Tag Archives: election

The Votes Are In (or An Uneventful End To The Election)

This past Thursday was the end of the SAG-AFTRA election. Technically, ballots had to pretty much be in the mail by Monday last week to arrive in time to be counted on Thursday, so the election season felt like it was over for a bit longer. But it officially ended on Thursday when the ballots were counted.

Last time, it was pretty much midnight when we found out if those of us who were running for delegates got a spot or not. So I assumed it would be similar this year and planning on being at the union late. I finished work around 3pm that day but hung around my house until about 6pm. I figured I would rather kill time at my house than at the union since I expected to be there so long. I liked watching the ballots being counted last time and was excited to get to watch that happen again.

I got to the union just before 6:3opm and started to fill out the forms I had to sign to be an election observer. I was just done signing the first one when a union employee told me that there was no need to do that because everything was done! I couldn’t believe it! I missed the entire counting process. I was handed some printouts that had both the national and local election results and the first thing I did was scan down the delegates list to see if I made it. Everyone is listed in order of how many votes we got and if it says Convention Delegate next to our name that means we were elected. Toward almost the very bottom of those who had the designation next to their name, I saw this.

I was elected again as a delegate! I was really nervous I wouldn’t get it but I’m so glad I did. I was about 9 from the bottom of who got a spot so I know I’m very lucky. Unfortunately, several of my friends who were running for delegate spots didn’t get them, but they were happy for me.

Since the ballot counting was done, I headed over to the restaurant next to the union where my slate was having a gathering. It was an interesting dinner since the election didn’t really swing to one slate or the other. It was a mix which might be a great thing for the union. Hopefully the slates can come together to work hard for the union as a whole and politics won’t affect things as much.

And while I was still sad that some of my friends that I helped to get into union politics weren’t elected, one friend said something that really made me feel better. He thanked me for getting him involved because even though he wasn’t elected he now sees where he can be more involved. He met some amazing people, got to see what union politics are all about, and he’s now looking at what committees he wants to be a part of (you don’t have to be elected to be a part of our committees). Knowing that I helped to get him involved and that he plans on staying involved really made me feel amazing. And he’s already said that he will be trying again in 2 years to be elected.

Since we all knew what the results of the election were at the gathering, the energy was much more upbeat and festive than it had been 2 years ago when we spent the time waiting for any results to come in. While there were people upset about not getting elected, overall it was a very positive gathering where everything was so happy for each other. And we are so excited that our national president candidate, Gabrielle Carteris, was elected to be the national president. She has been serving as the president since Ken Howard passed away and I think she’s done an amazing job. I can’t wait to see what she is able to do for the union over the next 2 years.

While I was at the party, I got my official email from the union letting me know that I was elected. Even though I had seen the results and knew I was a delegate again, it was nice to have the email to make everything feel even more official.

I ended up staying at the gathering pretty late. I think we actually were there past the closing time of the restaurant, but we were all so energized and talking about things we are looking forward to in the union and some of the ideas we have that we want to submit for voting at the convention. It’s all so exciting again to me and I can’t wait to be a part of the convention. And this time, I’ve still got a lot of time that I banked at work when I thought I was having surgery, so I might not have to work while at convention if I don’t want to (but I might do it anyway to save the hours for something fun).

I know there will be some slate meetings coming up before convention so we can be educated on what we will be voting on. But until we have those meetings, I’m just going to be happy and grateful that I was elected and that I get to participate at the convention again this year. And hopefully in 2 more years, not only will I be re-elected but my friends will be elected as well.

Election Campaigning (or Being A Captain And Getting Out There)

We are officially in the middle of SAG-AFTRA election season! This election season has been very different from the last time I ran as a delegate. But just because it’s different doesn’t make it worse or more stressful. I’m taking on additional responsibilities and that is making me so happy! But there are other things that are making this a unique election season.

The first thing that has made it different is that while we are doing our officer/board/delegate election, we also have a contract vote. I’m writing this before we know the result of the contract vote so I don’t know the outcome yet. But to be out campaigning for 2 different elections has been interesting. The contract vote is done online (unless you request a paper ballot) and the election has to be on a paper ballot. So many people I’ve talked to thought the paper ballot was for the online election and tossed it out because they voted online. I’m glad I talked to them so they could request a new ballot. And then there are the people who have told me they have voted but they only voted for one thing.

