concerned about our senior members and am working on options to strengthen a safety net to better protect them and to ensure access to the AFL-CIO and SAG-AFTRA Medicare Advantage plans. Unity, diversity and inclusion must be our mantra. We must be unrelenting on this front. To quote Frederick Douglass, "Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has and it never will." Only through accurate representation of all the many different threads that make up the fabric of humanity can we begin to put an end to the fear of the different and unfamiliar. All of these efforts taken on behalf of the greater good strengthen our positioning when we walk into the negotiating room. We are relevant. We are stars. And we mean business! This union should be monetizing our assets for the benefit of our members. This industry magazine, for example, should be rebranded to widen its readership very much in the same way Women's Wear Daily did when they became W magazine. As a woman who is both a rape survivor and cancer survivor, I have zero tolerance for sexual harassment or predators as well as a great affinity for improving the health and health care of our members. Stronger, creatively structured contracts, particularly for streaming in 2023, are already being reimagined. Together with Executive Vice President Ben Whitehair, Secretary-Treasurer Joely Fisher, National Executive Director Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, and every one of YOU, the next two years will be glory ones that set our trajectory toward new heights not yet realized. Please let us rise above our petty differences and take flight as we manifest greatness! The Dalai Lama said, "World peace is not a world without problems, but rather a world where we are committed to solving our problems peacefully." Love is love, Fran Drescher

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