Summer 2022

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Page 8 of 73 | Summer 2022 | SAG-AFTRA 5 A Letter from the President "What makes this country uniquely great is the idea of a government for the people, by the people." To All My Dear Fellow Members, W hat makes this country uniquely great is the idea of a government for the people, by the people. That radical vision was brilliantly forward thinking. The freedom to manifest your own destiny. Jefferson called democracy the greatest experiment of all time. I stand firmly on the side of civil liberties and separation of church and state. But we are living in a time when those rights are being chipped away. Let's unpack a few polarizing issues that threaten certain groups of Americans and, by default, us all. At the core of democracy, no matter who you are, it's one person, one vote and all are equal. There are those who are threatened by that thought, people who would rather get their way even if it sacrifices the sanctity of democracy. "If conservatives become convinced that they cannot win democratically, they will not abandon conservatism. They will reject democracy," said Bush 43 speechwriter David Frum in 2018. A true American understands that in a democracy, you may not always like the outcome of the vote, but you will always protect and defend the democratic process that determined it. To that end, Actors & Athletes: Unions for Democracy has been forged to encourage every American to vote! We will march the halls of Congress until the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act is passed! We will meet this moment with our call to action: Your Voice IS Your Vote! But what about the Supreme Court reversal of Roe v. Wade? The idea that a woman's body can be legislated is a non-starter for me. Especially since the man who got her pregnant is exempt from responsibility, this implies blatant sexism! It's about trapping a woman to an unwanted pregnancy. When a woman is caught between a rock and a hard place, don't legislate her, help her! Over the last five decades culture could have shifted in favor of motherhood more successfully by encouraging support from cradle to grave rather than condemnation. Since abortion was legalized, more women are in the workplace, are paid higher wages and have completed advanced education than ever before. This lack of support for both the woman and contraception suggests an ulterior motive to erode women's equality and systematically put women back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant. Women who are supportive of this action have never lived in a time when women could not vote or own land. They don't know an America where it was a man's legal right to practice domestic violence. And because they have never known that level of oppression, they cannot see the forest for the trees. They are responding with emotion but are not considering the Pandora's box this opens and the global compromising of women's freedoms, protections and equality this action presents. And while we're on the subject of rights, I wish to raise my concern that giving our employers the discretionary rights to decide which of us can or can't work based on our medical history is a dangerous slippery slope. If an employer can decide you can't work unless COVID vaccinated, what's next, we can't work without a monkeypox vaccine? I fully understand and appreciate the importance the vaccine has played in the saving of lives during the early years of the pandemic. I myself am vaccinated. And when it was added to the Return to Work Agreement last year, it certainly seemed like the right thing to do. In July, Dr. Fauci stated the CURRENT variant evades the vaccine preventing infection. We are learning in real time and it behooves review by the National Board of the latest scientific information about the vaccine's efficacy for THIS VARIANT. With thousands of unvaccinated members still unable to work, ALL new information begs review and consideration before deciding our position on the next RTWA extension. All I ask is we all educate ourselves with the newest science and make an informed decision because members' livelihoods hang in the balance. The allowance that we have granted the employers walks the razor's edge of compromising religious, disability and body sovereignty FREEDOMS. These were hard-fought rights that must never be compromised but ALWAYS protected! I implore everyone who is reading this to mindfully make the preservation of freedoms your highest calling. Onward and upwards! Fran Drescher F R A N D R E S C H E R

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