Equity National Member Meeting on Nov. 7 at the Sportsmans Lodge in Studio City

Enci Box

Editor in Chief, Administrator

Monday the 7th at 11am, at the Sportsmans Lodge in Studio City — a National Meeting.
We will vote on two new rules to reform Member input into Equity decisions.
If you’re thinking this is not an important meeting — THINK AGAIN!
For in-depth info, here’s Leo Marks’ letter about these two referendums, which he initiated:
You might remember that we recently had an Equity Special Membership Meeting scheduled, then suddenly cancelled. It’s now finally been rescheduled for Monday, November 7th.
Please don’t skip this one! This one is really important. 
If you’ve been frustrated by top-down, one-sided communication from Equity leadership, this meeting is your chance to finally do something about it.
RSVP here
Then show up at the Special Membership Meeting 
Monday, November 7th at 11am
Sportsmen’s Lodge
12825 Ventura Blvd. (at Coldwater Canyon)
Studio City
and vote to reform the rules of how our Union communicates.
It’s highly possible that in coming days, Equity will come after membership companies like Antaeus. When that happens, it will be vital that we have a voice in our Union to make our case. These reforms are designed to give us that voice.
The Short Version
Here’s what the meeting is about: I’ve written reforms to Equity’s rules that create more fairness and openness in communication, and make one-sided propaganda campaigns a lot harder. 
One reform requires our Union to acknowledge dissenting viewpoints. The other reform creates a way for members to communicate with each other directly. 
At this Special Membership Meeting, a 2/3 majority of those who show up can pass these reforms. If you’ve been saying you wish you could DO something about the way our Union communicates: YOU CAN. But only if you show up.
This will be close: your attendance really matters. We have one shot at changing the rules.
If you want more openness and less one-sidedness, then RSVP and show up onNovember 7th
We won’t get another shot at this.
The meeting will be held, simultaneously, in: 
New York 
2 p.m. EST
Actors’ Equity Association
14th Floor Council Rm.
165 West 46th St.
New York, NY 10036
1 p.m. CST
Actors’ Equity Association
3rd Floor Conference Rm.
557 West Randolph St.
Chicago, IL 60661
Los Angeles 
11 a.m. PST
Sportsmen’s Lodge
The Empire Ballroom
12825 Ventura Blvd.
Studio City, CA 91604
That’s the overview, and might be all you need to know.
Now, if you’re hungry for more detail, read on.
The Deep Version
These are 2 amendments to the By-Laws of the AEA Constitution. Stay awake! It gets interesting. The first amendment would update an existing By-Law that is pretty clearly outdated. “Article 7” says that when Equity communicates about a referendum, it has to include differing viewpoints (if any). That’s just good basic fairness–but as written, the language applies only to paper mailings, and not to other forms of communication, which in 2016 kind of undermines its own purpose. It’s an easy fix: to serve the article’s clear intent, we can simply expand it to include other media. So that’s what this amendment does.
It’s very hard to see any principled argument for opposing this amendment. It simply closes a giant loophole in an existing rule, to make it apply to the forms of communication we actually use today. Like the existing rule, it says that if enough members hold a dissenting view to a referendum, their voice should be heard.
The other amendment would allow members to communicate with each other directly. If you think about it, it’s strange that we don’t have any real way to reach each other. Facebook is one corrective to that, but Facebook groups reach only a small fraction of members, while AEA leadership can reach all 50,000 members at will. It can only strengthen us collectively to be able to share our concerns and ideas at times, through an email to fellow members.
Of course, it’s important to prevent abuse, so we’ve built in some very clear limits: 
·      You need 250 signatures to access this tool. 
·      For the sake of privacy, all emails would be sent by a third party service, so as a sender you don’t get access to anyone’s email address. 
·      The sender would pay for any associated costs. You can’t use it to promote your show or for political endorsements. 
·      And most importantly: any member can choose to opt out of receiving these emails at any time.
(Essentially, this is the same tool we currently offer to Council candidates who want to reach the membership, with a few extra safeguards built in).
You might hear people say “But I don’t want my inbox flooded.” Remember: anyone can opt out at any time. No one will be forced to receive unwanted emails, and no one’s private information will be shared. We simply need a way to communicate with each other—as opposed to passively receiving messages, which is the flawed current system.
These are straightforward, common-sense ways to make sure members’ concerns are heard, not ignored or denied. Though I think Pro99ers are natural supporters, because they’ve seen how easily the current system can be abused, these reforms are totally independent of any particular issue. They’re about basic fairness and openness. 
Support for these reforms comes from an extremely wide range of members, from a dozen cities in all three regions (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Seattle, Ashland, Houston, Washington, D.C., Portland, Oregon and Portland, Maine). 
If you’ve ever been bothered by the way our Union communicates: RSVP and come to the 11/7 meeting!
And please forward this to Equity members you know who care about basic fairness and open communication!!
ENCI is an actor and recently turned writer and director. She is an urban cyclist, passionate about living intentionally, about leaving less behind and about living healthy. Enci is a member of SAG and AFTRA and is on the board of the 501(c)4 Bikeside and is co-founder of the Bike Writers Collective. Enci teaches all over town about web etiquettes and social media and is involved with the East Hollywood Neighborhood Council where she serves on the Arts & Culture Committee. Enci is passionate about leaning new things and currently she is studying ASL. You can visit her at http://EnciPerforms.com or read about her adventures at http://illuminateLA.com