I’m hoping that the contract passes because I think it is a move in the right direction for us as a union and by the time you are reading this we will know what happened. My fear is that it won’t pass and that we will have to strike. If we strike, all work will be shut down and it may take time to get things back up and running again. And when there is a strike, that doesn’t necessarily mean we will gain anything extra in the contract. So I’m hopeful that it will pass (or I guess I should say has passed) and that we can move on from this first election.

And I’ve gotten much more involved this year in the officer/board/delegate election. I’ve been trying to be more active in reminding my union friends to vote and it makes me so happy when I get text messages from people showing that I’m the first bubble they filled in.

Our voter turnout was very low 2 years ago and I’m making an effort to try to get the word out so more people will vote. I know that some people think it doesn’t matter (like how they feel about a presidential election), but it really does. 2 years ago, the difference between getting elected or not was sometimes 2 or 3 votes. So literally every vote counts.

I’ve already written about attending the Union Working event (although that is a non-partisan group so that was a one time only campaign thing), but there have been other in person opportunities I’ve been taking to get the word out about the vote and my slate. I’ve done the campaigning at the Film Society screenings before when I was running 2 years ago, and I’m doing them again this year. This is such a wonderful opportunity to talk to members who may not usually vote or don’t have an idea of what each slate represents. They get campaign material in the mail, but it’s so much better to talk to someone one on one.

I normally just go to the campaign events and help out, but this year I was asked to be a captain at some of the screenings! That was a big honor for me because I still feel like a newbie at all this, but this shows that the slate knows how hard I’ve been working to help everyone. Being the captain isn’t too tough of a job, but I did have to get the flyers to provide to everyone else volunteering and just make sure that things were running smoothly. Fortunately everyone is familiar with the rules we have to follow and the shifts that I was captain went really well.

And finally, if you follow me on social media you know that I’ve been getting the word out that way too. Tweeting about the election is important and I’ve been recycling a tweet I used 2 years ago. Since the election is right after my birthday, I say that the slate is my birthday wish list and that that’s what I want people to get me.

I know that not everyone I know is a member of SAG-AFTRA, but I use what I can to get people to pay attention. And saying that it’s for my birthday seems to get people to notice. So I’m fine taking advantage of the timing and hopefully that will get me and my slate a few extra votes (again, every single vote counts!).

Ballots for this election are due in a few weeks so I know I’ll be busy campaigning more this election season. I’m hopeful that I’ll be elected again, but I know it’s not a guarantee. But I’m doing everything I can now so I don’t look back and wish I had done more if I’m not elected.

If you are a SAG-AFTRA member, please vote! And yes, I do want you to vote for me and the rest of the Unite for Strength slate, but to me I really just want to encourage people to vote no matter what. If you don’t vote, you are not taking the opportunity to decide who the leadership of the union is. The leadership will help guide the union over the next 2 years and you shouldn’t ignore the chance to have your voice heard.

Union Unity (or Giving A Candidate Speech)

I’ve been doing much better with being more involved in the acting world. It is election season and that is pretty exciting. Election season gets me super involved with the community and it’s very exciting for me to get to see the changes that people have been making in the union. And I’ve become more active in the Union Working group. I did miss a meeting due to work, but the most recent meeting was this past week and it was a pretty special meeting.

Union Working is a non-partisan group because the goal is the bring the union together so we can be stronger and unified. But with election season they decided to allow all the candidates who wanted to attend the meeting to give a quick speech so we could share our platform. When I heard about that, I assumed that they meant just the officer and board candidates so I didn’t think too much about it. And when I got to the meeting I was very excited to see how many people were there!

There were a lot of people who are a part of my slate as well as lots of candidates from the other slate or who are running as independents. And while we are not all on the same slate, it is really great to see everyone coming together to try to make the union the best it can be.

The guest for the meeting was a casting director and it was so much fun getting to hear him speak. I actually had met him for the first time my last year of college in a class where we got to learn about the business of acting. I remember the lessons I learned when I met him and I still use those in auditions now. So it was fun to get to see him again and reintroduce myself to him.

After the guest, it was time for the candidate speeches. And then I realized that everyone running in the election would get to give a speech, including me. I had nothing prepared, but I figured I’d try to speak from the heart and not stress too much about it. But before it was my turn, I got to listen to so many amazing (and prepared) speeches. I loved the dedication to the union that Gabrielle Carteris shared and I’m so excited that she’s running for SAG-AFTRA president on the slate I’m a part of.

