SAG-AFTRA’s national convention closed today with voting on resolutions and speeches from the 160,000-member union’s top elected officials. The biennial conclave was a major show of support for SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris, whose allies were elected by the delegates to all eight of the union’s national vice presidencies. Carteris was re-elected national president in August.
“We are living in incredible times,” Carteris said in her closing remarks. “Our union is achieving truly amazing things – stronger contracts, organizing victories, safety protocols – real progress on behalf of our members. We have done work around safety on the set, sexual harassment, stunt coordinator process guidelines and contract enforcement. All these things come with incredible effort and they take great courage. What we have achieved is possible only because we have had, and will continue to have, our eyes on the prize. I’m looking forward to the future and to creating a stronger union together.”
Secretary-treasurer Camryn Manheim, who was Carteris’ running mate in the August elections, told the more than 400 delegates she is more excited than ever to get to work.
“It has truly been wonderful meeting my fellow members from around the country and hearing about the issues that are most important to them,” she said. “I am just now beginning my tenure in this leadership position but I have been in the trenches on sets, with my fellow actors, my fellow members, my cherished friends for three decades and I know the struggle is real. As secretary-treasurer, it is my absolute goal to offer a strategic and thoughtful approach centered on member service.”
“I believe that when you are a leader of this union, you have a calling to make things the best they can be,” said Rebecca Damon, who was re-elected executive vice president at the convention. “The world is changing around us. We face new technology and we’re in a moment of media evolution. We have to acknowledge that the future is here and the choices we make in this moment will not just impact our digital rights, but also how we move through the evolving space for generations to come.”
The union’s next convention will take place in 2021.