The California IATSE Council has endorsed Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff in his campaign to succeed U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has not yet said whether or not she’ll be seeking reelection next year. Schiff is the 11-term congressman whose district includes Burbank, Hollywood and West Hollywood.
The council, which is made up of 18 IATSE locals representing more than 54,000 workers in the film at TV industry throughout the state, said in a statement that “We make this early commitment because our decades of working with Congressman Schiff have given us direct evidence of his deep and abiding commitment to – and willingness to take action on – the issues that directly impact our members and their families.
“From his early days in Congress, Adam Schiff, has demonstrated that commitment. In 2001, when there was large scale flight of film and television productions from California to Canada, but the term “runaway production” was known only within our industry and certainly not in the halls of Congress, Congressman Schiff became one of the earliest co-authors of federal legislation to keep the U.S. competitive. He kept working for passage of that legislation, called the Independent Film and Television Production Incentive Act, until it became law in 2004.
“During his time on the House Judiciary Committee, he defended the films and television shows our members make from copyright, and then Internet, theft. He has worked to support copyright protections and crack down on those who would steal the work of U.S. creators for a profit – which erodes residual payments into our members’ health and pension plans.
“He fought for unemployment compensation for our members when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down our industry and stood with us in 2021, when we were fighting for our member’s right to a fair contract and a safe workplace.
“There could be no stronger or truer voice for the working people of California than Congressman Adam Schiff. He is a man of conscience, conviction, and strength. And, important in this day and age, he is steadfast in the face of adversity. He understands that doing the right thing for working people is key to ensuring America remains the land of opportunity.
“The CIC looks forward to working hard for his election as a U. S. Senator for California.”
Schiff formally declared last month and joins Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) in the race, with Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) also planning to run. Feinstein has not said what her plans are, but there is expectation that she will not be in the race.
All the candidates are expected to heavily court Hollywood donors, tapping longtime connections from their congressional campaigns. Schiff gained a national platform for his role on the January 6th Committee and on the House Intelligence Committee during investigations of Donald Trump.
Deadline’s Ted Johnson contributed to this report.
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