AEA 99 Seat Referendum Results go 66% Against and 34% In Favor: Big Win for Los Angeles Pro99 Movement

Here you go, LemonHeads. We got our Mandate. 66% Against, 34% In Favor of the AEA 99 Seat Proposals.

Where’s that “silent majority” now?

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The ballots for the 99-Seat Proposal Advisory Referendum have been tabulated. We have already shared the results with the National Council and we will be posting the results on the member portal shortly.

As I promised, here are the results of the vote count:

Total number of ballots sent: 6,990

Total Number of ballots returned: 3,141

Percentage of eligible members voting: 44.6%

Total Number of invalid ballots: 20

Total Number of valid ballots: 3,121

Total Number of valid internet ballots: 1,402

Total Number of valid paper ballots: 1,719

I AM IN FAVOR OF THE EQUITY COUNCIL’S PROPOSAL FOR 99-SEAT THEATRES IN LOS ANGELES

Total Number of Yes votes: 1,075

Total Number of No votes: 2,046

As you know, Equity’s National Council will meet on Tuesday, April 21st. The results of the Advisory Referendum vote provide important information to the Council as they consider the 99-Seat Proposal and intimate theater in Los Angeles. Council will take into account the percentage of members who voted, the number of votes cast and the results, as well as the information that you have shared with Council over the last several months.

Thank you for your participation in this referendum.

In solidarity,

Mary McColl
Executive Director

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Colin Mitchell About the Author: COLIN MITCHELL: Actor/Writer/Director/Producer/Father, award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Broadway veteran, Marvel comics scribe, Van Morrison disciple, Zen-Catholic, a proud U.S. Army Brat conceived in Scotland and born in Frankfurt, Germany, currently living in Los Angeles and doing his best to piss off as many people as possible.

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  1. Joel Daavid says:

    This doesn’t mean squat if the council decides to ignore these numbers which is their right to do so. Isn’t it?

  2. Carole says:

    Perhaps the “Silent Majority” is washing all the egg off their faces. There’s a long road ahead, but I’m going to bask in this victory for at least today!

  3. William Salyers says:

    The Council ignores this vote at AEA’s peril. A mountain of evidence building towards the conclusion that Actors Equity is ignoring LA’s membership could lead to lawsuits, at best, and possibly even the creation of a Local.

  4. JM says:

    Thank you, Colin, for reporting. HUZZAH!

  5. Carol Kline says:

    This means the majority of Equity voters voted against this specific proposal. I’m for that. the good theatre companies won for the betterment of all.

    • Carol Kline says:

      There will be changes with the plan…there must be…too much abuse I have encountered after almost 40 years performing and supporting 99 seat theatre in LA.

    • Jack says:

      Not doubting what you say, your experience far outweighs mine. Just curious, what abuses have you experienced? And what ideas do you have that could address those abuses without throwing out the baby with the bathwater? My own limited experience has been very positive, so I am truly asking. Full disclosure: I am not an Equity Actor. I have earned my card in right-to-work states, but never joined. My experience with 99 seat here in L.A. has been in other capacities than an actor. I am also a producer/director of non-union theatre with children and youth, as well as the occasional show with adults.

    • Carol Kline says:

      There will be changes with the plan…there must be…too much abuse I have encountered after almost 40 years performing, designing and supporting 99 seat theatre in LA.

  6. Simon Levy says:

    New York can never again ignore the importance of L.A. theatre or our artistry. This is a major zeitgeist shift that will have a lasting impact on theatre in America. A standing O to all!

  7. Michael Kricfalusi says:

    If 44.6% of the public voted in any election, the results (especially if it was 2/1) would be considered the biggest landslide in modern American history! The National Council ignores this at their own peril.

  8. Conflicting opinions don’t get me too excited even when I lose the vote. If Equity Council Members fail to establish a way for Equity Actors and Stage Manager to share in the benefits of their labor then all Equity members will lose and Equity Association will fail to achieve its mission.
    Adolphus A Ward
    Equity Actor

  9. kimb says:

    I’m more than a little surprised by the enthusiasm with which Mary McColl’s announcement was greeted. For me, the wording telegraphs the Council’s punch:

    “Council will take into account the percentage of members who voted, the number of votes cast and the results…”

    The Council is perfectly capable of FACTUALLY stating the results in the following manner, and then making the conclusion we’ve always known they could make:

    “Since only about 2,000 of the nearly 7,000 eligible voters voted “No” in the recent advisory referendum, THE EQUITY COUNCIL’S PROPOSAL FOR 99-SEAT THEATRES IN LOS ANGELES IS HEREBY ADOPTED IN ITS ENTIRETY.”

    I guess we’ll know soon enough.

    • Jack says:

      I see. So FACTUALLY, about 5800 of about 7000 either actively rejected the proposal or didn’t think it was even important enough to vote on. So, again, FACTUALLY (and actually mathematically) about 15% of Equity members thought this massive change was really a good idea. LANDSLIDE! *dripping sarcasm* Wake up. This is, was, and will be a terrible idea that will absolutely harm actors. If Equity does it anyway, it is time for every LA Equity Actor to drop their membership, because it will be clear evidence that Equity doesn’t give a shit about their LA actors.

  10. kimb says:

    My comment was made strictly to point out that the Council could cynically construe the referendum results to justify taking a course of action they decided on long ago. Nothing more. Don’t know why I would need to “wake up” to something I’m already totally convinced of, that the AEA proposal will drastically reduce opportunities for Equity actors.

    • Jack says:

      Ok, fair enough. Just sounded like you might be hoping for that reaction from AEA. Consider me “woken up”.

    • Jack says:

      And it appears you were prescient. The NY Overlords have once again ignored LA Equity members (because, you know, LA actors aren’t “real” actors, they do that TV and Film stuff) and decided what was best. Just another example of why I have never been moved for a single second to join Equity, even though I have earned my card many times over in other right-to-work states. Equity has outlived its usefulness – in my opinion – at least in Los Angeles.

  11. Larry Vigus says:

    Were only the members in the LA local permitted to vote? I’m on the East Coast but still available to work Nationally including Los Angeles. I would have liked to vote.

  12. Peter says:

    If the National Council defies the LA membership’s clear sentiment, perhaps we should go the way of the WGA and form an Actors Equity West!

  13. Roger says:

    One more thought: Knowing they only need to swing 17% of the voters from No to Yes, What if AEA now presents a proposal to simply quadruple the current 99-seat stipends. If that were the original proposal, it would be vehemently fought. But now many members may see it as a good compromise, while many producers will still be unable to afford it, especially with a large cast. With no negotiation and no votes from producers (even the ones who are AEA members), there will be no consideration of how realistic the next proposal will be. (So don’t throw out those T-shirts yet!)

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