Dues are due today.
If you have not done so, make plans to pay, as our locals future may depend on our membership strength and earnings. Encourage others who live work work in Nevada to transfer to our local. Encourage those who claim to be "SAG Eligible" to join AFTRA-SAG and become professionals. All will help us, as explained later in this report.
Today is the day we celebrate Nevada Day.
Nevada day is celebrated on the last Friday of October since Californians voted to change it from the traditional October 31st...Halloween.
It was a vote of Nevada voters, but the voting results clearly show that voting stations heavy with transplanted Californians voted to change the date, while those dominated by second generation or later Nevadans wanted to keep it on the last day of October.
There are reasons:
Nevada students were always off on Halloween...making it less confusing, safer and allowing parties the night before and all day for all ages.
But most important Nevada became a state on October 31st, 1864, the last date where a state could count toward casting electoral votes in the tightly contested reelection of an unpopular president...Abraham Lincoln. That is why we are called the "Battle Born State"...because we were born of the Civil War.
So enjoy the day off and the considerable defusing of a proud state holiday one year prior to its sequential...as Nevada fades away into suburban LA.
UNION PRIDE and communication with members.
The only way we can publicize in our now less frequent newsletter if for you to get in touch with me through our SAG office, Steven.Clinton@sag.org. Your views, opinions and what you feel I should be doing for you are valued and needed.
I do manage two Facebook Pages and two blogs:
For those who ask why not SAG-AFTRA? Not my choice. The sites have been taken and I am also dedicated to preserving SAG-AFTRA's control, as much as they can, over sites that carry the name of the new union. My sites have roots as deep as a dozen years, with most six years and running. When they were started, I was a board member of the Screen Actors Guild representing Nevada. I am proud to be representing Nevada in our new union SAG-AFTRA.
Politics, the past and petty differences must be put aside to allow for local meetings, stronger committees, the loss of divisive agendas on committees, work with the national board representative to inform the membership, be a vital part of the process of continueing to form a new union, and solidifying Nevada as a stand alone local, with our own identity, history and membership needs and services. With the election behind us, we need to hold our our hands, swallow our pride and move forward for the membership, not our own ego, agenda or social desires.
Without an office or an executive, there remains a strong Nevada Local.
Major budget cuts at the end of May led to the elimination of our union office and executive. The cuts were deep, but we are far from alone. 15 locals lost their executives and several were rolled into other local. We are our own local, with a direct political voice at the national level.
Since that date, reports in the media confirm what I knew as a board member, that the actual debt is far worse than projected. We need to focus what we have on what it vital for the entire union, including all of us as members of the Nevada Branch. Strong national contracts and strong national organization in the face of a tide of anti-union Right-to-Work gains nationally.
We have been without a direct local executive in the past. Most of the life of the Nevada Branch of the Screen Actors Guild we were administered out of Denver or Los Angeles. We grew and remained strong through strong leadership, active members and a real sense of unionism in the face of our right-to-work state bias and those who falsely claim that "there is no union in Nevada."
A new union for the 21st century "and beyond' (Buzz Light-year) is the goal, not the merger of two existing unions rooted in the technology of the early to middle 20th century.
Former SAG President Richard Masur drove it home with me...the choice is survival, and being able to remain a strong union. If we do not merge, new technologies, management driven powers and divisiveness between unions will weaken both unions and empower the qualified professional non-union market. We had to merge.
There will be change. There are no guarantees of local integrity, political voice or structure, although the focus is toward national representation from the local level up. Remember that there were major cultural and structural differences between the two unions, many of which are still being dealt with, to lay the foundation for the "new union."
I will continue to fight to keep Nevada well represented, staffed and our own local branch identity.
I have or will work five modified to ultra low and and student films over a four month period. How did I do it? I auditioned. Show up at non-union auditions and show them what professional union talent can do for them. Refer them to the union, and come informed so when they ask you if you can work non-union you can tell them how they can use you as a union artist.