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Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Endorses Joe Biden for President; First Presidential Endorsement in Union's History

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Stage Directors and Choreographers Society Endorses Joe Biden for President; First Presidential Endorsement in Union's History

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society has announced that the Union is endorsing Joe Biden in his 2020 bid for the presidency. This is the first time in the Union's 60-year history that it has endorsed a presidential candidate.

At the Union's July 20th Membership Meeting, the SDC Political Engagement Committee, led by Co-Chairs Anne Bogart and Lisa Portes, reported that following unanimous approval of the endorsement by the 34-Member Executive Board, a Union-wide poll was conducted. Members overwhelmingly voted to endorse Mr. Biden for president, citing his positions, experience, and temperament.

Evan Yionoulis, SDC President, says, "It has become increasingly clear in this time of national crisis that the Union must take strong action to protect and advance the interests of our Members. Today's endorsement is an important step in our political engagement toward that end."

Committee Co-Chair Portes says, "We are living in extraordinary, destabilizing times. As we try to position ourselves for an uncertain future, it is clear that the candidate whose platform aligns most directly with our Union's agenda and provides the greatest ability to advocate for a just and equitable field is Joe Biden."

The Union's Political Engagement Committee was formed after the November 14, 2016 Annual Membership Meeting by then-President Pam MacKinnon, who was inspired by Past President Susan Schulman's belief that labor unions best serve their foundational purpose-to protect the rights of workers-when they are engaged politically. The responsibilities of the Committee escalated in 2020, first because of the impending election, and now because of the dual pandemics of Covid-19 and the call for racial justice in all facets of society, including the American theatre.

Says SDC Executive Director Laura Penn, "Given the Union's history of not making political endorsements, this is a decision the Executive Board did not take lightly. But current realities demand that we rise up as one and protect not only our livelihoods, but the very well-being of our Members, their families, and their communities."

This year, the Political Engagement Committee has been working with the SDC Membership to support the CARES Act, advocate for COBRA subsidies, encourage absentee voting during the pandemic and, most recently, urge senators to vote for the HEROES Act to extend pandemic unemployment assistance, which is critically important to SDC Members.

Throughout this 2020 election season, the Committee will continue its work with SDC Members to protect the rights of all citizens to vote, and encourage SDC Members to engage locally and nationally with candidates and causes that strengthen communities, unions, and arts and culture.

SDC is the theatrical union that represents 4,300 professional stage Directors and Choreographers throughout the United States, protecting the rights, health, and livelihood of all its Members working in jurisdictions including: Broadway and National tours, Off-Broadway, Association of Non-Profit Theatre Companies, New York City (ANTC), League of Resident Theatres (LORT), Council of Resident Stock Theatres (CORST), Traditional Summer Stock (TSS), New England Area Theatres (NEAT), Dinner Theatre (DTA), Regional Musical Theatre (RMT), and Outdoor Musical Stock (OMS).

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