Phil Alden Robinson is on the WGAW Board Of Directors & co-founded Writers United.
I’d like to take a minute of your time to write about six excellent people I had the honor to serve with during the last four years.
Four years ago, we belonged to a 20th-century union trying to find its footing in a 21st-century industry. We were losing members, losing market share, losing jurisdiction, losing health care coverage, losing our fair share of the future.
So we tried something new. New ideas, new leadership.
It went by the name of Writers United, which was more than just a slogan. It was based on the idea that everything this Guild ever gained for us was gained through unity, forward thinking, member involvement, and intelligently-applied strength.
Writers United – led by Patric Verrone, Elias Davis, David Weiss, Tom Schulman, Howard Rodman, and Dan Wilcox – changed our course, stopped the downward trends of the ancien regime, and re-shaped this guild so that it is finally succeeding in this new era.Writers United gave us back our future.
And now we have another opportunity to choose between the future and the past. Because, like all elections, this is truly about the future.
A future in which the WGAW continues to grow stronger – as it unquestionably has in the last four years.
We need a future in which we continue to add coverage in new media, cable, and other media – as we have in the past four years – as opposed to the preceding era in which we steadily lost ground.
We need a future in which we continue to organize internally and externally – as we have in the past four years – as opposed to the old order’s “top-down” way of doing business.
We need leadership that continues to stand with our colleagues in the Writers Guild East, and not wage war against them – as the previous leadership did.
We need leadership that has proven in the past four years that they know how to re-build this Guild to be an effective, efficient, membership-driven, 21st century union.
We don’t need to turn back the clock. Indeed, we mustn’t.
The candidates on the other slate are good people – truth in advertising, some are good friends of mine, and I have respect and affection for them. I simply disagree with the approach they want to return us to. We have tried their way in the past – I, like many of you, even supported it. But we found it wanting. Sadly, it didn’t work.
We’re on the right road at last, and I am hugely grateful to Elias, Tom, David, Patric, Howard and Dan – and others – for their leadership, their wisdom, their practicality, and their tireless efforts on our behalf. We owe them more than I can describe, but at the very least, they more than deserve our continued support.