‘The Invisible Homeless’ Director’s Speech

FWIW, this is the director’s speech I gave at Guild Theater last night after the screening of “The Invisible Homeless”:

So, long before I was a filmmaker, I’d been a union organizer for more than nine years, helping un-organized workers throughout California form labor unions. And as I lean more into filmmaking, it’s certainly been the perception of my friends that I’m putting more of my efforts into filmmaking than organizing.

It’s not hard to imagine why – art is fun, I enjoy art. I think I’m pretty good at filmmaking. And I’m extremely proud of the film that you just watched.

But ironically, the more I lean into filmmaking, the more I’m re-discovering the importance and absolute transformative nature of field organizing.

What is field organizing? Field organizing is when you talk with lots and lots of ordinary people. You recruit leaders. And you build mass social structures to challenge the status quo with people power.

Spoken plainly like that, it sounds like a cliché. But it’s a deadly true cliché. The social bonds we have with one another are stronger than any amount of capital in the world. I’ve seen that over and over in my union organizing career – thousands of workers who’ve come together to form labor unions and defeat their bosses. The social bonds we have with one another are stronger than any amount of capital in the world.

I say all this to say that I hope you enjoyed yourself tonight. Like I said, I’m extremely proud of this film, and I hope you walk away from this theater having had a compelling time. But way more than a compelling time, I hope you consider taking action. I hope you consider field organizing.

Thank you.

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