And before I knew it, it was my turn to go up and speak. I’m not a huge fan of speaking in front of a large crowd. When you act, it’s a smaller crew and you are usually not aware of things. Plus, you aren’t being yourself. But getting up in front of everyone to say why I want to be a delegate is a bit scary.

What I ended up saying was how I consider myself extremely lucky. When I was ready to join the union, I had the guidance from people who I’ve met through The Actors’ Network and through Inside Acting to help guide me on what I should do as a new member. And I got to be a part of Unite for Strength and met more amazing people who have encouraged me to get involved and who have educated me on so many union issues. I only want to pay it forward and being a delegate is the perfect way to do that.

I know I flubbed my words (I couldn’t remember the phrase “pay it forward” and kept saying weird variations of it), but I think everyone knew I spoke from the heart and that I was just being honest. And I bet a lot of people were also very nervous about what they were going to say so they might have been distracted. No matter what, I’m glad I got up to speak and that it seems like my 1 minute speech went over well.

Everyone who was a candidate at the meeting who wanted to speak had the chance to. And since the group is non-partisan they did have a few rules about things we could and couldn’t say in our speeches. Mainly the rule was that the speeches were supposed to be why we wanted to be elected and this was not a time for personal attacks. And I’m glad that with the exception of one person everyone followed that rule. Election season can get a bit harsh and I would rather see people campaigning on why they want to be elected and not why others should not.

After the meeting, most people went to a bar to hang out and have fun. It was nice to have a fun night out with so many friends and just have some good social time. It was meant to also be a time for people to meet the various candidates, but most of us were just enjoying having drinks and catching up on life. I couldn’t stay too late since I had early work the next morning, but I feel like I was there long enough to have fun and not feel like I was missing out.

I’m so glad that I’ve decided to be a part of Union Working. They really are a wonderful and positive group who are working so hard to better the union no matter what slate people may be associated with. And while at the meeting, they were selling Union Working hats so I got one. This way, I can show off my Union Working pride when I’m out and about!

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Election Season Time (or Being A Part Of Unite For Strength)

It’s officially election season again for SAG-AFTRA and I’m so excited to announce that I am running for a delegate seat again! 2 years ago when I ran for the first time, I had no idea what I was in for. But I’m so glad that I had friends who told me I should run because it really was one of the greatest things I’ve done for myself!

Within an hour of the convention 2 years ago, I knew I had to run again. I never knew that being involved in the union could be so inspiring and that I would get so much out of it. And after the gala 2 years ago, I knew that I needed to let my friends know that they should be a part of this too! And because of my excitement, encouragement, and maybe a little peer pressure I have some friends who have decided to run for the first time as delegates this year.

As I had before, I am a part of the Unite For Strength slate. And I’m so proud that I get to be a part of this slate. They are most knows for helping to lead the way to merge the union (it used to be SAG and AFTRA as different unions) but the leadership of Unite For Strength has done so much for the union in the past few years. I’ve been lucky that I have witness many amazing things that they have done first hand since so much has happened in the past 2 years. But knowing the legacy of Unite For Strength is pretty awesome too!

Here’s just a sample of some of the things that the leadership from the slate have done for SAG-AFTRA:

And that’s just a portion of what they’ve done! There are so many more things that the members of this slate have done or are currently working on! To know that I get to be a part of this group is such an honor and I feel so lucky that I get to have such educated and inspiring peers. I still have to pinch myself often when I realize that these leaders are my peers. They are not just actors that I have dreamed of getting to work with or admire from afar. I get to learn from them and many of them have become my friends.

If you want to see more of who is a part of the Unite For Strength slate, there is a list of candidates on the website. Also, since no union funds can go toward a campaign, we are hoping to get some donations to help us with the costs of running the campaign. Things are not free for us (like creating flyers to educate members on the election) and every dollar helps. If you can help, even with just $1, you can donate via PayPal on the website (please note all donations must come from personal accounts and not a business one).

