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President’s Newsletter Article – January 2021

Aloha, Members of Local 665,


It’s been a standing half-joke, half-fervent hope that the end of 2020 would bring an end to much of the difficulties that it brought. Now, a new year is upon us with a fresh set of challenges and opportunities. How we rise to meet them will define our present and our future.

On January 6th, 2021, armed domestic right-wing terrorists illegally stormed the US Capitol with intent to disrupt a legally conducted General Election and do harm to those fulfilling their sworn Constitutional duty. This dark day of lawlessness did not appear out of the sky at random. This fire was stoked by the person leaving the Oval Office and left to run wild in the streets. Nearly 60 Capitol Police officers were injured and an officer was killed by this mob. In light of Dr Martin Luther King Jr Day, it was a stark reminder of the difference in the way that BIPOC (Black/Indigenous/People of Color)/LGBTQIA+/Women/other underrepresented communities have historically been met with violence when peacefully protesting for their right to exist. For perspective, there was not a single officer fatality in an entire summer of anti-police brutality protests. 

Let’s be very clear – of course every life has meaning. But all lives literally cannot matter until we acknowledge that Black Lives Matter, Women’s Lives Matter, Indigenous/POC Lives Matter, and LGBTQIA+ Lives Matter. This is not to say that they are more important than any other life. But merely that these underrepresented and oppressed communities deserve basic human dignity. We deserve to live our lives free of the standing threat of violence and death simply because we exist. But now, it seems the pendulum is swinging back in the opposite direction.

President-Elect Joe Biden and Vice-President-Elect Kamala Harris will be inaugurated on 01/20/2021. They bring with them a new administration. Namely, a Secretary of Labor that was once a labor leader. Marty Walsh is a former member and President of the Laborer’s Union Local 223 until he became Boston’s Mayor in 2013. This seismic shift in representation is an opportunity for the growth and advancement of organized labor that cannot be understated. There’s been a dark cloud hanging over the Labor Movement these last four years. And while my heart has become much more guarded over that time, this glimmer of daylight could be enough to warm even the coldest of dispositions. It’s no magic wand to fix all of our problems, but it’s a start. It will take all of us to make forward progress for Organized Labor.

The Hawaii State Legislature will convene on President Biden’s Inauguration day, January 20, 2021. However, they will be convening remotely. If you have not already done so, please make sure to register an account at The only way to submit testimony in support of or opposition to any bill before this legislature will be electronically. Special rules are in place for written testimony being submitted to the Hawaii State House of Representatives committees versus those in the State Senate. For a more detailed description of the 2021 Remote Testimony Procedures, visit

Lastly, Vaccines are on the way. If widespread inoculation occurs, Live Events could come back as soon as this Fall. Until then, wash your hands for 20 seconds at a time, wear a mask when you’re outside of your home, stay physically distant, and stay safe out there, folks.


Tuia’ana Scanlan

President, IATSE Local 665

Save Hawaii Film, Grip School, & More!

Aloha, Brothers and Sisters –

Congratulations to the crew of “Hawaii Five-O” and “Magnum P.I.” for being picked up for seasons 10 and 2, respectively! CBS continues to make Hawai’i a high priority location, and we appreciate the commitment they continue to make to Hawai’i.

The legislative session ended this month, and our entire 665 ‘Ohana worked hard to remove the $35 Million cap from the Film Tax Credit. We had numerous meetings with legislators, joined forces with Hawai’i labor unions, collaborated with the Hollywood studios, networked with film industry workers, showed up at hearings, stayed informed, testified online, introduced Renee Confair’s new game called “GetCrewd” to folks at the Capitol and launched the “Save Hawaii Film” campaign on social media. On, over 4,000 people signed our petition in support of local film jobs and businesses. Legislators were alerted each time 500 people signed up.

We also released four videos that outlined the many benefits of having a vibrant film industry in Hawai’i: the first video showcased local companies such as Kualoa Ranch, City Mill, A & E Equipment and Plywood Hawai’i; the second was from the film crew’s perspective; another from Hawai’i-born Kanoa Dahlin; and the last video talked about the many donations film companies make to the community – pallets of food that were shipped to Kanua’i after the North Shore landslide, large monetary donations to Leeward Community College and He’eia Small Boat Harbor; furniture donated to the Weinberg Foundation, etc. Check out to see all of the videos. MAHALO to Joseph McDaniel and Gary Sanders of The Media Butler. As soon as I asked them for help, they bought the domain name and created the website almost overnight. They updated the petition throughout the campaign to help our industry and didn’t charge us a dime. Mahalo, Joe and Gary!

On the last day of the conference, within a four-hour period, 470 petitions flooded the email inboxes of key legislators. We did everything we could to inform the Capitol that a tax cap would devastate our industry. In the end, the Counsel of Revenue’s forecast of an$81.6 Million LOSS in tax revenues, caused the two money committees to leave the cap in place, but they did raise the cap to $50 Million. The additional $15 Million is a huge WIN in light of the economic forecast and the fact that other measures died this session. MAHALO and GREAT JOB to everyone! However, prepare for a recession. Save and shelter your money.

Every weekend this month, Brothers Lee Kaneakua, Tui’a’ana Scanlan and Keoki Smith will be holding Grip School at Hawaii Media Inc. in Halawa. All of the classes are full, but we might hold more in June. On Sunday, May 19th, we will have Scissorslift an Boomlift certification. Please call the hall if you’d like to sign up. This class will be held in Mapuapuna because the Union Hall is under renovation. In closing, I will be emailing everyone about a call system that other IA locals use called Let me know what you think.