Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Morning After

Well, it worked. Along with incumbent Aaron Mendelsohn, I’ve been elected to the WGAw Board as one of the first two candidates to run successfully without Patric Verrone’s endorsement since 2004.

A closer look at the election results reveals some other positives:

- Along with Katherine Fugate and John Bowman, I was one of only three candidates to be listed on over half the returned ballots. (No other candidate was listed on as many as 45%.)

- While all five incumbents were re-elected, non-incumbents finished 1st, 3rd and 5th, a sign that the call for new voices was heard. Katherine Fugate and Karen Harris (who was 5th), while supported by Writers United, are both independent thinkers whom I expect will be strong Board members.

- Kat Smith, another excellent, fully independent candidate whom I got to know better during the campaign, finished an excruciatingly close 9th, just five votes behind Kathy Kiernan. This makes Kat next in line to take a Board seat in case a vacancy arises, as does happen.

I would have loved to see Kat make it into the top eight, but otherwise, from my point of view, this election couldn’t have gone much better. I look forward to a reunion of sorts with Bowman, Mendelsohn, Mark Gunn, and David Goodman, with whom I worked on the Negotiating Committee, and all of whom have served the membership tremendously well both there and on the Board. Karen Harris’s election puts a daytime writer on the Board, a very positive development.

Above all, given this year’s list of candidates, I can’t imagine a set of results which would have given a stronger endorsement to the notions of greater independent thought and of moving beyond single-party Guild politics.

Now on to the thank you’s.

First off, I want to thank all of you who’ve been reading this blog for your support, and for your e-mails, and for sharpening my own thinking with your comments these last couple of months.

I want to thank everyone who voted for me, everyone who asked other people to vote for me, and especially the couple dozen people who supported me most actively and tangibly. It was shocking and humbling to see writers throw themselves behind a sole independent candidate, and I can barely express my gratitude. Special mention here goes to the remarkable Cheryl Heuton, who figured out how to pull it all together, inspiring a much more active campaign than I’d ever anticipated running.

My final and most emotional thank you goes to my extraordinary brothers and sisters in arms from the 2007-08 Negotiating Committee who endorsed me and supported me in all sorts of ways. Not only couldn’t I have done this without them, but I simply wouldn’t have. They inspired me then and still do, and here’s hoping a few more of them run for the Board themselves next year.

I’m going to end this post with a question for anyone who may still be reading:

Would you like me to continue this blog? Should I post once or twice a month on what’s going on, with my new view from the inside (which would be somewhat fettered, of course, by obligations of confidentiality)?

Blogspot doesn’t let me know how many people are visiting to check out my rambles -- the only feedback has been your stream of e-mails or the random approaches at a Guild event or a coffee shop. So if you think there’s a value to my keeping this up, please drop me a line to let me know you’re reading:

If you’re still out there, I’ll still be here.