If you are a member of SAG-AFTRA, please remember to vote. We’ve actually got 2 voting opportunities right now. First, we are voting on the new TV/Theatrical contract. That is due on August 7th so please take the time to look at the new contract, see what gains we have made, and vote. I encourage you all to vote yes on it, but most importantly I just want to see more members vote. Our voting turnout isn’t that high and I think we need to work hard on fixing that.

And I would love for any of you who are members of SAG-AFTRA to vote for me in the upcoming election. The ballots are being mailed out this week and they are going to be counted on August 24th. And I would really appreciate you all voting for the Unite For Strength slate, but again I just want to encourage everyone to vote. I hate when I see that the voter turnout is so low. During the last election, the Los Angeles local had under 17% of the eligible members vote. We need to improve that. And hopefully while some of you might be voting for the first time, you will vote for the slate and for me. I’m #217 on the ballot!

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Overwhelmed By The Election (or Politics Time)

I don’t usually post about politics on here. If you follow me on twitter, you probably have seen my tweets during the debates and other election coverage. I’m pretty open with the fact that I’m a Democrat, but that does not mean I don’t have friends on the other side of the political spectrum.

I have some friends and family members who are Republicans and while we do get into debates and heated discussions about things from time to time, it is always respectful and we both know that we will probably never change the other person’s opinion. That’s fine with me and having political discussions is one of the great things about this country. People can have differing opinions but still be friends. I like hearing why someone believes something that I disagree with and it really makes my view of the world more well-rounded.

I have not been a fan of some Republican politicians for a long time. A lot of the reasons have been because of their political viewpoints. And even though I am not a fan I always have respect for them. They are the elected officials chosen to represent us and I have to respect that fact. Just because I was not a part of the group that elected them doesn’t mean that they don’t represent me. So I listen to what they have to say, and if I feel my voice isn’t being heard I try to do what I can to make sure someone is listening.

But with all the recent developments with Trump lately, I can’t stay quiet. I’m aware that this may lose me readers, but please read this before you decide not to follow my blog anymore.

I’ve disagreed with a lot of Trump’s stuff since the beginning of this election cycle. I don’t believe that all Muslims are bad since I have several Muslim friends who are the most amazing people. I believe that if we are going to lump all Muslims with the few bad people who claim to follow that religion, then we have to lump all Christians with the few bad people who claim to be Christians and are evil people. I don’t know anyone who really wants to consider all Christians terrorists, so in the same idea I don’t believe in considering all Muslims terrorists either.

With the tape that was released last weekend, I cannot let that type of speech be considered “locker room talk”. Even if Trump never did what he was saying that he did (and there are stories claiming that his bragging is based on real events), that type of talk is not ok. Laughing and joking about sexual assault is part of the reason that rape culture is the way it is. When a rapist gets an extremely short sentence because they don’t want to ruin the rapist’s life because they only raped the victim for a few short minutes, that’s rape culture. When it is more important to the police to find out if a victim was drinking or what they were wearing instead of why criminal chose to rape someone, that’s rape culture. Laughing about grabbing women without permission and getting away with it because you are famous is rape culture. That’s not ok for anyone to talk like that but especially for someone who wants to be President.

And then yesterday, I read a story about how there was an article that compared how many electoral votes each candidate would get if only women voted or if only men voted. If you read the article, it’s pretty interesting in how the breakdown goes and how it compares the breakdown for the last election. It was a new take on how the gender split goes on this election and I found it something informative.

But of course some people had to take that article to a new level. Because Trump was predicted to win if only men could vote, there are people saying that the 19th Amendment (which gave women the right to vote) should be repealed. This is not funny to me at all. While now there are more tweets and articles making fun of the idea that some people think women should no longer be allowed to vote, the fact that many people thought it was a great idea to take away voting rights makes me ill.

People are claiming that women having the right to vote is ruining the country. They are claiming that women have no place in politics and should leave all decisions to men because only men know what is right. People say that feminists (and I consider myself to be a feminist) are trying to make the country only work for them and make all the men do “women work”. This is not ok at all.

There are young girls who are hearing this and may be thinking that they don’t have a right to speak their mind or should try to do new things. There are young boys who are hearing this who think that this is ok to say and that women are lesser than. The things that kids are hearing will be the things that they will be saying and believing as they grow up. Do you want the next generation of women to feel like they can’t speak up or do anything with politics? Do you want the next generation of boys to believe that they can get away with anything they want because they are a boy?

