By now, WGA members should have received their ballots for the 2012 election. This year, I’m a little more connected the process than usual, because I served on the nominating committee, helping to choose the 15 candidates running for the eight open seats on the board.

Actually, “helping to choose” wildly misrepresents the function of the nominating committee. The process is really more like this:

  1. Identifying possible candidates. “Hey! Who can we can we convince to run for the board? What if we begged and promised them candy?”
  2. Weeding out crazy people through a 20-minute interview.

There weren’t any crazy people this year. Really. I was impressed by all the candidates who came in. Many brought interesting perspectives on issues facing writers and the industry.

You can read about their specific goals and plans in the candidates’ statements booklet. If you have any questions, I’d encourage you to come to Candidates Night, this Wednesday, September 5th. (You should RSVP if you’re going.)

Among the many talented candidates, I have two friends running this year.

I met Barbara Turner on the picket lines, and had no idea she’s been a member since 1966. She has experience in both features and made-fors, and specific ideas about how to ensure participating writers are properly notified about possible credit arbitration. It’s the kind of small detail that could change a writer’s life, and is absolutely worth getting right.

I strongly encouraged Jordan Mechner to run. In addition to his screenwriting work, he has invaluable experience creating videogames and graphic novels — intellectual property in which he owns the underlying rights. The WGA represents writers as employees, but we’re also entrepreneurs, and Jordan’s insight into ownership could be very helpful as the industry changes.

I haven’t filled out my ballot yet — they’re due September 20th — but my priorities will be making sure we have a range of experience (TV, features, new media) and an abundance of smart people. I’m not worried about whether each candidate has a clear vision for an esoteric pension/health issue, but rather that he or she has the curiosity and diligence to find the right answers. On these criteria, I think we have great choices.