Unite for Strength, the ruling party of SAG-AFTRA, announced its slate of candidates today in the union’s upcoming elections.
Michelle Hurd, currently serving on the national board, will be running for president of the Los Angeles local; Clyde Kusatsu and Ellen Crawford will be running for vice president slots. Kusatsu is currently the national vice president from LA, and Crawford is a national board member. As previously reported, Camryn Manheim will be running for national secretary-treasurer as president Gabrielle Carteris’ running mate.
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Two candidates are challenging Carteris for president: Jane Austin, currently the guild’s national secretary-treasurer who’s running for president as an independent, and Matthew Modine, who is running at the top of the ticket for Membership First. His slate has yet to be announced.
In New York, Rebecca Damon, national executive vice president and New York president, is running for re-election as New York president. National board member Maureen Donnelly, NY vice president Jim Kerr, national board member Ezra Knight and New York national vice president Liz Zazzi are seeking re-election as New York vice presidents. They’re running on Unite for Strength’s sister slate USAN.
“I couldn’t be more proud of my fellow Unite for Strength and USAN candidates,” Gabrielle Carteris said. “This remarkable group of both veteran and new leaders boasts some of the finest minds in our union. I personally know that they are of diverse backgrounds and passionate about moving our union forward in a manner that best protects our members as technological advancements impact our contracts and work. Our national coalition understands that we must fight for fair wages, improved safety and increased residuals.”
“I’ve been around the block enough times to know a winning strategy when I see it,” Manheim said. “And Unite for Strength / USAN is on the right track. This is not the time to go soft on our dealings with big media, or to send the message that our union is divided. We need to move forward, not backward. The good old days are not here again. These are radically different days, in terms of technology and media consolidation. We need to embrace the future. It is ours.”
“Our industry has seen a seismic shift,” Hurd said. “Gone are the days when predators target our members with impunity. I am proud to serve with Gabrielle Carteris and the SAG-AFTRA leaders who are tackling this problem head on. As your Los Angeles president, I will work closely with our elected, staff and community leaders to build on recent victories to end the scourge of sexual harassment and foster mutual respect and true equality. Unite for Strength and USAN leaders are passionate about protecting our members, especially those who are most vulnerable. #TimesUp.”
“Make no mistake,” Damon said. “The industry we work in is at a crossroads and we need leaders with innovative solutions and a dose of common sense. As evolving technologies offer new opportunities, the battle we must win is true control over our very images and voices. 21st Century performers will need both contractual and legislative protections, and these USAN and UFS candidates are in the fight. I stand with them.”
Here are their full slates:
UFS LOS ANGELES NATIONAL BOARD CANDIDATES
Yvette Nicole Brown
UFS LOS ANGELES LOCAL BOARD CANDIDATES
Michelle C Bonilla
Tiffany Yvonne Cox
Katie Von Till
USAN NEW YORK NATIONAL BOARD CANDIDATES
USAN NEW YORK LOCAL BOARD CANDIDATES
Gerald M. Kline