LETTER FROM HARRIET KATZ

Local 47 Brothers and Sisters,

December 12th is quickly approaching, and time is getting short to get your
absentee ballot in! You still have time to vote by absentee ballot if you act
quickly Your completed ballot has to arrive no later than December 11th!

The future of our local as an agent for the ENTIRE membership desperately
needs your vote! Please get involved in our future and vote, December 12th!

We recently received this enlightening and impressive e-mail from Independent
Slate Candidate Harriet Katz and wanted to share this with you right away.
It contains what most of the incumbent mailings have lacked,.. specifics.
She has experienced working with this board first hand and has great
insight in the behind the scene’s actions at our Local.

Please share this with all your Local 47 colleagues, so they can vote from an
informed position.

The COMMITTEE fully endorses the Independent Slate.

Thank you for reading Harriet’s entire statement!

Until next time,

THE COMMITTEE FOR A MORE RESPONSIBLE LOCAL 47

———–

Dear fellow Local 47 members,

The current leadership of Local 47 is pathetically behind
the times and arrogantly out of touch with the rank
and file. This won’t change unless we change the
leadership, by voting for the Independent Candidates Slate:

President: David Schubach.
Vice-President: Pete Quesada.
Trustees and Delegates: Alan Vavrin, Lisa Haley.
Directors: Tom Griffin, Bobby Rodriguez, David Garfield, Harriet Katz (that’s me)

Behind-the-times examples:
1. Cumbersome voting
To vote in the Local 47 election, you have to vote
in person at the union December 12, or request an
absentee ballot by mailing or faxing an absentee ballot
request, receive the absentee ballot, mark it and mail
it back.

This might have worked well enough in the past when
many members lived relatively close to the union, but it’s
woefully behind the times now, when long distances and
the traffic hassle make it very impractical for most members
to drive to the polls. Ours is the only entertainment
union in town that does not simply mail election ballots
to its entire membership. And several other AFM
locals around the country use direct mail voting.
More than 350 Local 47 members signed a petition to
change to direct mail voting, but the current leadership
opposed and blocked the change.

So we’re still stuck with the 3-stage absentee
voting process. I urge you to download an absentee
ballot request right now and follow the instructions.
If it’s not attached to this e-mail, click on www.davidschubah.com .

2. Still no referral service website
The internet is a great boon to live performance musicians,
because potential employers can hear our music online.
In my music business, Ladies Choice String Quartet, most
inquiries these days come by e-mail rather than phone, from
people who’ve visited our website. I only get a couple of
calls a year now from the yellow pages, so I’m dropping
that expense. But phone book ads are still Local 47’s
major if not only way of promoting the referral service.
In July 2003 board member Mike Grego announced that
there would be a referral service website. Vince Trombetta
has stated that he knows little about computers, though
live performance currently falls under his jurisdiction as
vice-president. Mike and Vince are still there, but
where’s the website?

And who’s in charge of the referral service website
project now? Current president Hal Espinosa’s long-time
assistant and then “general manager’“ Doug Caine was
working on this, but he was fired because a rank-and-file
member presented the board with information they didn’t
want to hear: that Doug had a record of felony convictions,
making it a violation of federal law for a union to employ
him in any capacity. And now, half a year later, Hal and
Vince still haven’t gotten our referral service website
online, let alone with sponsored links.

3. No strategic planning
When I served on the board for two months in 2002, I learned
a great deal about how Local 47 is run: on an item-by-item,
virtually haphazard basis. There was no overview or
analysis of membership recruitment and retention, or how
that relates to member services, or long-term planning that
linked future projects with future revenue. And whenever I
asked why something was done the way it was, the unvarying
answer was, “That’s how we’ve always done it.” This is no
way to run a multimillion-dollar organization in the 21st
century. But most of the people I served with on the board
are still there.

Here’s the level of thought and analysis the board puts into
financial planning and policy decisions: earlier this year, the
accountant told the board that income was declining and
suggested raising the initiation dues for new member by $75,
so without further ado that’s what the board approved.
Fortunately, that dues hike went to the membership for
approval at a general meeting, and the members in attendance
rejected it. We cared more about attracting new members
than the board did.

Out-of-touch-with-us examples:
1. Made drastic staff cutbacks in membership services
The current leadership has abolished the Video 47 program.
For the recording studio, referral service, and CD sales/radio
airplay programs, staff has been clumped together, staff time
has been reduced, and many experienced staff members in
these areas have been let go or fired. Errol Henry, who had
done as much as possible without a website to promote the
referral service by proactive contact with chambers of commerce,
was fired. Demoralized, other staff members have quit. Newer
staff have no one to learn from.

And the work hours of business reps who review and process
live performance contracts have been slashed. If anything, the
board should be doing everything in its power to promote SELA
so that many, many more live performance contracts will be filed,
which in turn would need increased staff time.

Why weren’t those of us who use these services surveyed
first about the effect such cuts would have on our ability to find
work? Many of us who depend on live performance
income suspect a hidden agenda by the current leadership
to gut all these services that are so helpful us, and only keep
the electronic media and CBA staff at full capacity.

2. Raised quorum for general meetings to 100 and
resisted lowering it back to 50.
The board amended the by-laws to increase the quorum for a
general meeting from 50 members to 100. What was the purpose
of making it harder to have a general meeting? To limit input
from and action by the membership at large. The board’s
reason? “We know best.” But the membership knew better, and
at a general meeting more than 170 of us attended and returned
the quorum to 50.

3. Resistant to rank-and-file input and questions
Hal states at virtually every general meeting that he and the board
want our input and participation. But when there wasn’t a quorum
at the meeting this October, Hal resisted having an informal
discussion with the members who were present. And Vince immediately packed his briefcase and started to leave. To her
credit, Leslie Lashinsky broke rank with the rest of the
current leadership and successfully urged that a discussion take
place.

During that informal discussion, one member asked Vince Trombetta
if the rumor is true that he doesn’t come to the office on Wednesdays.
Instead of answering, Vince declared, “I don’t have to answer that question, this isn’t an official meeting!”” Those words, given instead
of an answer to the question, speak for themselves. And they
say volumes.

Some people in the current leadership are undoubtedly committed
to the needs of the membership. But the prevailing attitude conveyed by the current leadership is that Local 47 is
their private fiefdom, to be run however they please.

Thank you for your attention if you’ve read this far. And
please download the absentee ballot request if you
haven’t already from www.davidschubach.com . And when
you receive your absentee ballot, please vote for all of us on
the Independent Candidates Slate. It’s time to clean house!

In solidarity,
Harriet Katz
310-391-3762

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