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Upcoming San Francisco Forums

Date: Tuesday, June 23
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Location: Zoom presentation; log-in details emailed to active BAEF members on 6/10/2020 and 6/23/2020

Please join us for an online meeting for BAEF members only.

Plain Talk: A Look at Plain Language Editing Practices

All editors aim for clear communication. Those who work on government, business, legal, and medical documents addressed to the general public must master a particular skill: how to convey complex information clearly and succinctly to diverse populations, including readers with different levels of education, English-language proficiency, and physical and cognitive abilities. Some editors specialize in writing or revising public documents in plain language.

Iva Cheung, a long-time advocate of plain language writing and accessibility, will introduce us to basic plain language editing practices (audience analysis, language techniques, document design, and user testing) and will answer our questions. She is a Certified Professional Editor (Editors Canada) and recipient of the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence, the President's Award for Volunteer Service, and the Karen Virag Award. She holds a Master of Publishing degree and a PhD in health sciences, and she teaches the Plain Language in Health Literacy course in Simon Fraser University's Plain Language Certificate program. She can be found on Twitter (@IvaCheung) and at IvaCheung.com. For a bit of levity, check out her cartoons about life as an editor at IvaCheung.com/blog/.

Hope you can join us!

Date: POSTPONED - New date pending
Location: Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
(a half-block from Montgomery BART station)

We are pleased to present this joint member meeting of Bay Area Editors' Forum (BAEF) and Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA).

A Closer Look at CA AB5 (California's "gig worker bill")

California Regulation AB5 was signed into law by Governor Newsom, effective January 1, 2020. The law, sponsored by state Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, is intended to extend the protection of existing labor laws (regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, workers' compensation, etc.) to some types of independent contractors by reclassifying them as employees under criteria defined in the new legislation. While a few current freelancer categories (e.g., graphic designers) have secured an exemption, some organized groups are advocating the bill's repeal or amendment. At the same time, additional states and the House of Representatives are reportedly viewing AB5 as a possible model for their own legislation.

Both freelancers and employers are confused and unsure of AB5's practical effects. Our members are starting to report actual and potential loss of work. Amidst the current legal fog, the law's criteria for classifying workers and its limit of "35 jobs annually per client" for some gig work appear to have stimulated a noticeable preference among out-of-state clients to pass over California freelancers as a whole.

Our two attorney panelists specializing in labor law are William Sokol (Weinberg, Roger & Rosenfeld), who mainly counsels employees and unions, and Sharon Ongerth Rossi (Rogers Joseph O'Donnell), who mainly counsels employers.

With their contrasting perspectives, our panelists will cover pertinent background and details of AB5, as well as possible amendments being considered by our legislators. We'll discuss what we editors can do right now to ensure our freelancing viability, clarify our status with concerned clients to retain our valued relationships, and continue to enjoy our livelihood.

Note: We expect members will briefly cite their examples as a way to identify concerns that could apply to fellow members and to guide our discussion...but this forum won't be the venue for individual legal advice or for political strategizing to repeal or amend the law, accessible through other resources.

Hope to see you there!

Date: POSTPONED - New date pending
Location: Mechanics' Institute, 57 Post Street, 4th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94104
(a half-block walk from Montgomery BART station)

Talking about Tech

With the ever-increasing pervasiveness of technology in the publishing industry, editors must keep up with new hardware and software to stay competitive.

In this "digital potluck" discussion (an encore of our recent South Bay forum), we will look at our writing and editing tools; software to perform more rudimentary tasks; computer gear to optimize our workflow; blogs, blasts, and social media; and other geeky but essential tech aspects with which every editor should be familiar.

ACTION REQUEST: If you've used a handy program or helpful online tech resource, bring along your laptop or even just the URL, so you can share a short (5 min?) informal, low-pressure review or demo with us. We'll have a laptop connected to the room projector so everyone can see.

IMPORTANT: Please shoot a brief note to our moderator David Couzens before the meeting to let him know what you'd like to share (no exceptions), so he can add you to the list and keep our discussion flow organized. Thanks!

We can expect to walk away with some new tools and ideas, plus the always-helpful perspectives shared among fellow members.

Hope to see you there!

General Notes:

Next South Bay Forum

Date: TBA
Time: TBA
Location: Community Room, Campbell Public Library, 77 Harrison Ave., Campbell, CA 95008

Next forum topic: TBD. Any topic suggestions? See below.

General Notes: