F.A.Q.

Can I vote in these elections?

You must be a member in good standing of Actors’ Equity Association to vote. A member in good standing is one whose dues are current, and is not on temporary withdrawal, suspended payment, out-of-benefits or delinquent.

How do I find out if I’m a “Member in Good Standing?”

Two ways!

  1. Call AEA’s offices at 212-869-8530 and speak to someone in the Membership Department to find out your status.
  2. Log In to the Member Portal to check your membership status and pay your dues. If you’ve never registered for the Member Portal, you will need your Equity ID# which can be found on your Equity card. If you don’t have your card, call the office and they will tell you your number (and maybe send you a new card!)

When does voting begin and end?

Voting begins April 25 and ends May 24.

Why should I register to vote online?

It saves you time and energy of having to wait for and mail the paper ballot back in. Online voting is especially good if you are out of town working or travelling, or recently moved, because you don’t have to worry about receiving your paper ballot in the mail. And, of course, it also helps save trees.

I didn't register to vote online, can I still vote?

Of course!
As long as you are an AEA member in good standing, your paper ballot will be mailed to you around April 25, 2017. You can either mail it back by May 24, 2017, or follow instructions on the ballot to cast your vote online. (Yes, even if you didn’t register to vote online ahead of time, you can still use the information from your paper ballot to do so. Please see above about why it’s still a good idea to register ahead of time.)

How many of the #Fairwageoncouncil candidates can i vote for?

All eight of us!

2 Eastern Chorus – Manoel Felciano, Nikka Graff Lanzarone
5 Eastern Principal – Carson Elrod, Claire Karpen, Jeffrey Omura, Kellie Overbey, and Nick Westrate
1 Eastern Stage Manager – Erin Maureen Koster

Do I have to vote for all of you?

You don’t have to, but we hope you will vote for us all. Electing the whole slate will afford us a significant voice on the Council to advocate for our core values of WAGES, INCLUSION, PARTICIPATION, and ENGAGEMENT.

How many seats are up in this election?

There are 16 seats up for this election. 1 National Officer Seat, and 15 Councilor seats (out of a total of 75 Councilors).

  • 1 National Officer
    • 1st Vice President
  • 9 in the Eastern region
    • 5 Principal
    • 2 Chorus
    • 2 Stage Manager
  • 1 in the Central region
    • 1 Principal
  • 5 in the Western region
    • 4 Principal
    • 1 Chorus

Can I vote for candidates in other regions besides the one I live in?

Yes. All members can vote for candidates across all regions.

Can I vote for candidates in categories other than the ones i work?

Yes. All members can vote for candidates across all categories.

what is a slate? What is a bloc? What is a caucus?

Slate: A list of candidates for nomination or election

Bloc: a group of voters or politicians with common goals.

Caucus: Members of a legislative body who belong to a particular party or faction.

This is the Fair Wage on Council slate, a group of eight candidates who are seeking election to AEA Council. We share common goals, in that we believe that theaters and producers should pay according to their ability and to what is fair and equitable. We are not (yet) a caucus, mainly because we are not (yet) members of a legislative body.

Because of the rise of factions like the Tea Party, there is fear against ideological stringency: when members of a body politic march in lockstep according to some unwavering principle that won’t let them compromise. (Though it ought to be noted that the Tea Party’s overriding directive seems to be the weakening of the body they serve, the federal government. Fair Wage on Council’s overriding directive is the exact opposite: the strengthening of a 50,000+ member union.) While common goals unify, in most instances, they are like malleable rubber cement, not entrenched Krazy glue. Malleability exists. Did the Blue Dog Democrats all vote the same way on every bill? No. Does the Congressional Black Caucus? No.

Are we, likewise, automatons with a binary code that will only allow us to vote in sync with one another? No.

We routinely have disagreements among ourselves. But what we do is make sure everyone understands why the disagreements exist; how we as a group arrived at a decision; and that everyone’s voices were heard. We plan on doing the same on council.

Furthermore, our mere act of listening to one another has broadened our knowledge base about the issues facing chorus members, stage managers, and actors, as well the issues facing each other on different contracts.

Are we all united on the belief that wages are subpar; that inclusion, participation, and engagement all stem from discussion about wages? Yes. These guiding principles help us navigate decisions, but we are committed to making the most informed decision we can, based on the tools and evidence at our disposal. What we are most interested in is enacting policy that makes our union strong, our members secure, and our art vibrant.

As founding members of Fair Wage OnStage, our slate of candidates have put in time, energy, and brainpower into meticulous research on: operating budgets, contractual details, American labor practices, history of labor relations, data of contracts worked and workweeks accumulated, and, of course, the origins of the internet meme Leroy Jenkins and the construction of 32-bit emojis.

We have done these things in support of our union, which we believe can be a powerful and inspiring organization in America for all artists and all workers. We have done these things in support of our stage manager and actor brothers and sisters, for whom we want better wages and better workplace conditions. We have done these things in support of our country, which we believe is made a far stronger one by a labor force that can keep itself fed, clothed, healthy, and happy.

And we want to continue to do this as elected officials of Actors’ Equity Association.

What do AEA councilors do?

Our union is a democracy, and the Councilors are the members we elect to represent us. It’s like Congress, but for Equity. They are tasked with setting national policy, negotiating and ratifying contract terms, approving the union’s budget, and overseeing the work of the Executive Director.

Do AEA councilors get paid?

Nope, the Councilors and Officers of AEA are all volunteers. Only AEA staff members are salaried employees.

How many AEA councilors are there?

AEA’s National Council is composed of 75 Councilors and 8 Officers.

The number of Councilors per region is determined by the proportion of members within the region, and by the percentage of those working under Equity’s Principal, Chorus, and Stage Manager categories.

Central
1 Chorus
4 Principal
1 Stage Manager

Eastern
12 Chorus
28 Principal
7 Stage Manager

Western
3 Chorus
15 Principal
4 Stage Manager

Do councilors only represent their regions?

No, all councilors represent members for all regions.