I don’t want to see this as our future. While I don’t have kids, I expect that I will have them in the future. This is not the future I want for them. I have friends with kids (and there are lots of kids I babysit) and I don’t want them to feel this way about their lives or others. We need to set an example for our generation and the next one, and I doubt that most of you want this to be the example we use.

If you want to vote for Trump, I am not going to try to convince you otherwise. My friends who are Trump supporters do not think that any of this is wrong and while I disagree, I have to respect that they think this is how the country should be. But if anything that has come out has upset you, you need to vote. I’m not telling you who to vote for because that is not my place or my business. But I do want to make sure everyone will be voting. The voter registration deadline has passed for some states, but it’s not too late for others. Please make sure that you are registered to vote before it’s too late.

My First Official SAG-AFTRA Duty (or Learning What’s In Store)

After winning my delegate seat in the SAG-AFTRA election, my first question was “what’s next?”. I knew that I would get to attend the convention this year, but so much of what I could do or get to do was a mystery to me.

Fortunately, not only do I have some amazing mentors through Unite For Strength but the union has been sending emails with lots of information for us! And with the convention coming up next week, the Los Angeles SAG-AFTRA local decided to have a sort of orientation for all elected delegates.

The orientation was this week with a dinner first, followed by an opportunity to observe the local board meeting, and then finishing with the orientation. I got there nice and early so I could check in and make sure there wasn’t anything else I had to do before the official things started for the evening.

SAG-AFTRA Delegate

The dinner was fun. It was very nice of them to have food for us and we all had a great time getting to chat with our friends. We had a minor snafu when the fire alarm went off, but we were back inside pretty quickly.

Next, all the board members took their seats for the board meeting and then all the delegates got to follow inside to find a seat. I found a seat pretty close to the front and was very excited to see what would happen at the board meeting.

This was my first time getting to see a local board meeting for SAG-AFTRA and while we didn’t get to have the agenda and other paperwork that the board members had, they put the agenda up on a screen for us to follow along with. There was some housekeeping stuff to take care of since this was the first board meeting since the election. But there was also some new business and discussion about committees and other things that the local board will be doing soon.

It was really fun to see the process that goes on in the room. There are rules to follow and ways that you can and cannot bring up information or concerns. I’m hoping that I’ll be able to observe more board meetings in the future because it really was cool to see how things that affect me and my fellow actors are decided and debated on. And maybe one day I’ll run for local board and I want to make sure I understand what it’s all about before running.

When we had our delegate orientation, there was a lot of information to cover. With convention being next week, they wanted to make sure that all of our questions were answered and we were ready to go. Since the convention is in LA, we are the host local and we want to be able to help any of the other locals who are traveling to LA with questions they might have.

The convention is going to be a couple of very full days. I’ll be working my day job from the convention (just the chat customer service work since I won’t be able to answer the phone) so I know that each day will be tiring. But there are some fun things involved too. There is a gala that you had to buy a ticket for (I did) that will be held on the backlot of Warner Bros. That should be pretty awesome. There will also be a food truck lunch one day, but if it’s on Friday I will have to miss out on it because I will be in the convention room working my day job during lunch. But maybe someone can bring me food.

No matter how full the days will be or how stressed out I might get trying to balance out my schedule, I know that this is going to be great. I’ve been wanting to get more involved in the union and now is my chance to start! I’m excited to represent my fellow Los Angeles SAG-AFTRA members with the voting that will be happening next week and I hope that what is decided continues to make us a stronger and more unified union.

The End Of The SAG-AFTRA Elections (or Being An Observer)

This past Thursday, the ballots for the SAG-AFTRA election were counted. The ballot count was at the SAG-AFTRA offices starting at 9am and originally we were told that we would hear results around 5 or 6pm.

As much as I would have liked to be there in the morning, I had to work. So as soon as work was done at 3pm, I headed to the offices to wait for the results to be announced.

At first, I just waited outside the counting room. I knew I couldn’t use my phone inside the room and I was helping to update a lot of people who couldn’t be at the count. But some of my fellow candidates encouraged me to go inside, so I did.

I have to say, watching the counting was pretty cool. The main counting was done so I never got to watch the counting machines in action. But what I did get to observe was the counters hand counting questionable ballots. Those questionable ones were ones where people might have over voted (or over voted and then crossed some things out) or where the bubbles weren’t filled in in a method that the counting machines could recognize. It was pretty cool seeing these people analyzing what the intention of the voter was. It’s impressive to see how seriously they take their jobs and I feel very comfortable with the integrity of the count. If you ever have the opportunity to do something similar for a ballot count, I highly recommend it.

