Following the November 20th close of nominations for Unit Councils and Local Executive Committee roles, two positions are contested and up for election by secret ballot.
Election #1: Local President
All members in good standing of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521, will receive an official Notice and Ballot by mail in order to vote in the presidential election.
Election #2: Representative Assembly Delegate 2 of the Freelance Unit
All members in good standing of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521, will receive an official Notice and Ballot by mail in order to vote in the election of their second delegate to the Local Representative Assembly.
VOTING PERIOD: The official voting period is November 30 through December 15, 2021. Ballots must be marked and mailed to the Local Election Committee so they will arrive at the Local 39521 Office at 433 Natoma Street, Suite 250, San Francisco, CA 94103, not later than 12:00 PM on Wednesday, December 15, 2021. The Local Elections Committee will certify the results following the count.
BALLOT INSTRUCTIONS: Mark your ballot clearly to indicate your preference. After marking your ballot, place it within the small envelope provided. Seal that envelope and place it within the larger post-paid return envelope. CLEARLY PRINT AND SIGN your name to the back of the larger envelope. Unsigned envelopes will be invalid. The postage-paid return envelopes are numbered for verification of eligibility only. This procedure protects the secrecy of your vote while allowing the Local Elections Committee to ensure only eligible members participate.
Place the signed envelope containing your vote in the mail. Postage will be provided.
Questions? Contact the Guild Office at (415) 421-6833 or email@example.com.
Each candidate prepared a statement for the Local Membership, below. Visit this page for election updates.
Local Election Committee
Rosi Romo, LEC Committee Chair, California Labor Federation Guild Member
Kristin Lam, Modesto Bee Guild Member
Margo Brenes, At Large Member
Election for Local President
Derek Moore, Candidate for Local President, Member of the Freelance Unit
I am running for another term as Local president on my record of working effectively and collaboratively on the myriad challenges confronting us.
Amid a pandemic, our Local is growing in strength and numbers, expanding outreach and organizing campaigns and welcoming a new class of young, diverse and committed union members and activists. The Local is on solid ground financially.
These successes reflect the dedicated work of so many, including our administrative staff, our Executive Committee and most of all, dues-paying members like you. Thank you!
I am humbled to be endorsed by every member of the Local’s Executive Committee, former Executive Officer Carl Hall and Administrative Officer Kat Anderson, as well as numerous unit officers.
In true union spirit, we will continue to rely on one another as we navigate the massive personal and societal changes wrought by the pandemic. Keeping our members safe and healthy should continue to be our highest priority.
In my campaign for this office in 2019, I promised to improve communication within our Local. I’m pleased to report this goal is being met, albeit in circumstances none of us could have predicted at the time.
Under the direction of Executive Officer Michael Applegate, our Local dramatically ramped up outreach to our units at the outset of the pandemic. Through bi-monthly virtual meetings with officers across our entire network in Northern California and Hawaii, we share information, brainstorm solutions and offer a forum for members to find connection and support.
At the same time, we bolstered efforts to organize new members. Our success is such that CWA recently presented our Local with a national organizing award, and the Local is hiring for a new position to assist in managing this explosive growth.
We welcomed workers from Daily Kos, the nation’s largest online progressive media and activism hub, and from The Appeal, which exposes how the U.S. criminal legal system fails to keep people safe and instead perpetuates harm. Developers at the San Francisco Chronicle won an election to join that unit, establishing an important precedent for tech workers who seek similar union protections.
As a delegate to the TNG Sector and CWA conventions, I and fellow Local delegates Michael Applegate and Michael Cabanatuan supported sweeping changes to the way we run elections by ensuring every member gets a chance to vote. We also supported resolutions requiring Local officers to undergo anti-harassment training and to form a Committee for Global Security to assist journalists worldwide who face harassment, prosecution and risk of injury or death.
Closer to home, this Local helped lead a collaborative statewide effort with labor unions and news organizations on passing legislation bolstering protections for California journalists when they cover protests, riots and other demonstrations. This effort culminated in Gov. Gavin Newsom signing SB 98 into law, an unprecedented achievement for this Local and all who support and defend journalist rights!
At the core of what a labor union is and stands for, my fight is your fight: for higher wages, better benefits and more humane working conditions. As a professional journalist going on 30 years, I know intimately the hardships you face in your work and home lives.
I have bargained Local contracts, crafted and argued grievances, testified in arbitration matters and conducted our meetings with openness and efficiency. Always, I place the interests of the union ahead of my own.
The same cannot be said of my opponent, who has a long and depressing history of divisive political grandstanding and undermining our Local in pursuit of his own self-interests.
The Executive Committee took the extraordinary step of censuring Steve Zeltzer in November 2017 for conduct unbecoming a union member. His lack of standing in this Local is such that he was forced to nominate himself for this election.
My record is one of positive and transparent leadership, and of always putting the interests of our members first. I respectfully ask for your vote.
Steve Zeltzer, Candidate for Local President, Member of the Freelance Unit
Prepare For Upcoming Struggles with Education, Democracy & Action
Dear Fellow Members,
I am running for president to strengthen our local for what’s ahead. I ask for your vote.
Management at many news outlets, including Hearst’s SF Chronicle, is moving to bust our union by retaliating against stewards, weakening our contracts, and attacking our members. Our freelance members are fighting for survival.
We face the issue of business unionism: members are not informed when management attacks our members and has no plan for a public political education campaign against union busting & unity with all workers.
The current union president and his supporters have not provided a fightback plan to defend journalists. For starters, we need to develop a multi‑media platform for our local, the NewsGuild and CWA.
