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Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Actors' Equity Association Endorses Joe Biden for President of the United States

September 21, 2020

Today, the Actors' Equity Association endorsed Joe Biden for President of the United States. In statements from the president of the association, Kate Shindle and the executive director, Mary McColl, the union slammed the Trump Administration's utter failure to respond to the pandemic, the Administration's record of working to undermine workers' rights, and how both have negatively impacted the industry. Additionally, the union cited Joe Biden's understanding of the arts as "a critical driver of healthy and strong local economies," his long career of standing on the right side of equity fights for the right to a safe workplace, and "his belief that labor unions are key to a strong middle class."

The Actors' Equity Association released the following press release:

Actors' Equity Association Endorses Joseph Biden for President of the United States

New York-- Actors' Equity Association, the national labor union representing more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers in live theatre, has announced its endorsement for the 2020 presidential election, supporting Joseph Biden and Kamala Harris.

"It didn't have to be this way. In 2016 I said that unions would have to fight with everything we have for our survival. I never imagined how true those words would be today, given the Trump administration's utter failure to respond to the pandemic that shut down our industry six months ago," said Kate Shindle, president of Actors' Equity Association. "Vice President Biden understands that the arts are a critical driver of healthy and strong local economies in cities and towns across the country. He will also be an ally who can help us build a stronger and more inclusive country by championing the rights of workers in every sector, including the arts."

In 2016, Equity endorsed Hillary Clinton, the union's first political endorsement since its beginnings in 1913, citing Donald Trump's opposition to arts funding and education, affordable housing, health care and voting rights, to name a few. Since Trump took office, he has proposed eliminating the National Endowment for the Arts in each of his budgets.

"Equity fights for the right to a safe workplace, but at every turn, Donald Trump has worked to undermine workers' rights," said Mary McColl, executive director of Actors' Equity Association. "From gun control to Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ rights, he has stood against protections our members not only support but need to survive. It is not too late. We can instead elect Vice President Biden, who in his decades long career in public service has shown time and time again his belief that labor unions are key to a strong middle class."

ACTORS' EQUITY ASSOCIATION, founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional actors and stage managers. Equity endeavors to advance the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits (health and pension included). Member: AFL-CIO, FIA. www.actorsequity.org #EquityWorks

National unions representing a range of other workers and professions have also endorsed Biden, including:

  • AFL-CIO
  • Alliance for Retired Americans (ARA)
  • American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE)
  • American Federation of Musicians (AFM)
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters (IBT), National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)
  • National Nurses United (NNU)
  • National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)
  • Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
  • Pride at Work
  • International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail, and Transportation Workers (SMART)
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT)
  • Brotherhood of Railroad Signalmen (BRS)
  • Communications Workers of America, (CWA)
  • American Postal Workers Union (APWU)
  • Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC)
  • United Steelworkers Union (USW)
  • Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco Workers and Grain Millers' International Union (BCTGM)
  • Transportation Trades Department (TTD)
  • International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (BAC)
  • United Farm Workers (UFW)
  • Transport Workers Union (TWU)
  • International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE
  • International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE),
  • International Organization of Masters, Mates & Pilots (MM&P)
  • Marine Engineers' Beneficial Association (MEBA)
  • International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF)
  • United Auto Workers (UAW)
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
  • United Association of Plumbers and Pipefitters (UA)
  • National Education Association (NEA)
  • International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU)
  • United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW)
  • American Federation of Teachers (AFT)
  • American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
  • International Association of Bridge, Structural and Ornamental Iron Workers (IW)
  • Office and Professional Employees International Union (OPEIU)
  • American Train Dispatchers Association (ATDA)
  • Utility Workers of America (UWUA)
  • National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO)
  • Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU)
  • Operative Plasterers' & Cement Masons' International Association (OPCMIA)
  • International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM)
  • International Longshoremen's Association (ILA)
  • Laborers' International Union of North America (LIUNA)
  • National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE)
  • International Union of Elevator Constructors (IUEC)
  • American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA)
  • Communications Workers of America (CWA)
  • National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU)
  • International Union of Heat and Frost Insulators (HFIAW)
  • Transportation Communication Union (TCU)
  • American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
  • Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU)
  • Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU)
  • Democratic National Committee (DNC)
  • United Union of Roofer, Waterproofers & Allied Workers

Joseph R. Biden, Campaign Press Release - ICYMI: Actors' Equity Association Endorses Joe Biden for President of the United States Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/345214

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