The following was sent to the membership via the announce mechanism on Mar. 23rd 2020 via the office of the president:
Brothers and Sisters,
Sharing our story can help us leverage support and resources during these trying times.
The collective effort to get Congress to recognize our plight is showing signs of success. So far, IATSE members and supporters have sent over 105,000 letters demanding that entertainment workers be included in government relief efforts <https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-congress-to-include-displaced-workers-in-relief-package>. This surpassed the original goal, which has since been increased. Please continue to encourage your friends, coworkers, neighbors, and family members to email a letter.
The campaign has caught the attention not only of Congress <http://www.playbill.com/article/representative-adam-schiff-and-more-members-of-congress-sign-letter-in-support-of-entertainment-workers>, but also the press <https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/mar/20/adam-schiff-calls-for-congress-to-expand-coronavir/>. In response, charities <https://actorsfund.org/am-i-eligible-help> are rallying resources, some of the industry’s employers <https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Netflix-Pledges-100-Million-to-Aid-Entertainment-Workers-Impacted-by-Covid-19-20200320> are stepping up, and coalitions <https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Netflix-Pledges-100-Million-to-Aid-Entertainment-Workers-Impacted-by-Covid-19-20200320> are being formed to help push the agenda further.
Prior to launching this campaign, International President Loeb called on members to lobby local, state, and federal governments for policies to provide relief for our workforce. Last week, Local 205 and Unite Here <https://www.dropbox.com/s/b0wup37c02fkarw/Joint%20UHIATSE%20Letter%20Signed.pdf?dl=0> sent a joint letter to the City of Austin. On Thursday, I spoke with Congressman Lloyd Doggett’s office about our situation. In the coming weeks, I plan to contact state legislators, and to follow up with our local employers, to whom I sent a memo last week <https://www.dropbox.com/s/igup39krl4dtw3l/COVID-19%20MEMO%202020-3-16%20copy.pdf?dl=0>.
Press coverage amplifies public issues. On March 10, I participated in a press conference hosted by Texas AFL-CIO <https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=493089578036154&id=122300848805&_rdr> highlighting concerns working people have about COVID-19, including the financial impact on our community <https://www.kxan.com/news/sxsw/austin-bracing-for-ripple-effect-in-local-job-market-after-sxsw-canceled/>. Tomorrow, I will be responding to a request from the Austin Chronicle to comment on unemployment related to COVID-19.
To be an effective advocate for our local, it is important that I understand the impact COVID-19 is having on each and every one of you. In the absence of being able to meet as a group, please use this form to share your story <https://docs.google.com/forms/d/10m2DpO6Ta0yaoq0G9S0mbZbgu19pb0xi9lzoK9sgsDg/edit> with me. Also, to help me analyze the impact to our membership as a whole, please take a couple of minutes to answer these questions <https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TSXLDFP>.