Current leadership relies on lawyers who negotiate behind closed doors, a strategy that wins little for us and is painless for management. With deep pockets, management shows contempt for our legal strategy of offering one concession after another. Our current president has opposed taking on management even over the right of journalists to make contributions to candidates and parties that we choose. Our members and stewards have been targeted for discipline. The failure to take action against the chiseling away of our rights continues to weaken our membership in the midst, nationally, of the largest labor uprising since the 1970s. When SF Chronicle management prevents our members from attending a women’s march or even May Day supported by the San Francisco Labor Council, current leadership caves in, overlooking the First Amendment, and accepts management’s prohibitions without a whimper. I will fight for State legislation protecting the political and democratic rights of all journalists.
We also need to fight for our rights on and off the job.
As the former chair of our Human Rights Committee, I fought the draconian attack on democratic rights at the Chronicle. After the last election, the president dissolved the committee and now our local does not have a committee to fight discrimination on the job.
This is not just an issue in our local but in the NewsGuild nationally where a union president in Pittsburgh, PA. was revealed to have been a sexual predator for many years. National union leadership knew of it and he was finally removed only after Mike Elk of the PayDay Report wrote about it. The culture of fear and acceptance of sexual predation is a threat to our health and safety. If elected, I will work to end the culture where members fear retaliation for blowing the whistle on sexual assault.
Our members were also physically assaulted after the immediate past U.S. president called out journalists as “scum.” We face a growing fascist threat to our democracy with a plan to defend it.
Although our bylaws require our leaders to notify all of us when there is an election for delegates to the national convention, our local was not properly notified. That meant we had to have two separate elections. Everyone knew only about the second election.The absence of transparency in our local is not democratic trade unionism but top down corporate unionism where members are left out of the loop unless they are insiders.
After years of work, our local finally supported the freedom of journalist and publisher Julian Assange and sent the resolution to the NewsGuild and to the CWA convention. Instead of fighting for our local’s resolution, our president, along with other delegates, abandoned the resolution and allowed a substitute motion to be submitted that dropped any mention of Assange and cited instead the murder of Khashoggi.
Our local’s resolution was never put on our website for our members information. This lack of transparency is unacceptable.
With your support, I will re‑establish the Human Rights Committee and work to end discrimination against our members.
I will oppose the CWA national leadership and AFL‑CIO taking $75 million a year from NED for operations of the “Solidarity Center.” We have to open the books and see where this money has gone. I also support the struggle of Palestinian workers & journalists against the apartheid regime backed by billions from the US and the partnership by the AFL‑CIO with the Israeli Histadrut which discriminates against Palestinian workers.
Our union, locally and nationally, must oppose the war drive against China and the resulting xenophobic attacks on Asian Americans along with Blacks, Browns, immigrants and LBGTQ.
We in labor should publicly oppose the $750 billion going to the war machine while people are homeless and hungry in this country.
Threats of fascism will not be stopped by Democrats. We need to broaden the tent by uniting with all workers and unionists to fight for labor on and off the job with mobilization on the job & the streets
I support the formation of a democratic labor party that will make sure that all people have healthcare, housing and human rights on the job.
The billionaires control both parties and that is why even in the middle of a world pandemic we still have no national healthcare.
If elected, I will propose that all delegates to labor councils be elected and each delegate report back to the membership on what happens at regional and national union meetings.
We must open up NewsGuild conventions to all members. We pay for it and we should be able to attend electronically.
I produce and host the only labor radio show in the Bay Area on KPOO called “WorkWeek.” I am also an executive producer of Pacifica’s Covid, Race & Democracy.
For more information about my candidacy and program for our local reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (415) 867‑0628.
Election for Representative Assembly Delegate of the Freelance Unit
Per Local Bylaws and based membership numbers, the Guild Freelance Unit holds two voting positions on the Local Representative Assembly (RA). David Bacon was elected as chair of the unit on Saturday, November 20th. As Chair, David automatically fills the first of two Freelance positions on the RA. The second Freelance RA position is contested.
Steve Zeltzer, Candidate for Freelance RA Delegate
Member of the Freelance Unit.
Campaign statement posted above.
Bill Snyder, Candidate for Freelance RA Delegate, Member of the Freelance Unit.
Brothers and Sisters of Guild Freelancers,
I’ve been a reporter for much of my adult life, and like many of us, I’m not used to writing about myself, much less in a promotional way. But I’m running to be our unit’s representative to the local’s Representative Assembly, an office of real importance since it, along with the Executive Committee, makes important policy decisions for the local as a whole. And since the office is being contested, it’s important for me to let you know who I am and ask for your vote.
I was one of the first people to join what we used to call the Freelance Unit, now Guild Freelancers, and I’ve been active ever since. (I was a member of the local earlier when I worked at the Oakland Tribune.)
Some of the things I’ve accomplished and am proud of:
I led the local’s Bay News Rising internship program for young journalists for six years, and continue to serve as an editor and mentor to our students.
As a member of the unit, I researched health insurance options for our members. I negotiated a very favorable deal for vision and dental coverage with Dublin Insure and continue to manage that relationship.
As past unit chair, I organized (with plenty of help) several major training programs, including our Spring Training and Fall Tuneup events which attracted dozens of participants. I also organized a contest for freelance journalists that attracted entrants from around Northern California.
As an active member of our organizing committee, I helped organize recent events including two workshops for freelance photographers. I worked to develop model contracts for freelancers (they are posted on the website) and helped organize a workshop to educate our members on how to use them. I also helped the local formulate a position on AB5.
My record of building the unit and the local stand for themselves and I respectfully ask for your vote.
Active members of Guild Freelancers who have endorsed me, include: Rebecca Rosen Lum, past president of the local, and a co-founder of Guild Freelancers; David Bacon, current co-chair of Guild Freelancers; Richard Knee, California Vice President of the local; Mike Bradley, an active member of the organizing committee; and Brooke Anderson, the current co-chair of the unit who has led some of our most successful workshops.