Two Portland area Screen Actors Guild and American Federation for Television and Radio Artists union members are on the national board. Mary McDonald-Lewis and Chrisse Roccaro have combined with Occupy Portland to save the local office.
McDonald-Lewis said that losing the office would result in loss of political clout for the local. Without events and the “galvanizing force” of an office, she said members will disperse and be less supportive of the union.
“Without an office, there’s no there there,” she said. “There’s no unity.” She called having an office an essential part of maintaining unity during strikes, and added that losing the Local’s staff, including the executive director, political veteran Nathaniel Applefield, would reduce the union’s clout with state government — an especially touchy matter since a bill is currently pending in the state legislature to increase Oregon’s tax incentives.
And who better to know about than than Occupy Portland which, since it was ousted from the downtown Portland parks in November of 2012 have struggled to keep their identity beyond rabble rousers and who were recently trying to raise money to keep an office open.