Actors’ Equity Association Endorses Anthony Portantino for Congress

Los Angeles – Actors’ Equity Association announced that the union has endorsed Anthony Portantino for Congress in California’s 30th Congressional District, which is currently held by Adam Schiff, who is running for Senate. 

“Senator Portantino doesn’t just say the right things, he shows up. He’s a theatre person who knows the unique challenges of making a career in our industry, which is why we’ve had no better advocate in Sacramento,” said Kate Shindle, president of Actors’ Equity Association. “Senator Portantino has fought for and won important new arts funding that will put people to work across California. It’s not an exaggeration to say that SB-1116, also known as the Equitable Payroll Fund, would not exist without his relentless stewardship. He will take that same fight and determination to Washington, and arts workers everywhere will be better for it.” 

"I am honored and thrilled that Actors' Equity Association, which represents thousands of professional actors and stage managers in our district, has endorsed my campaign for Congress," said Portantino. "Actors' Equity Association is working to better the lives of those in the entertainment industry and I can't wait to partner with Equity once elected to continue to support the live theater craft and to ensure the passage of critical legislation like the PRO Act. Thank you Actors' Equity Association for your support, confidence and trust." 

Portantino was the lead sponsor of SB 1116, a bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom that establishes the Equitable Payroll Fund (EPF), a grant program designed to support live performances – and workers directly – by providing reimbursements of payroll expenses. This program supports jobs for both production and non-production employees. 

Portantino also passed SB 799, a bill that would have made unemployment benefits available to striking workers. Currently New York and New Jersey are the only states that make unemployment available to workers on strike. 

Equity’s federal public policy priorities include tax fairness, defending and protecting the right to collectively bargain, a prevailing wage in the arts, racial justice, a strong minimum wage, stronger federal and state arts funding, gun violence prevention, universal federal health care and LGBTQ non-discrimination protections. 

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.  #EquityWorks  

January 8, 2024