Take a fresh look at your lifestyle.

- Advertisement -

Actors’ Equity Launches Political Action Committee Ahead of 2024 Elections (Exclusive)

Actors’ Equity Association sets up its own political action committee.

The union of more than 51,000 stage managers and actors launches the PAC the first week of April, with the goal of contributing funds to federal candidates who support Actors’ Equity priorities. These include more arts financing, comprehensive health care coverage, protection of the right to organize, and specific entertainment legislation, such as the Performing Artists Tax Parity Act.

The PAC will be a separate organization from the union. Union members can choose whether or not to contribute money to the PAC (and contributions are not deducted from dues paid to the union). Actors’ Equity would not share exact fundraising figures, but said a “significant” number of current and former union leaders have already pledged to contribute to the PAC.

It joins a few other entertainment unions with PACs, including The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, the American Federation of Musicians, the Writers Guild of America West, and the Directors Guild of America.

The creation of the Equity’s PAC arose from a resolution passed at the national convention last fall. But more importantly, Actors’ Equity wanted the organization in place before the 2024 election. There are concerns that funding for the arts may be further cut. The union also sees an opportunity to flip House seats in New York that went to Republican candidates in the last election to what they call “pro-worker candidates.” This could determine control of the US House, they say.

“Each cycle is important. 2024 will be increased. And we want to make sure pro-worker candidates are chosen who care about artists and workers in general,” said Al Vincent Jr., executive director of Actors’ Equity.

For more than a century, the union, founded in 1913, had a policy that prohibited supporting political candidates. In 2016, Actors’ Equity reversed policy and made its first presidential endorsement for Hillary Clinton and then endorsed Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

The union became more involved in politics during the pandemic, as Actors’ Equity was one of many lobbying for COBRA and pandemic unemployment subsidies for its employees, as well as additional funding for the National Endowment for the Arts.

“During COVID, it became very clear institutionally that we couldn’t just sit on the sidelines and say, ‘We are the arts.’ It is virtually impossible to pretend that we live in an apolitical world as long as we are on stage. We’re still working class,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity.

During that time, Actors’ Equity, like other theatrical unions, found that many lawmakers appreciated the arts but failed to understand its economic impact, Shindle added, prompting the need for further advocacy. The union has also spoken out on legislation, including condemning the recent passage of a bill in Tennessee restricting cross-dressing performance.

Priorities for the PAC include continued funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, passage of the PRO bill, which many unions support because it provides greater protection for workers who try to organize, and the passage of the priorities for justice, diversity and inclusion. , including the Crown Act, which prohibits discrimination based on haircut and texture. The union will also continue to push for the Performing Artists Tax Parity Act, which raises the income cap for performers to deduct certain performance-related expenses.

Overall, the union will support issues such as universal health care, reasonable gun law reform, and non-discrimination and LGBTQ+ rights, Shindle said.

Actors’ Equity launches the PAC as it negotiates several contracts, including a new contract for touring productions.

“We’re still in the room. Our members are really excited. And we know what they need. I believe we have a pretty clear picture of what they need, and we’re still working to get it,” Shindle said of the negotiations.

!function(f, b, e, v, n, t, s) {
if (f.fbq) return;
n = f.fbq = function() {n.callMethod ? n.callMethod.apply(n, arguments) : n.queue.push(arguments);};
if (!f._fbq) f._fbq = n;
n.push = n;
n.loaded = !0;
n.version = ‘2.0’;
n.queue = [];
t = b.createElement(e);
t.async = !0;
t.src = v;
s = b.getElementsByTagName(e)[0];
s.parentNode.insertBefore(t, s);
}(window, document, ‘script’, ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/fbevents.js’);
fbq(‘init’, ‘352999048212581’);
fbq(‘track’, ‘PageView’);

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.