My name is Bradey King. I am a father, a husband, and a lighting designer for live performance. Since 2018, I have served as one of your trustees to the Local Union Executive Board (LUEB).
It’s difficult for me to articulate the seismic shift that we’ve all been through over the past 18 months. Personally, I sought strength and hope through this Union, which went through a seismic shift of its own. For too long, our local has not been a welcoming community for too many of our members. The cancers of systemic racism, white supremacy, and institutional inertia prevent us from fulfilling our mission: protecting our members, advocating for their needs, building a community and working together for the benefit of laborers everywhere.
Those cancers remain deeply rooted, and they will not heal quickly. But the brightest spot I witnessed in the dark of the past eighteen months was the surge in our members’ engagement, demands for change, and commitment to service to make our Union a stronger, more equitable, more welcoming community. That is the work to which I remain resolutely committed: building a foundation for a true community of artists and workers. I cannot adequately describe the sea change I have witnessed with our new administration’s belief in this local, their ideas for change, and the real action that is taking place.
Here are a few of the accomplishments of which I’m most proud:
-Shepherding our Union through an existential crisis while doing everything within our power to protect the physical health and safety of our members. Our financial strength is a true testament to our leaders who came before us, leaving us with the tools to weather a catastrophe
-Providing dues relief and partnering with the Actor’s Fund to bring financial assistance to our members
-Co-authoring new, clear guidelines for how committees should function within our union, providing a pathway for members to engage and effect change within the union
-Amplifying calls for mandatory Anti-Racism training for our Board and Staff, and supporting our efforts to bring training to the entire membership
-Serving as chair of the new Admissions Committee, which will examine and reform how we recruit, examine, and orient new members
-Serving on the Off-Broadway negotiation committees, successfully expanding coverage to assistant designers and providing a member-candidate program that allows non-member assistants to join at a vastly reduced cost
-Passing a clear, transparent budget that serves as a moral document for the type of community we want to build, reflecting our values and our priorities
Yet we have extremely important work ahead of us:
-Mitigating the enormous financial, physical, and emotional cost the pandemic inflicted on us and our industry, amplified by racism and white supremacy, resulting in disproportionate harm to our members who identify as Black, Indigenous, and people of color
-Centering our BIPOC siblings’ calls for action in our Union to address and prevent harm
-Supporting the Accountability Task Force to create a code of conduct to promote accountability between members and repair harm when it occurs
-Supporting the work of our committees in their new governance structure, most especially our Diversity and Respectful Workplace Committees
-Prioritizing a living wage, paid family leave, and other forms of economic justice in contract negotiations
-Ensuring our singularly dedicated Business Agents and office staff have the tools, resources and support they need to serve the membership
-Making membership more affordable and the membership process more transparent
-Continuing to lead the industry in safety training, while expanding our definition of safety to include more than just protection from physical0 hazards
-Budgeting and spending our members’ time and money wisely, never taking either for granted
When I sat down to write this statement, I looked back at my old campaign platforms. I’m proud of the progress we've made on many of the goals I wanted to accomplish. At the same time, it’s sobering to realize how much work remains to be done on so many things, and also humbling to realize how many of my priorities have changed post-COVID. One thing that hasn't changed: I pledge to do all within my power to represent YOU, the membership, always to the best of my ability, and always with the goal of building a stronger, more equitable, more welcoming community for us all.