6pm came and they were saying we were still hours away from the results. So my slate went next door to Marie Callendars to eat and wait (too bad I already used my birthday coupon!). Ken Howard, who was running for National President, was going to get a phone call when the national results were in (we knew those would be first). Every time his phone rang, everyone got quiet and waited to see if it was “the call”. Finally, it was and Ken got the happy news that he was re-elected as president! But then we had a twist: his running mate for Secretary/Treasurer was not elected but instead the candidate from the other slate one that position. Everyone in the room was celebrating when we heard that Ken won, but then went into shock when we heard that Jenny O’Hara lost. I was really hoping for Jenny to win. I had gotten to know her really well while campaigning and I felt like she would be so amazing in that position. But now I must have faith in our new Secretary/Treasurer Jane Austin.

After Ken’s win, we heard that it might be another hour or two for the rest of the results. Many people decided to go home, but I figured I might as well stick it out as long as I could.

Since the restaurant closed, we all went back to the offices and hung out in the counting room. We kept watching for signs that the count was done. We had been told that if we were still in the room when it was done, they would let us go in and meet with the election committee one by one in private and they would tell us our results. If we weren’t there, we would get an email (actually, we’d get an email either way but finding out in person was going to be first).

I knew I couldn’t sleep until I knew so I waited it out. And finally around 11:30pm we were told to line up. There were a couple of people in front of me and some of them didn’t get elected for everything they ran for. I was so incredibly nervous and when it was my turn the nerves were even worse.

The room that we had to go into for the results felt like a judging. It was as conference room with about 10 people and you had your name and what you were running for announced so they could all check their information. It felt like forever before they could find my name. And when they did, I got the happy news that I won my convention delegate seat!

I went outside and waited for everyone else from my slate to get their results. There were some surprises on some losses, but in the end my slate has maintained the majority that we had before. And I think that maybe having the national positions split will help bring the two slates closer together and the next election won’t be as nasty.

I went to bed as soon as I got home and had this email waiting for me when I woke up in the morning.

SAG-AFTRA win

It all feels real now! And I’m getting emails about joining committees and other things. I’m seriously so excited! While I haven’t been treating my career as a hobby, I think that maybe I have been treating my union membership as one. I’m so excited to be more involved from now on with the union and hopefully make a difference in our working conditions, pay, and other issues that I and all SAG-AFTRA actors deal with.

Thank you to all of you who voted for me! I’m so excited to serve you as a convention delegate for the next two years! And who knows, maybe in 2 years I’ll be running for a board position too!

The End Of The Election (or Actors Please Remember To Vote)

I had mentioned before that I’m running as a convention delegate candidate for Unite For Strength in the SAG-AFTRA election. When I was asked first if I’d like to run, I wondered how involved I could really get because I’m not running for the board but for a convention delegate. But I’ve been able to be more involved than I thought and I’m so happy about that!

I’ve been pretty active on social media getting the word out that I’m running and who else is on the slate I’m running with. If you are SAG-AFTRA and haven’t voted yet, you can check out our handy voter guides and see who else is running with me!

I’ve gotten to know so many actors who have been very involved with the union for years, even before the unions had merged. Some of these actors are actors that I have watched on TV or in movies for years, and it’s makes me smile now that I can consider them my peers.

I’ve learned so much about the union that I was uninformed about in the past. I’m a bit embarrassed about how uninvolved I’ve been in the past, but I’m hoping to make up for that now. I have friends who have come to me with issues that they have encountered on sets or auditions in the past. I’ve been able to bring those up to current board members who are running for their seat again to find out what we can do to fix those problems. And I’ve learned that as actors, we do have more power than I thought before.

I have met people who are running on the other slate. Online, there are many nasty people. There are people online claiming that I (and my slate) are responsible for actors not making a living and that few actors are eligible for healthcare (the healthcare eligibility has gone up since the merger, but it’s still a small percentage of actors who make enough to qualify). But those running on the other slate who I’ve met in person have been for the most part very nice and friendly people. Although they have very different ideas about what is most important for us to focus on as a union, we have been able to have some polite and honest debates. I’ve brought to them some of the arguments or complaints that people have said online about why they won’t vote for me and the people from the other slate have pretty much said that all those reasons are either not the fault of the slate or something that no slate could fix anyway.

