Monday, June 22, 2009

Who Are We? --- Let's Introduce Each Other

This is an exciting time to be a member of the National Writers Union. Yes, the economy is bleak, the journalism industry is on CPR, and unions have been getting weaker and weaker for decades.

But, this is Chicago and the city's residents are provincial. Chicago isn't called "The Second City" for nothing.

On June 23, two of our very own will become president and vice president respectively of the National Writers Union. They were elected on a very exciting campaign platform that promises to rejuvenate the union. President Larry Goldbetter will be moving soon to New York City to implement his platform while Vice President Karen Ford, one of three new VPs, will be working with local chapters from around the USA to rejuvenate the union at its grass roots.

And we here in the Chicago branch of the NWU will hold their feet to the fire, pressuring them to implement what they promised. I can send anyone, member or prospective member, a copy of their platform.

In Chicago, we need to introduce ourselves to each other so I am posting this blog or blogging this post in hopes everyone interested in the NWU can share their accomplishments, convey what they want from the union, and improve their chances of succeeding as writers by meeting more people.

I will go first because, well I started this blog and I've been told that I'm the chairperson-elect of the Chicago branch of the NWU.

Martin Zabell

Schedule for 2009 NWU Assembly (IT'S IN CHICAGO)

University Center, 525 South State Street, Chicago
(this is downtown, a few blocks from the major train stations; at corner of State and Congress)

NOTE: I don't know why spaces don't work with this chart, but they don't so I'm using ----- in place of spaces

Wednesday, August 5
Time---------------- Event----------------------Location
11:30am-1 pm -------Lunch--------------------Dining Hall
2–6pm -----------GCD GO-CA Confab-------Emerson Room
6-7:30pm ------------Dinner------------------Dining Hall
7:45-9pm ---------NEC Meeting --------- Emerson Room

Thursday, August 6
Time ------------------------Event ---------------------Location
6:30-8:30am------------- Breakfast-------------------Dining Hall
8:30am–12pm----------- NEC Meeting---------------Emerson Room
noon–1:00pm---------------Lunch--------------------Dining Hall
1:30-3:45pm------------- NEB Meeting --------------Emerson Room
3–6 pm ------Delegates and Guests Registration -----Office, Rm. 1001
4–6 pm -------------Resolutions Committee ---------None listed
4:30–5:30pm-------- New Delegate Orientation -----Emerson Room
5–7:30pm------------------Dinner-------------------Dining Hall
7:1 5pm – ? ----------Resolutions Committee --------Quad, Rm. 1026

Friday, August 7
Time ---------------------------Event ------------Location
6:30-8:30am -----------------Breakfast ----------Dining1
8–9 am ----Delegates and Guests Registration ----Office, Rm. 1001

9–11:45am ---------------Morning Plenary: ------Dining1
------1. Larry Goldbetter, President, opening remarks;
------2. E. Jeanne Harnois, Treasurer’s report;
------3. Scott Sommer, Deputy Admin. (audit report)
------4. Google Settlement

12–1 pm -------------Lunch ---------------------Dining Hall
12–1 pm --------Women’s Committee ------------Dining Hall

1:15–4 pm-------Afternoon Plenary --------------Dining1
------1. Changing news industry
------2. Legislative agenda
------3. Tasini settlement
------4. Organizing discussion

4:15-6:15pm -----Meetings of the Divisions Listed below
--------------------1. Biz-Tech -------------------Dining1
--------------------2. Book Division----------------West1
----------------- 3. Journalism Division ---------West2

6:15–7:30pm ------Dinner -----------------------Dining Hall

6:15-7:15pm --Meetings of Standing Committees (over dinner)
-----------1. Civil Rights Committee ---------------Dining1
-----------2. CAP/Political Action Committee -------Dining1

7:15pm – ? -------Resolutions Committee ---------Quad, Rm. 1026
8:00pm – ? FREE EVENING

Saturday, August 8
Time --------------Event --------------------------Location
8:30am–12----Morning Plenary
--------1. Continental breakfast during meeting ----Dining1
--------2. Bob Madore, Region 9A Director
--------3. Dennis Williams, Region 4 Director and others?
--------4. Grievance Contract Division presentation

12–1pm--------Lunch ----------------------------Dining1

1:15–5:30pm --Afternoon Plenary ---------------Dining1
-------1. Brief Report-backs on Divisional Meetings
-------2. Organizing framework
-------3. Election of Chairs of Divisions
-------4. Election of Chairs of Standing Committees
-------5. Resolutions Part 1

5:30– 7 pm -----------------------------Dinner -------------------Dining Hall
7:30– 1 pm ------------------------Chicago Chapter Reception: -----Dining1
Cultural Entertainment No specific site listed

Sunday, August 9
9:00am–12----------Closing Plenary -------------Dining1
------1. Continental breakfast provided during meeting
------2. Election of National Elections Committee
------3. Resolutions Part 2

12–1 pm ------------------------------Lunch

** Staff Office is located in Room 1001

Chicago wins battle for NWU convention

Chicago is the site of the 2009 National Writers Union convention. It will be held from Aug. 5 through Aug. 9. Credit goes to Karen Ford, the new vice president of the NWU and the outgoing co-chairperson of the Chicago branch of the NWU.

Karen worked long and hard to make sure Chicago beat out Rio De Janeiro, Madrid, and Tokyo to win the bid -- which will not cost the taxpayers of Chicago any money. Oh, wait a minute. Those are the cities Chicago is competing with to be the site of the 2016 Olympics.

The battle for the NWU convention, which is officially called a Delegates Assembly, was equally compelling. We beat out Valley Stream, N.Y., my hometown and the site of the Wal-Mart Thanksgiving 2008 trampling, and, well, I don't really know.

The Delegates Assembly will feature a speech by Larry Goldbetter, the longtime co-chair of the Chicago branch of the NWU, and the incoming president of the union. Larry will be moving to New York City soon so I will keep you posted about any celebrations of his departure.

Martin Zabell
Incoming chairperson of Chicago branch of NWU

PS -- I know that union people are supposed to use the greeting "In Solidarity," but I am genetically incapable of doing whatever anyone does. I don't sing in public either. It doesn't mean I'm anti-American if I don't sing the "Star Spangled Banner." I just don't sing. Case closed.