SAG-AFTRA Unveils Officer and Board Candidates
The battle continues between two factions with decade-old roots or more.
SAG-AFTRA on Wednesday released the official rosters of candidates for its upcoming elections in what promises to once again be a hard fought referendum on the union’s leadership and direction 10 years after the now-incumbent Unite for Strength party and its New York-based USAN affiliate wrested control from MembershipFirst, a battle that still rages on.
A decade since that power shift, which set the union on the course to merge with AFTRA, and seven years since that merger, UFS remains in power and touts both its record and vision of the future, while MF — which has roots in predecessor parties — remains critical of the merger, UFS’ record and vision and offers a competing view. Factionalism, especially in Los Angeles, remains high.
As in past elections, independents are running as well, but they usually have a tough time beating slate candidates.
This year, national president and secretary-treasurer positions are up, both of which carry two-year terms. Forty-five national board seats are up as well (out of an 80-member board including officers), along with all local officer, local board and convention delegate positions.
The candidates for national president are incumbent secretary-treasurer Jane Austin (former MF), incumbent president Gabrielle Carteris (UFS), Abraham Justice, Matthew Modine (MF) and Queen Alljahye Searles. Running for national secretary-treasurer are Jodi Long (MF), Camryn Manheim (UFS), Chuck Slavin and Rob Stats. The executive vice president and other vice presidents will be elected at the union’s convention in October.
National officer ballots will be mailed to all eligible SAG-AFTRA members nationwide on Monday, with a return deadline and tabulation on Aug. 28. Election results are expected to be announced that evening. The same schedule will apply to the Los Angeles and New York Local elections. Schedules vary for other local elections.
Voter guides for the national officer elections and for each local with contested elections can be found on the 2019 SAG-AFTRA Candidate Elections web page. For a more party-oriented view, check out MF’s slate and UFS’ slate.