I’ve met lots of actors who either haven’t voted yet or didn’t realize that there was an election going on while I have been campaigning outside of union events. The elections typically have a turnout of about 20%, and that is just sad to me. More actors should care about their union and who is representing them. If you are a SAG-AFTRA actor and have not voted yet, do it now! You need to have you ballot received by the 20th, so we recommend mailing them today or tomorrow to get here in time!

Whether or not I win my seat, I’m so grateful that I’ve been a part of this election process. It has motivated me so much and has made me realize that even if I’m not elected there is so much more that I can do with the union to make sure that my voice is heard. I’ve learned so much about the union in general and have heard what other actors are concerned about regarding the union and the acting industry in general. And I’ve been able to hang out with old friends and make some new ones along the way.

UFS

Please remember to vote if you are a SAG-AFTRA actor and get your ballot in the mail today!

Unite For Strength (or SAG-AFTRA Election Time)

I’m so excited to announce that I am running for a Convention delegate seat with SAG-AFTRA (the actor union I’m a member of)! I was asked if I was interested to run by a friend of mine. I was a bit hesitant at first, but the more I thought about it the more it made sense. So I decided to go for it! I’ve been wanting to be more involved in my union and this is the perfect opportunity to do so. I just needed someone to give me the push to get involved.

I’m running with the Unite For Strength slate. The UFS group was formed before the two unions merged. They were the SAG-AFTRA representatives that were pro-merger. I actually got to attend one of the pre-merger UFS meetings before I joined the union. The same friend who asked me if I wanted to run this year brought me as his guest. It was a bit overwhelming at that party at first since I really didn’t know anyone (and everyone seemed to be a really established actor who I had looked up to and I was a bit nervous). But I was immediately struck by how smart and friendly everyone was. And even though I was a non-union member attending the event, everyone was interesting in getting to know who I am and answer any questions I might have had (and I had a ton at the time).

I’m honored that I’m a part of UFS for this coming election. We actually have a ton of really amazing people running for various positions in the union.

UFS 2013 Mailer Side 2

(I’m #144 on the list!).

We had a meeting as a group the other night to discuss some election things including rules of what we can and can’t do while we campaign and so us newbies could meet some of the more experienced union members who can help us out. It’s a little intimidating being in that room and hearing what other members have had to deal with in past elections, but I tried to listen to what everyone said and take in as much as I could (thankfully, UFS also sends us emails so I have copies of all the super important stuff).

Again, I was so impressed by everyone else running with UFS. Everyone was so friendly and really was there to help everyone else. I got to talk to most of the people who were at the meeting and they helped me realize that everyone has the same nerves and fears when they ran for a position for the first time. But that’s why you join a group like UFS. They are almost like election mentors and they are there to help guide me through this. And hopefully I’ll be elected and then they will be there for me again to help make sure that I am able to be a successful Convention delegate.

I think the most important thing I learned at the meeting was that it’s ok for me not to know everything. I’m going to learn and there are plenty of people who are supporting me who can help me out if I can’t answer something. My job is really to listen, to learn, and to be a voice of the union. And that’s something that I can do.

If you are able to vote in the upcoming SAG-AFTRA election, I would love it if you would vote for me (#144) and the rest of the Unite For Strength slate. But even if you don’t want to vote for me or the slate, it is so important for you to vote no matter what. I know for the merger vote there was a pretty high turnout but for this election it’s not expected to be nearly as many. So every single vote counts. It is important to be an active member of the union and by doing so you may be inspired to get more involved one day like I’m hoping to do if I win my delegate seat.

If any of you have any questions about Unite For Strength, the upcoming election, or anything else regarding SAG-AFTRA; feel free to ask me. You can comment on here or you can use my contact form if you want it to be a bit more private. If I don’t know the answer, I will find someone who does and get you the answer. Even if I don’t get voted in as a Convention delegate, I really do want to help any of you find the answers you want regarding the union. I had people who did that for me and now it’s my turn to repay the favor.

Ballots should be getting to you in the next few days, so please take a look at the Unite For Strength slate and make sure you vote!