California Dreamin: SB 98 and Freelancer Protections

California Senate Bill 98 heated up as we entered the summer months. The author of the legislation, state Senator Mike McGuire, intended to grant access to the media to protests and other such actions despite pushback from law enforcement. The bill is meant to provide unfettered access without police authorization because many times it is […]

Picketing Against Proposed School on Questionable Land

In the city of Cudahy, California—in southeast L.A. County—members of the SoCal Chapter of the National Writers Union joined picketing parents, students, residents, teachers, union leaders and activists. The group stood on a public sidewalk near a large empty lot that is said to be contaminated land. The protestors are concerned that the site will […]

A Year of Living Dangerously

In many ways, the past year has been a test for all of us and for our union. May 25 marked the one-year anniversary of the police killing of George Floyd and the anti-racist uprising that followed. The past year also featured the US Presidential election and the fascist storming of the US Capitol. It […]

Poison Pill Threatens Good Legislation

At least 322 journalists have been assaulted, 122 have been arrested or detained and more than 980 have reported press freedoms violations since the beginning of the year, according to the US Press Freedom Tracker. First Amendment Groups and Journalists in California were encouraged when state Senator Mike McGuire reintroduced SB 98 last year following […]

Journalists Say No to SB 98 Amendment Requiring Police Permission to Cover Protests

We, the undersigned organizations, which collectively represent thousands of California journalists, strongly oppose a recent amendment made to SB 98, a bill originally intended to protect journalists covering protests, demonstrations and civil unrest. This amendment may actually restrict existing press freedoms rather than expand them, turning this bill on its head and into something that […]

Prop 22: Contractor or Employee?

Defining who is an employee and who is an independent contractor is a critical labor topic being addressed by Congress, the Trump administration, the courts, and state legislatures. It has particular relevance for writers of all types.  In California, the National Writers Union has supported AB 5 and AB 2257 and now opposes Proposition 22 […]

Erased

Every day, I get glimpses of the erasure of Americans of color. My May 8 New York Times arts section (“For a Great Escape, Try a 1940s Musical”) describes the era when white movie stars like Fred Astaire and Shirley Temple danced in blackface to tap and jazz, trained by African American dancers, allowed to appear in […]

Celebrating Frederick Douglass Day

This year on Friday July 3, 2020 we presented Frederick Douglass Day — An Alternative Fourth of July Celebration via Zoom, gathering Frederick Douglass speech readers, Lissa Tyler Renaud, Kim McMillon, and Robert Cuffy— from NYC to Oakland. We also featured “live” music over Zoom from saxophonist Richard Howell in the SF Bay Area, and bassist Hilliard Greene in NYC.  We first presented our […]

Erased

Every day, I get glimpses of the erasure of Americans of color. My May 8 New York Times arts section (“For a Great Escape, Try a 1940s Musical”) describes the era when White movie stars like Fred Astaire and Shirley Temple danced in blackface to tap and jazz, trained by African-American dancers, who were allowed to appear […]

SoCal Chapter Chair Plays Benefit Concert

Writer, musician, activist and NWU chapter head, Ismael Parra held a concert fundraiser with the theme “The Struggle for Peace and Planet” on November 23 at an art studio in Los Angeles The concert was a fundraiser for the play Many May Not Return written by NWU member David Trujillo. The play will run January […]