Since 2008 when I became Guild President, I have endeavored to build the Guild up, transform its culture permanently into an organizing culture and we have done that together. This NewsGuild which represents workers of all stripes but primarily journalists, is vital. Not only can it save our jobs and our work lives, I believe it can play a defining role in the future of journalism in North America.
That means we must agitate not only in our work places, but in our industries, in our communities and in our cultures. We must save local news but to do so we must save the very premise of journalism, the belief that truth matters and that delivering that truth changes everything.
I commit to organizing another 4,000 new members in the next four years, to continue hardening our contracts and gaining raises, and to preserving the Guild within CWA. Because it is not the Guild that needs to be reformed, but CWA itself. That process must be member driven. CWA is no longer primarily a telecom union. It is though the most democratic and strong union in North America.
Even now its members are in the beginning of making the union more efficient as we take on new battles. We can’t have a union based solely on geographic districts. We must retain worker identity in sectors that work with districts to improve members’ lives. And that means protecting the 40 percent of our members who are not journalists too.
We must start that process. There has already been a battle to eliminate sectors at the CWA Convention this year, that failed. (One sector agreed to close down.) We’ll spend more time fighting each other than the real powers fighting against us. We must keep our media sector and reinvigorate CWA.
I have the skills and knowledge to continue to lead that fight for the NewsGuild and I have the respect of CWA, endorsed by all but one of the 18 VP’s (who cannot endorse by policy). I am not irreplaceable, and I hope to strengthen the path to a successor in this next term. But right now I am critical to the Guild’s continued existence. My opponent in this race can be a major part of strengthening and building the Guild in some other capacity suited to his knowledge and skills.
We must all come to an agreement that this Guild is worth preserving and expanding. I was entrusted to be the lead steward of this international union as President in 2008 and my work is not done. I cannot do it alone, but will use my knowledge to push it forward.
The passion I have had for the union in my 40 years of membership at age 61 is now shared by a majority of members, new and existing, who want this fight.
Our moment has come – it is here. Let’s go forward together building the Guild. I ask for your continued support and vote. In Solidarity.