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The LA-based SAG-AFTRA group Unite for Strength has unveiled its slate of candidates for the union’s first election since the merger between the two organizations. The group is fielding a slate of 52 candidates running for positions on the SAG-AFTRA National Board (28 positions are open) and Los Angeles Local Board (45 positions are open), including veteran actor Clyde Kusatsu, who is running to become Los Angeles Local President.
In addition, UFS is endorsing – and is endorsed by – SAG-AFTRA co-president Ken Howard and co-secretary/treasurer Amy Aquino, who are seeking re-election as the Union’s top directly elected national officers.
The union previously announced the official list of all candidates.
Kusatsu said, “It’s essential that we take a smart approach in the upcoming TV/Theatrical negotiations, and today’s Emmy nominations make it clear that we must pay special attention to the explosive growth in cable and new media. We must achieve real gains, and this election is a choice between trusted leaders who have a proven ability to build strength and those who would have left us divided and weaker.”
Kusatsu also cited as issues speeding residuals payments and merging the two sets of legacy pension and health benefits, SAG’s and AFTRA’s.
Howard and Aquino are UFS leaders, but are not actually running on the UFS slate. That arrangement resulted from a disagreement about whether to endorse current co-president Roberta Reardon for executive vice president, as The Hollywood Reporterpreviously reported.
UFS has explained this arrangement by stating that UFS is an LA based group, whereas the president and secretary/treasurer are national officers. That positioning is not consistent with what a well-informed source told THR – nor with the fact that Howard and Aquino ran on the UFS slate in 2009 and 2011.
The UFS slate also includes including Tony Shalhoub (Monk), Gabrielle Carteris (Beverly Hills, 90210), Jeff Garlin (Curb Your Enthusiasm), Patrika Darbo (Rango), Lisa Vidal (Grimm), Hal Eisner (broadcaster at KTTV FOX 11), Jason George (Grey’s Anatomy), Stephen Collins (Devious Maids) and Iqbal Theba (Glee).
“This election . . . will set our direction for years to come,” said Howard. “Clyde Kusatsu and UFS . . . know how to build strength, and with pivotal TV, Film, Cable and New Media negotiations on the horizon, they are the team SAG-AFTRA needs.”
Aquino said, “Having worked for merger for nearly twenty years, I’m proud to have helped give birth to Unite for Strength, the group that got us there. We need UFS to continue shaping our new union, and leading SAG-AFTRA and its members toward a powerful future.”
Eisner said, “With giant media conglomerates controlling everything we see and hear, it’s vital that broadcasters and actors speak with one voice. I’m proud to be running with the group that made that happen – Unite for Strength.”
UFS will also field more than 100 candidates vying for 140 positions as delegates to the first SAG-AFTRA National Convention, to be held in Los Angeles in late September. Election ballots were mailed to members on July 16 and will be tabulated on August 15. With 215 officer, board and delegate positions in total, some voters may need the entire month just to fill out their ballots.
A complete list of UFS candidates and the group’s voter guide can be found at www.UniteforStrength.com.
The group’s endorsements are:
National President: Ken Howard. Secretary-Treasurer: Amy Aquino.
The group’s slate includes:
Los Angeles Local President: Clyde Kusatsu.
Los Angeles Vice Presidents (2 positions): Susan Boyd Joyce, Jenny O’Hara.
National Board of Directors: Amy Aquino, Bobbie Bates, Susan Boyd Joyce, L Scott Caldwell, Gabrielle Carteris, Assaf Cohen, Stephen Collins, Mimi Cozzens, Ellen Crawford, Patrika Darbo, Hal Eisner, Patrick Fabian, Jeff Garlin, Jason George, Ken Howard, Jon Huertas, Clyde Kusatsu, Kate Linder, Allen Lulu, D. W. Moffett, Marisol Nichols, Jenny O’Hara, Conrad E. Palmisano, Robert Pine, Woody Schultz, Tony Shalhoub, Lisa Vidal, Marcia Wallace.
Los Angeles Local Board of Directors: Granville Ames, Amy Aquino, L. Scott Caldwell, Gabrielle Carteris, Natalia Castellanos, William Charlton, Parvesh Cheena, Assaf Cohen, Mimi Cozzens, Ellen Crawford, Randy Crenshaw, Jane Daly, Bertila Damas, Alex Daniels, Patrika Darbo, Michelle Dunker, Patrick Fabian, Tracy Fraim, Jason George, Lauri Hendler, Galen Hooks, Jon Huertas, Jon Joyce, Clyde Kusatsu, Shyla La’Sha, Ana Lilia, Kate Linder, Allen Lulu, Elizabeth McLaughlin, Julie Michaels, D. W. Moffett, Ron Morgan, Dan Navarro, Marisol Nichols, Jenny O’Hara, Holly Pitrago, Tara Radcliffe, Clyde Sacks, Mike Sakellarides, Woody Schultz, Iqbal Theba, David Westberg, Vivicca Whitsett.
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Email: jhandel99 at gmail dot com
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