By Dave McNary Variety July 17, 2019 6:30AM PT
Veteran actress and union activist Jodi Long is running for secretary-treasurer of SAG-AFTRA as a member of Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate.
She is facing Camryn Manheim, who announced her candidacy on July 9 as part of the Unite for Strength slate for the re-election of union president Gabrielle Carteris. Unite for Strength and United Screen Actors Nationwide have been the ruling factions at the union for the past decade with an emphasis on pragmatic policies.
“It’s my time to step up to the fight,” Long said. “A fight for a change in leadership and our right to make a decent living.”
Election ballots will be mailed to dues-current members on July 29 and will be tabulated on August 28. SAG-AFTRA represents about 160,000 performers.
Mondine said, “Jodi will bring truth and transparency where there is now vagary and opacity.”
Jane Austin, the current SAG-AFTRA secretary-treasurer, has opted to run for president as an independent against Carteris and Modine.
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Long’s been on the SAG-AFTRA National Board for two terms and serves on the Executive Committee and the Negotiating Committee. Endorsers include George Takei, Christine Ebersole, Bill Pullman, Anna Deveare Smith, Frankie Faison, and Margaret Cho.
Film work includes “The Tale” with Laura Dern, “Beginners” with Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, Paul Schrader’s “Patty Hearst,” and Mike Newell’s “Sour Sweet.” Television series regular work includes “Sullivan and Son,” AMC’s “Falling Water,” Margaret Cho’s mother in All American Girl, “Cafe Americain” with Valerie Bertinelli, and “Sex in The City.”
Her play, “Surfing DNA,” was produced at East West Players in Los Angeles and garnered her an Ovation nomination for best solo performance. She is president of the board of Visual Communications, which produces The Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival.
Secretary-Treasurer is the third-highest elected post at SAG-AFTRA.Turnout in SAG-AFTRA national elections usually is in the 20% to 30% range among eligible voters. Delegates to SAG-AFTRA’s convention this fall will elect an executive vice president as the second-highest ranking elected officer.
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*Headline photo featured in Mr. McNary’ article