Saying that “it’s time for a change,” Patricia Richardson today announced her Membership First slate of running mates in the upcoming SAG-AFTRA election. Richardson, best known for her starring role on Home Improvement, announced last month that she is running against Ken Howard for President. Her running mate is renowned stuntwoman Jane Austin, who’s running for National Secretary/Treasurer.

SAGAFTRALogoVertical“It is difficult for us to campaign without talking about what needs to changed or be done differently,” Richardson said. “But the problems we face now are not just a result of one leader who has been in for three terms. The business has been changing, and management has been able to take advantage of that for longer than during the leadership of one person. Jane and I think it’s time for a change. We have a diversified ticket. Our whole team wants to have a member-centric, member-led, transparent and more democratic approach to tackling the issues that have not been solved.”

Said Austin: “I am so energized and excited to be running with Patricia Richardson for the top national spots of our union. I am looking forward to what we can accomplish as a team to provide more services for our membership and to enforce the codified agreements of our contracts. I am also looking forward to expanding SAG-AFTRA’s dedicated involvement with new media and working intensely for coverage for our members globally and protecting our jobs at home. It is a new world for our members, on all levels.”

In a preview of the slate’s platform, Austin, who is also running for President of the guild’s Los Angeles local, said: “It is the responsibility of the elected leadership to protect the union’s members. I feel that millions of union dollars should not have been spent on logos for union branding, rent of empty offices, or renovations on rented property. When our unions merged, we reduced the staff from both unions, closed local branches, and terminated the Stunt, Singer, Dancer, and Background Departments. The present administration condensed all of these members into one department called the Specialty Department. Producers and productions are constantly violating our codified contract. Members are calling their union and no one is there to help them. These same members are paying dues for services that they are not receiving. I want to change and fix that.”

Richardson said that she is “especially proud to have Jane Austin as my running mate. Jane is a very well-known stuntwoman who owns her own business – Hollywood Stuntworks. She’s a strong voice for and has a lot of contact with members around the country and is acutely aware of the problems we have now with location practices, travel and set violations. She is bold, smart and big-hearted. We are working moms, union advocates, businesswomen and performers.”

Image (1) esaimorales_20110721200546-150x150.jpg for post 437941Esai Morales and David Jolliffe are running on the slate for the two Los Angeles Vice President positions. Morales, who ran against Howard for president in the merged union’s first national election two years ago, is a SAG-AFTRA board member who plays the President of the United States on HBO’s The Brink. “He is eloquent about, and dedicated to, the welfare and future of every member,” Richardson said.

Jolliffe, she said, “is probably the most important person to have elected on this list of candidates. He founded and chaired the SAG National Commercial Committee, was the SAG chair of the 2000 and the 2006 commercial negotiations, co-chaired three TV/theatrical negotiations, two basic cable negotiations, two animation negotiations and two dubbing negotiations. He’s been on countless committees and somehow manages to be liked by members of all the parties despite all the politics. This last quality of David’s is especially important because it is a goal of mine to get the infighting out of the board room.”

Ed AsnerThe slate includes two of Hollywood’s best-known progressives: Martin Sheen and former SAG President Ed Asner, who is making a return to union politics. Asner is a candidate for seats on the local and national boards and as a convention delegate. Sheen, who is already a member of the national board, is running for a seat on the local board. Other well-known actors on the slate include Diane Ladd and Frances Fisher, who are running for seats on the local and national boards and as a convention delegates.

“I was humbled by the list of people we have wanting to serve our members on the Membership First slate,” Richardson said. “Some of our people are very well known and respected actors, and some may not be so recognizable. They may be background performers or stunt people. They may do voice over work or any number of the many types of work we cover now. I’ve been getting to know them in and outside of meetings and am moved by the way they care about this union, its members, and its future.”

The slate’s 18 candidates running for the national board are:

Linda Harcharic
Samantha Hartson
Charlie Hutchins
David Jolliffe
Diane Ladd
Jodi Long
Kurt Lott
Ron Ostrow
Patricia Richardson
Robin Riker
Edward Asner
Jeff Austin
Michael Bell
David Cowgil
Joe d’Angerio
Debbie Evans
Frances Fisher
Marc C Geschwind

The slate’s 25 candidates running for the Los Angeles local board are:

Richard Hadfield
Linda Harcharic
Samantha Hartson
Cupid Hayes
Charlie Hutchins
David Jolliffe
Matt Kavanaugh
Diane Ladd
Jodi Long
Kurt Lott
Esai Morales
Ron Ostrow
Patricia Richardson
Robin Riker
Martin Sheen
Edward Asner
Jane Austin
Jeff Austin
Michael Bell
David Cowgil
Joe d’Angerio
Carole Elliott
Frances Fisher
Marc C Geschwind
Debbie Evans (in the stunt performer category)

The slate’s 42 candidates running to serve as delegates to the union’s upcoming convention are:

Richard Hadfield
Linda Harcharic
Samantha Hartson
Cupid Hayes
Jack E. Herman
Charles Hutchins
David Jolliffe
Matt Kavanaugh
Diane Ladd
Peggy Lane O’Rourke
Jodi Long
Eric Newnham
Ron Ostrow
Martin Pierron
Patricia Richardson
Robin Riker
Gary Sievers
Dave Slattery
Scott Stewart
Jason Stuart
Kent Van Kuller
Vanessa Verdugo
Edward Asner
Jeff Austin
Michael Bell
Jennifer H. Caldwell
David Clennon
David Cowgil
Joe d ‘Angerio
Joan Del Mar
Susie Duff
Carole Elliott
Catherine Eads
Judy Evans
Frances Fisher
Steve Forbess
Freddi Gerard
Marc C Geschwind
Pamela Guest

Stunt Performer Category

Kurt Lott
Brady Romberg
Debbie Evans