Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Three Membership First Candidates Elected to AFTRA Boards

The AFTRA Los Angeles results are in. Many candidates were reelected, but new winners include two Membership First leaders—SAG 1st VP Anne-Marie Johnson (AFTRA national board) and former SAG Hollywood Board member David Jolliffe (AFTRA Los Angeles local board)—as well as Membership First member Alan Ruck (AFTRA national board). They join several MF stalwarts already on the national board (not sure about the LA local board).

Johnson and Jolliffe bring a particularly interesting dynamic to the AFTRA boards. Johnson, for instance, in a recent video described running for the AFTRA board as “really distasteful for me” and accused AFTRA of leech[ing] off of [SAG].” Jolliffe, for his part, told me in an interview last summer that SAG was the “one union for actors.” These remarks certainly make one skeptical of their intentions as they join the AFTRA boards.

I'm told by a source that even with these new board members, Membership First still controls less than 10% of the votes on AFTRA’s national board. They now have 7 seats (out of 73 total on the board) – Frances Fischer, Sumi Haru, Jane Austin, Jeff Austin, Anne-Marie Johnson, Alan Ruck, and Bonnie Bartlett.

3,262 valid ballots were received in the election, which was for LA only. I’m not sure what percentage turnout that represents, but I’m asking AFTRA. However, given that the union has 70,000 members nationwide, I’m guessing that this turnout is probably on the order of 10%.

In any case, the small number of ballots makes it impossible, in my view, to extrapolate from these results and make predictions about the upcoming SAG elections (July through September), let alone the contract ratification vote (ballots due in by mail next Tuesday, so there’s only a day or so left to send in ballots).

Below is the AFTRA press release with complete information on the election.


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Election Results for Los Angeles Officers, Los Angeles and National Board

Members, and Convention Delegates

AFTRA LA President Ron Morgan Reelected

LOS ANGELES, CA (June 3, 2009)---The American Federation of Television and Radio Artists announced today election results for the AFTRA Los Angeles Local.

Actor Ron Morgan was re-elected President of AFTRA Los Angeles and will begin his new two-year term as Local President on July 1; he ran unopposed in his bid for reelection. Mr. Morgan was also elected to the AFTRA National Board of Directors for a four-year term; he also serves as a National Vice President of the union.

Also uncontested in their reelection for two-year terms as officers for AFTRA Los Angeles were First Vice President Susan Boyd Joyce, a singer; actor Gabrielle Carteris, Second Vice President; Third Vice President Bobbie Bates, a dancer; Fourth VP Jason George, an actor; Recording Secretary Patrika Darbo, an actor; and actor Jay Gerber continues as Treasurer.

Reelected to three-year terms on the Los Angeles Local Board of Directors were actors David Bowe, Raza Burgee, Andrew Caple-Shaw, Gabrielle Carteris, Bob Joles, Kate Linder, and Paul Napier; announcer Mike Sakellarides; dancer Galen Hooks; broadcaster Pepe Barreto; and singers Susan Boyd Joyce and Dick Wells. Incoming Los Angeles Local Board members include actors David Andriole, Mimi Cozzens, David Jolliffe, Marcia Strassman; and announcer Chuck Southcott.

AFTRA National Board members from the Los Angeles Local reelected to four-year terms include actors Gabrielle Carteris, Jay Gerber, Ron Morgan, and Paul Petersen; dancer Bobbie Bates; and singers Susan Boyd Joyce and Sally Stevens. Newly-elected to the AFTRA National Board are actors Anne-Marie Johnson, D. W. Moffett, Jason Priestley, and Alan Ruck.

One-hundred-and-ninety-eight (198) Los Angeles Delegates to AFTRA's 62nd National Convention were also elected. The National Convention will be held August 6 - 8 in Chicago, Illinois.

There are 73 seats total on the new AFTRA National Board, which will be officially seated following AFTRA's National Convention on August 9 in Chicago, Illinois. The AFTRA Los Angeles Local will be assigned 26 seats on the new National Board; 13 were up for election, 11 were open seats and two seats were assigned to the Announcer category and the Newsperson category, respectively.

All AFTRA Los Angeles Local officer and board terms begin July 1. The AFTRA National Board terms begin at the conclusion of this summer's National Convention.

A total of 3,262 valid ballots were received in the AFTRA Los Angeles election.

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