I’m Jon SCHLEUSS

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I'm running for NewsGuild President because we need a modern, energized and more democratic union that will protect our members, strengthen our contracts and grow our numbers — even as we meet the challenges of the rapidly changing media landscape.

I played a key leadership role in the historic Guild campaign at the Los Angeles Times, the one that triggered a wave of successful organizing drives in newsrooms across the country. It wasn’t easy.

We organized in a hostile corporate environment that put our jobs at risk. We were told repeatedly that we couldn’t win. We were reminded that previous efforts to organize The Times had failed again and again.

Not this time, however. I helped build a team inside the newsroom that unleashed the strengths we all have as media professionals. That enabled us to outflank and out-smart the company at every turn, with a campaign that was at once old-school grass-roots and cutting-edge sophisticated.

We won big, and we’re negotiating one of the best first-time contracts our industry has ever seen.

Now, we need fresh thinking and more engagement at the International Guild headquarters. For far too long, the International leadership has presided over a decline in our union. This is an opportunity to build on the member-led successes we’ve seen in L.A., New York, Chicago and elsewhere.

We must start by providing more support to our established locals — to increase member participation, negotiate better contracts and draw more talent to our leadership ranks. That begins with improved communications from the International Guild. It’s time that we dramatically expand our use of the Guild website, social media and a digital newsletter.

A union that represents communications workers should be an innovator in communications, not a laggard.

Jon talking with NewsGuild members at Reuters in D.C.

Jon talking with NewsGuild members at Reuters in D.C.

We must also reform the International Guild’s Constitution and top-down policies to increase democracy and transparency in our union. Every member in good standing should be encouraged to vote in our elections, and we should make casting a ballot as simple and as secure as possible.

Did you know that the 1,400 or so media workers who have joined our union during the recent surge in organizing are prohibited from voting in this election? And did you know that the International Guild leadership apparently is incapable of conducting an election with electronic ballots, which certainly would boost turnout?

How many of you were made aware by the D.C. headquarters that an election was right around the corner?

All of that must change.

Your vote will task me with bringing an open and engaged international leadership to the Guild. I am eager to get to work for all of our members — and to tap the potential we have as a union working together.

We have more power than we know. We’ve proved that in the dizzying run of winning campaigns from coast to coast.

I am determined to harness that same energy and commitment to improve the lot of every media worker in the United States and Canada.

See my platform.

 

Important dates

March 20 — Ballots mailed to NewsGuild members and locals

April 10-15 — In-person voting at a few locals (most members will receive a mail ballot at their home)

Early May — Ballots need to be mailed back to NewsGuild HQ in D.C.

May 13 — Ballots counted; vote certified


“Jon Schleuss is one of the best things to happen to the NewsGuild in years. He brings a savvy understanding of how to mobilize members and a proven record of organizing and leadership. Campaign for him, invite him to your area, donate to his campaign. Vote for him. Jon is the real deal.”

— RANDY FURST
MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE


“Jon Schleuss, a primary driver of establishment of a shop at The L.A. Times, has my vote for president of The NewsGuild. He's at the front lines of the technologies and demands reshaping our work lives, and has the ideas and energy to help the Guild reinvent to best navigate our transforming industry. He also has veteran union advisers to make sure the best of the past informs our path to the future. Please give his ideas a full and fair hearing.”

— Andrea Kannapell
THE NEW YORK TIMES


“I couldn’t have organized the Times-Union this last summer without the playbook Jon Schleuss developed at The Los Angeles Times.”

— ANDREW PANTAZI
THE FLORIDA TIMES-UNION


“He brought ideas, focus and energy to our organizing campaign that were instrumental to our success.”

— ANTHONY PESCE
LOS ANGELES TIMES GUILD CO-CHAIR