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James Bednark

Sep 08, 2020 05:45

James Bednark for President of Local USA 829

New York City Intro

Intro Details

Hello Local USA 829 Family members,

My name is James Bednark, my name maybe familiar to some and completely unknown to others. I have been a consistent face at the Easter Region General Membership Meetings since I joined Local USA829. I have appreciated the workings of the local and wanted to be involved as I gained more experience working in the union world. As a new member I attended the Local Union orientation meeting and started my path with the Local Union.

I attended my category meetings and recognized a need for better communication so in 2009 I started a google group for the Art Department Coordinators with the intent of increasing communication across the category and fostering a spirit of community. I knew that the more we talked and got to know each other the better we could collectively work for better working conditions. Over the last 11 years we have been able to raise the average negotiated rate by over 40%. This increase in pay to our members out paced the cost of living by nearly 20%. By working together we were able to improve the pay of our union family members working in a CBA that had no established rate. We were able to improve the working conditions of our category by working together.

2020 has been a year of changes for all of us. No one could have predicted that the world where we all work and live would all but come to a complete stop over the course of about 1 week in March. Nor could we have expected 8 minutes and 46 seconds in Minneapolis would amplify the voices that had been hushed for so long. We have been called to address the many challenges old and new and we can not do it alone. We must come together as ONE, at this inflection point and others.

I am writing to you today to announce my candidacy for PRESIDENT of LOCAL USA829. I am running for an individual position, but I realize that the power of the collective is greater than that of an individual’s, and that is why I am not running alone. Instead over the last few months I have joined with a diverse group of members and we together are running to make a difference.

I ask for your vote for president as well as votes for the following candidates.

Deirdra Govan – Vice President

Hope Ardizzione – Corresponding Secretary

Courtlan Green – LUEB Trustee Living outside New York

Cathy Nasch – Eastern Region Board Chair

Patrice Davidson – Eastern Region Board Vice Chair*

Alyssa Bracken and Maggie Ruder – Member Reps to the Eastern Region Board

Brittany Griffin – Alternate Delegate

Jordan Jacobs – Alternate Delegate

Dara Whishingrad – Alternate Delegate

You can learn more about us at defines a labor union as; “an organization of workers formed for the purpose of advancing its members’ interests in respect to wages, benefits, and working conditions”. I want to expand this definition and as the next President of Local USA829, I will work to add: Equity in Representation and Membership; Continuing Education of members; Expanded Opportunity for all members.

As your president I will look to you, and the membership as a whole, to guide and implement these goals.

Since joining Local USA829 in 2009, I have been an active and dedicated member. I have served TWO TERMS as the Eastern Region Secretary Treasurer; Chairperson of the Art Department Coordinator Exam Committee; A MEMBER OF the AICP Negotiation Committee in 2009; AND A MEMBER OF the 2009 and 2012 MOPIC Negotiation Committees in Los Angeles.

As your President I will:

  • Expand BIPOC membership and participation in elected offices and committees.
  • Continue engaging with the voices of our LGBTQIA+ members
  • Improve transparency of board actions
  • Refine and streamline communication from the executive offices
  • Embrace and expand the training opportunities for all members
  • Empower committees to expand outreach to the communities where we live and work; Develop sustainable practices for our membership to employ on their projects

As Local USA829 celebrates its 125th anniversary, I am here to engage the membership and together we will rise to meet the challenges that 2020 has brought to the forefront.

Our goal will be to make Local USA829 the example other unions use to improve the representation of their members.

James Bednark SD, ADC

Candidate for President of Local USA 829

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