Spring 2023

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14 SAG-AFTRA | Spring 2023 | A Letter from the Secretary-Treasurer Fellow Members of SAG-AFTRA, A s I put pen to paper, literally, I am focused on the possibility that the next few months could be the most consequential in entertainment labor history. Your National Board just released a powerful statement of support for the Writers Guild of America, whose strike authorization vote received 97% approval. SAG-AFTRA sent a clear message that this is our time. The decades of imbalance in our industry will not continue. Fortunately, I am able to report to you all that our financial house is in order. You may have read the good news, but as your national secretary-treasurer, it is with great enthusiasm that I report to you all that SAG-AFTRA has purchased a building. Now, just like almost all of our sister unions, we own our home. There is so much to know about this strategic capital investment, detailed in this issue. I want to take this moment to share with you why this purchase is so deeply personal to me. Twenty years ago, as I sat between Valerie Harper and Ed Harris, nursing my firstborn in the James Cagney Boardroom, I watched closely as my mother, Connie Stevens, our then-national secretary- treasurer, counseled the organization to make better investments. She pushed hard to buy a building. It didn't happen. In taking on this position, I desperately wanted to make building ownership a priority. The awesome responsibility of finally bringing this to fruition and the commitment to all of you, my union family, drove me every step of the way. The economy ebbed and flowed over the decades and differing philosophical and political attitudes put this concept way on the back burner. For me, giving up on this dream was never an option. I promised to bring this across the finish line, and now we have. Of course, there is much credit to go around. President Drescher came into office with an investment instinct about such a purchase and empowered me to drive the search and vetting. The success of this deal wouldn't have been possible without her; Arianna Ozzanto, our rock star CFO; Duncan Crabtree-Ireland, our intrepid NED; and near-unanimous support from the National Board. Noting the poetic symmetry, I reflect on my mother and how much she cared about our members and the financial health of this institution. I want to thank the Honors and Tributes Committee for bestowing on Connie the Ralph Morgan Award. My hope is that her legacy of service, as it has inspired me, inspires all who will visit and work at our new SAG-AFTRA national headquarters. Ultimately, this is about improving the health and pension plans, and preserving all of the services and benefits that a financially healthy union makes possible for future generations. In solidarity and always keeping the membership first, Joely Fisher J O E LY F I S H E R "This is about improving the health and pension plans, and preserving all of the services and benefits that a financially healthy union makes possible." Joely Fisher and her mother, Connie Stevens

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