Notes from November 12, 2023 General Membership Meeting

President Marty Hart-Landsberg opened the meeting at 4:03 PM. Those present did introductions.

Meeting minutes: approved.

Treasurer’s report: Treasurer and Webmaster Lura Frazey reported that we have $7266.54. A dues rebate arrived on September 20, 2023.

Marty gave an update on NWU growth, challenges and needs, and announced that our union’s Delegate Assembly will be held in New York in June. Marty is participating in national meetings of chapter presidents, and he and Chapter Secretary Bob Rossi recently participated in an NWU listening committee that asked us questions and provided us with updates on the growth the union is experiencing, the challenges this presents us with, the possibility of restructuring, and the Delegate Assembly. Our focus of growth is among freelancers. NWU has hired a consultant who is working on our logo and website and a part-time communications person. The desire is for more horizontal communication within NWU and the ability to fully integrate people into NWU when they join. Solidarity with other unions is increasing. NWU has taken the lead in the labor movement in demanding a ceasefire in Israel/Palestine and this has brought focus to how decision-making is done within our NWU. Our union has been drifting but there is lots of new energy, many new young members, and a new openness. We will need to elect a Delegate Assembly representative. A notice will be issued by our national office about eight weeks before the Assembly.

A discussion followed this report that raised questions about the occupational structures (divisions) within NWU, union bylaws, the Delegate Assembly, and upcoming meetings. Marty will continue to report.

Oregon NWU Chapter Elections: Stefan Ostrach will draft and have sent out a notification that nominations are opening for Chapter officers who will serve from January, 2024, until the spring of 2025. We will be electing the following:

Steering Committee Members (up to 5 positions)

To be eligible for nomination and to vote, you must be a member in good standing of the National Writers Union residing in Oregon. Eligible members will receive this notice. Members may nominate themselves or nominate another member. Nominations will close on December 1,2023, at 5:00 pm. Stefan will contact all nominees. Voting will be via email. Stefan, who will not be a candidate for any office, will serve as Election Supervisor. Pat Riggs-Henson will call through our member list. Lura will create the necessary email accounts. Questions can be directed to Stefan at 541-912-7187. If he doesn’t answer, please be sure to leave a voice mail message, and he will return your call.

Pat raised a question about what our NWU national officers do for us. Marty responded by further reporting on NWU growth and the problems the union is having functioning.

Program Committee: Kacey Carpenter, Marty, and other interested members will meet to form a Program Committee to invite authors to present their work to our meetings. Kacey offered to present on his work at an upcoming meeting.

AFL-CIO and our Oregon NWU Chapter: We discussed our relations with the Oregon AFL-CIO and the AFL-CIO’s Labor Chapters and Councils after hearing a report from Pat. Bob Rossi asked for more direction and unity in our work in these areas. Bob will convene a meeting with those interested.

Next Meeting: Our next meeting will be held on Sunday, January 14 at 4:00 PM.

The meeting ended at 5:10 PM.

Notes from June 4, 2023 General Membership Meeting

Oregon Chapter of the National Writers Union (NWU)

The meeting opened at 4:04 PM.

Minutes from the previous March meeting were approved.

Chapter President Marty Hart-Landsberg provided the following updates:

  1. We are affiliated with the Oregon AFL-CIO and our dues are paid up to January of 2024
  2. We have NWU signs and buttons available. Please contact Marty if you can use these. We will need some for the coming Oregon AFL-CIO convention
  3. We should promote our Oregon Labor Media and Resources page and keep it updated

It was also suggested that we provide a link to our page to the Oregon AFL-CIO website.

Bob Rossi reported on the recent Oregon AFL-CIO organizing conference. There was not much there for freelancers and writers, but a four-page handout from one of the workshops did highlight the steps taken in the successful union campaign run by the NewsGuild at the L.A. Times. There were interesting discussions. Liz Shuler, President of the AFL-CIO, addressed the body. The Writers Guild strike was mentioned many times.

