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The members of the Writers Guild of America East have appointed three vice presidents to oversee the union’s key work sectors and elected four new members to their council, realizing recent changes to the Guild’s constitution.
During the Guild’s 2022 council election, Sara David was elected vice president of the online media constituency and Kathy McGee was elected vice president of the broadcast, cable and streaming news sector (both are already council members), the WGA East announced Thursday. Incumbent WGA East vice president Lisa Takeuchi Cullen will now act as the delegate for the film, television and streaming sector.
Also elected to council seats were incumbents Monica Lee Bellais, Kaitlin Fontana, Gina Gionfriddo, Tian Jun Gu, A.M. Homes and Erica Saleh, who will act on behalf of the Guild’s film, television and streaming sector. New members Susan Rinkunas and Jessica Schulberg are joining the council to represent the online media sector, while incumbent Gail Lee and new members Justin Raffael DiLauro and Elizabeth Godvik were elected to serve the broadcast, cable and streaming constituency.
The election brings the total number of Council members to 20, with 12 members representing film, television and streaming; five representing online media; and three representing broadcast, cable and streaming news, plus five officers. Previously, the Council consisted of 19 members and three officers.
Turnout for the election, with ballots counted by Votenet Solutions, was 12.8 percent among film, TV and streaming members, 10.7 percent among online media members and 14.8 percent for broadcast, cable and streaming news. In total, 6,786 members voted.
The 2022 council election enacts changes first approved by members in June of this year to appoint separate vp officers for each of the Guild’s biggest work sectors and to empower each work sector to vote for their own Council members. Additionally, Guild members voted in favor of balancing out the council so that each work sector is proportionately represented.
The constitutional changes arose from an internal debate, which came to a head in 2021, over the Guild’s aggressive organizing in the digital media sector in recent years, with some council members and candidates concerned that digital media priorities were taking precedence. The union conducted a survey of members and council members met with a third-party facilitator and labor lawyer, and eventually the constitutional changes were approved by 98 percent of voting members in June.
5:46 p.m.: Updated to reflect that Takeuchi Cullen is becoming the sole vice president for film, television and streaming.
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