Send this letter to our State and Us Senators!

Please join in with me in sending this letter to our State and Us Senators!

I am increasingly worried for the members of our photo and film community that are not in a union and do not qualify for government funds being given out at this point. I have written a letter to both Senator Dick Durbin and Senator Tammy Duckworth asking for their help in including freelance people in our industry in their plea for financial help in Washington.

Please join me in sending this yourself as well. And SHARE with all you know.

I sent the following letter which you may copy and paste if you’d like. Their contact info is below.

Thanks- Together we can make a difference!


IL US Senators

Illinois Governor and Senator Don Harmon


Letter to senators:


Dear Sens Durbin and Duckworth:

Please include freelancers and other creative artists in Emergency Economic Support Benefits!

As one of your constituents, I wanted to let you know that entertainment and advertising workers who work on commercial photography and video sets and stages are being uniquely impacted by the coronavirus. I am not talking about actors, directors, and producers. These are the thousands of middle-class, wage earning stagehands, camera people, editors, food, hair and makeup artists, broadcast technicians, AV techs, and other workers that are the lifeblood of the film, food advertising and food packaging industries right here in Illinois, centered in Chicago.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201) is a good start to providing relief to workers. However, the provisions on the table for emergency paid leave benefits won’t apply to displaced workers because of the requirements for days worked on a job to qualify.
As social distancing measures are enacted and productions and commercial photo shoots are cancelled, the incomes of thousands of folks working in the entertainment & advertising industries have completely dried up overnight.

The unique nature of the entertainment & advertising industries means that many of the creative professionals may not work every day, or even every month. Existing paid leave programs are not applicable to this workforce. These workers depend on the income from each project they book to ensure they can support themselves and their families. Some have collectively bargained health plans but most must purchase expensive plans because they are freelancer/independent contractors. Rules designed for the traditional single employer relationship, or even for multi-employer work in the construction industry exclude our members, and entertainment/advertising freelancers in general.

Freelance workers shouldn’t be collateral damage in the fight against COVID-19. We need a special Emergency Coronavirus Economic Support Benefit geared to include workers who have a bona fide, good faith bookings to work that gets canceled due to the coronavirus.

Please include freelancers and other creative artists in Emergency Economic Support Benefits!