Thursday, August 4, 2011

Holter Graham Endorses ONE. STRONG. UNION.

I write you as a private citizen and working performer. My AFTRA leadership means too much to me to risk seeming to disrespect or appropriate it. So--while I completely support Sam Robards and the One. Strong. Union. candidates--it wouldn't be proper to use my official position to advance an unofficial agenda. This is from me, and not the union for which I toil. Which is why I just bugged you with this disclaimer.

We are creating a New Union. Finally. We are shaping the next generations of what we do, and how we are treated and paid for doing it. This is the most important undertaking of my time in union service, hands down. So I want to get it right.

From films with the largest studios to tiny voice-overs for non-profit Youth Athletics websites, I do this work--and this work alone--to feed my family and forge my tomorrow; all of it valuable to me, and to our industry. This is my job. This is my life.

The best way to win the future is to have diverse voices, fresh eyes, intelligent discourse, and experienced opinions in every facet of the evolution of our unions. If we hear from all sides, open ourselves to new thinking, and take in thoughtful, independent angles on ways of doing things, we will create the best, strongest New Union possible. If we don't, we're screwed: we're dial telephones, AstroTurf, and Movies of the Week.

This isn't about personalities or the status quo; it is about looking long and hard at how best to use every tool possible to make a New Union that will last and thrive; it is about never turning aside from any possibility until we've looked it over, kicked the tires, and decided what to do with it. We need leadership whose sole purpose is to investigate every, every option that can make us stronger.

I've known Sam for years now. I've worked with him on negotiating committees and been involved in the work he and his wife do in NY City Schools. He is a guy who is ALWAYS looking for solutions. Period. And he has oddly cute ears. Seriously.

We all want a strong new union: That's a given. It's not about that. It is about shrugging off complacency and having the courage to open yourself to any and every way we might achieve it. Fearless. Tireless. Invested.

I value nothing more than diversity of opinion, civil and inclusive discourse, a vicious work ethic, and cooperative effort towards a common goal. I think the One.Strong.Union candidates represent our best chance to have that.

Don't take my word for it. Check them out.

I think they kick ass on their own. Which is why I am supporting their candidacies. I know and respect them all, and cannot wait to get to work with them, to build our future.

Thank you for your time. I hope this finds you well. And feel free to pass this on if you wish. Take care,

Holter Graham