Pat Riggs-Henson reported on the Lane County Labor Council, the restructuring taking place in the Council, the campaign being run by the UFCW against Representative Paul Holvey, and the coming Labor Day picnic. We discussed the viability of Central Labor Councils and Chapters and how these might meet the challenges of the 2024 elections.

Elissa Edge reported on the Marion-Polk-Yamhill Central Labor Chapter (MPYCLC). Officers are needed. Virtual meetings worked better than the MPYCLC’s face-to-face meetings do. Bob Rossi supported the report and talked about the recent Salem-Keizer School Board elections. Pat Riggs-Henson suggested that a plan for the MPYCLC could include quarterly face-to-face meetings.

Michael Funke reported on labor activism in central Oregon. Labor has had some political victories there. The St. Charles Medical Center nurses may strike. The Oregon Nurses Association is running workplace and community campaigns there. Michael has a blog and podcast that the Chapter lists on our website.

Lura Frazey gave the treasurer’s report. We have not received a financial report from the national union office. Our Oregon AFL-CIO dues are paid. We do not have confirmation that our donation to the Portland tenants rights effort has been processed.

Marty Hart-Landsberg reported that the Oregon AFL-CIO convention will be held in Bend on September 21-23. We need to find out how many delegates we are entitled to and get this information out to our members quickly. Pat Riggs-Henson and Jay Wells expressed interest in attending the convention as delegates. We need literature for our table. Pat and Marty will work on developing literature. We need to know what our convention expenses will be.

Notes from March 12, 2023 General Membership Meeting

Oregon Chapter of the National Writers Union (NWU)

Three people attended the meeting. Two officers sent word that they could not attend. The meeting opened at 4:00 PM.

  1. Introductions were done.
  2. It was moved, seconded and carried that the minutes from our previous meeting be approved.
  3. Oregon AFL-CIO affiliation: It was reported that out affiliation is still in motion. Michael Funke was appointed to represent our Chapter on the Central Oregon Labor Chapter (COLC). Michael discussed the COLC presence in central Oregon. Michael does a podcast. Elissa Edge reported on the work of the Marion-Polk-Yamhill Central Labor Chapter (MPYCLC). Elissa Edge was appointed to represent our Chapter on the MPYCLC. Marty Hart-Landsberg will send a letter certifying Michael Funke as our representative to the COLC.
  4. Eviction Representation for All: It was moved, seconded and carried that we donate $50.00 towards the purchase of a statement in the voter’s pamphlet supporting the Eviction Representation for All measure.
  5. Chapter building: It was reported that Marty Hart-Landsberg and Bob Rossi recently met with a Portland-based freelancer regarding NWU. It was decided that Marty Hart-Landsberg and Michael Funke will follow up with another pro-labor freelancer. We hope to organize a Zoom meeting with 3-6 freelancers. Making personal connections with freelancers are necessary for Chapter growth.
  6. Fair Shot Oregon: Supporting the Fair Shot Oregon campaigns was raised. Marty Hart-Landsberg and Michael Funke will follow up.
  7. Legislative attacks on journalists and other writers in Florida: Such attacks could come to Oregon. These are attacks on all writers and on freedom of expression.
  8. Getting an article about our Chapter in The Northwest Labor Press: Michael Funke will follow up.
  9. Discussion on our Chapter e-mail and social media: It was suggested that we should forward Oregon AFL-CIO e-mails to our Chapter members or ask the Oregon AFL-CIO to add NWU members to their lists. No decision was made.
  10. Our Chapter’s labor resources list: It was agreed in principle to add to our list.
  11. Discussion on our Chapter using labor media: A freelancer and Bob Rossi may appear on Michael Funke’s podcast.
  12. Chapter tee-shirts: This project has been tabled.

Michael Funke would like to talk to NWU members in central Oregon about local activism. Michael can be reached at

The meeting closed at 5:00 PM.

