Flight Attendant Union Launches Campaign For Critical Aviation Security Issues At DC Movie Premiere

Washington, DC –The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA), the world’s largest Flight Attendant union, is hosting an award-winning documentary about 9/11 Flight 93 hero Mark Bingham to kick off the union’s Never Forget campaign aimed at bringing legislative and regulatory focus to critical aviation security issues. The Washington, DC premiere of The Rugby Player is an uplifting and stereotype-shattering documentary about Mark and his mother, Alice Hoagland, a former AFA-represented United Airlines Flight Attendant, who has become a staunch advocate for aviation security and equal rights.

AFA’s special screening of The Rugby Player on Tuesday, September 23 will be held in the Annenberg Theater at Washington DC’s Newseum following a reception for aviation and security policy-makers and stakeholders as well as union leaders and prominent members of the LGBT community. Newseum doors open for ticketholders at 6:30 pm.  Alice Hoagland and the filmmakers will be in attendance for the reception and screening of the film.

“The Rugby Player is a film that honors our heroes and our freedom to promote equality. The story of Mark Bingham and Alice Hoagland, honestly and artfully told, show­cases the life lessons we learned from our heroes of 9/11 and our responsibility to keep aviation safe and secure,” said AFA’s International President Sara Nelson. “We cannot thank Alice enough for her grace and bravery, and for turning her grief into enduring lessons for all of us. We will never forget our heroes and we will always seek to honor their sacrifice with our actions.”

The “Never Forget” campaign will bring focus to the important safety improvements that AFA fought hard to put in place after 9/11 and on the 9/11 Commission recommendations that have yet to take shape:

- Passage of the Keep Knives Out of Our Skies Act: S.1008, H.R. 4368

- Maintenance of a federal workforce for security screening

- Preservation of the Federal Air Marshal program

- Mandatory Flight Attendant security and self-defense training

- Cockpit secondary barriers

- Increased regulation of foreign aircraft maintenance facilities

- Keep mobile broadband off the aircraft and out of the toolbox of terrorists

- Coordinated communication among agencies and aviation security stakeholders

AFA has long been recognized as a leader on safety and security issues in the aircraft cabin, and in commercial aviation more broadly. Less visible, but just as central to our legacy, is AFA’s leadership role on important issues for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. As early as the 1970s we changed our union’s Consti­tution to include uniting Flight Attendants “regardless of age, color, disability, marital status, national origin, race religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression.”

“Our advocacy resulted in tremendous gains over the years for equality, and we are not done. We launch our Never Forget campaign to bring legislative and regulatory focus to critical aviation security issues, so that we may continue to work and live in a world where we can fight for equality for all,” Nelson stated.

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