A message from our President:

What an unbelievable gig! 

There are so many people to thank for this. I’ll start first and foremost with our local’s officers and members, as well as anyone who has ever been represented by IATSE Local 23. We lit the fire and others came. We showed up proud and strong!

Thank you to our friends from the other IATSE Locals. You all know who you are, we know who you are, and from what we saw last night, we all know how great we can make IATSE District 3 if we stick tight together.

Thank you Colleen Glynn for your advice coming from both an IATSE Local 11 perspective as well as at the International level. There’s no way I would’ve been able to pull off a long speech and include most of the IATSE’s legislative agenda without her shouting at me the night before that I could do it. 

Thank you George Nee and Pat Conley of the RI AFL-CIO and thank you to all of the other RI unions who showed up to march or help us. Local 23 might have lit the fire, but these folks poured on the gasoline! George always knows the right move, and Pat was electrifying in front of our crowd. After Pat’s speech, I’m positive more of our people will want to get more involved in advocating for labor.

I apologize for being so long winded, but I can’t stop thanking people there. We’re only at intermission. It took so many people to pull this off.

Thank you Senator Jack Reed, Congressman David Cicilline, and General Treasurer Seth Magaziner for speaking at our event. Just by showing up, they already helped lift us up by bringing us recognition. I’m confident they will all continue to fight the good fight for our people and our Industry, and we’ll do our best to support you too.

Thank you to Lizzie H. Araujo  from the City of Providence. Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with Lizzie, and it seems everyone has, knows how kind and helpful she is. If City Hall was backstage, Lizzie would be a Broadway stage manager for sure. Thank you to Chief Hugh Clements and the Providence Police Department for paving the route of our rally.

Thank you to our largest Employers for playing such a huge part in the success of our movement. Lynn Singleton, Alan Chille, and P.J. Prokop from PPAC as well as Dan Schwartz at the VETS got behind us in more ways than I can list. Larry Lepore helped us immensely by giving us the full run of the Dunk.

Thank you to WeMakeEvents for organizing such a successful National campaign. It was very short notice but it still got done.  Todd Gerrish from Port did a great job quarterbacking for New England and Bill Murray from ATR pulled a ton of deals together around the State to help light it up. Pat Adam from HO was there for us as always to add some real punch to the light show.

Thank you to all the other Vendors in Rhode Island. They donated their time, their expertise, their gear, and their manpower. The lighting, sound, and video sent our message across the nation. It was awesome to see all the people in our industry working together for a common cause. There was definitely a feeling of comradery in the air, and there was mutual respect among stagehands from all different companies. Everyone helping production behaved in a professional manner and represented our craft extremely well.

I’m hopeful we can all build on this experience. I didn’t think so before, but I do now; I think there is a real possibility that someday all the boots on the ground in Rhode Island might join forces. The stagehands, the AV techs, the riggers, the corporate types, the rock and rollers and all the other groups working in our industry who haven’t yet been represented by the IATSE are all one step closer to understanding that if they can show up and work together like we did on September 1st, then we can all earn better wages, better benefits, and even more respect for our craft.

In solidarity,

Billy Brackett

President, IATSE Local 23

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