Our next meeting will be held on Sunday, May 14 at 4:00 PM. The Zoom information is as follows:

The Zoom link and related connection information is as follows:

Meeting ID: 868 3316 9280

Passcode: 433196

One tap mobile:

+12532158782,,86833169280#,,,,*433196# US (Tacoma)

 Dial by your location:  +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

Meeting ID: 868 3316 9280

Passcode: 433196

Bob Rossi

Chapter Secretary

Notes from January 8, 2023 General Membership Meeting

National Writers Union Oregon Chapter

The meeting opened at 4:18 PM with 5 people present.

We began the meeting with introductions.

Marty Hart-Landsberg reported on the following:

1.       He had good initial contact with the leadership of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Writers Union. Additional follow-up is needed.

2.       Our Chapter previously endorsed Measure 114. That is now in the courts. We also endorsed the Eviction Representation for All measure in Multnomah County. That measure is headed to the May ballot in Multnomah County.

The Chapter is open to endorsing issues brought forward by Chapter members. Please send in your suggestions and Chapter leadership will try to respond within one week.

Lura Frazey reported that the Chapter has $7372.13 in hand. Our $100 donation to the HarperCollins strike fund has not been processed through NWU. The strike continues.

Discussion on Oregon NWU Chapter tee-shirts. It was suggested that we produce a Chapter tee-shirt with our union logo and a state map. Bob Rossi will coordinate with Elissa Edge and Pat Riggs-Henson. We need a camera-ready graphic from our national union.

Discussion of Oregon AFL-CIO affiliation. It was moved, seconded, and carried that we affiliate with the Oregon AFL-CIO. Sister Pat Riggs-Henson offered to be our delegate. Delegates serve between Oregon AFL-CIO conventions Our President will appoint a delegate. If members are interested in serving in this capacity, please notify Brother Hart-Landsberg before our March meeting. Brother Hart-Landsberg will notify our national union of our decision to affiliate. A copy of our affiliation letter will be included with these minutes.

Discussion of our reading of What 1930s Radicals Totally Knew: Scott Borchert on the Federal Writers’ Project by Scott Borchert and Susie Day.

Members are invited to suggest readings for discussion at our meetings. These should be on-line and accessible. If you have a reading to suggest, please notify us before our March meeting.

Our meeting closed at 5:30 PM.

Our meeting schedule is as follows:

        Mar 12, 2023 04:00 PM
        May 14, 2023 04:00 PM
        Jul 9, 2023 04:00 PM
        Sep 10, 2023 04:00 PM
        Nov 12, 2023 04:00 PM
        Jan 14, 2024 04:00 PM
        Mar 10, 2024 04:00 PM

The link to these meetings is:

Meeting ID: 861 8655 5977
Passcode: 735400

One tap mobile
+17193594580,,86186555977#,,,,*735400# US
+12532050468,,86186555977#,,,,*735400# US

Dial by your location
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
Meeting ID: 861 8655 5977

Notes from November 13, 2022 Steering Committee Meeting

Oregon NWU Chapter Steering Committee Meeting

Present: Elissa, Stefan, Lura, Marty, Bob

We discussed our organizing capacity and building our chapter. After lengthy discussion the following decisions were made:

1. Continue to meet and invite people into the processes of getting to know one another, finding common interests and common work.

2. Remain independent as a chapter within the National Writers Union.

3. Meet every other month and do shared readings and discussions of the readings.

4. Stay connected to other NWU chapters.

5. Have Oregon NWU tee-shirts made (Marty, Elissa, Bob)

6. Possible support for the strike at HarperCollins: making a donation, leafleting (Marty, Bob)

7. Our first reading will be: We will discuss this at our next meeting.

Our next meeting will be held on Sunday, Jan. 8 at 4:00 PM. Our meetings will be informal, with a fling-the-doors-open approach. Members and friends can gather in a coffee shop and participate together.