Candidate for President
My name is Lisa Takeuchi Cullen, and I am running for President of the Writers Guild of America East. I am a TV writer, author and former journalist. I will be the first person of color and the third woman to lead our 72-year-old union. Though I am running uncontested, I would very much appreciate your vote. Here’s why:
STRIKE: I will lead WGA East over the finish line in our epic battle for fair pay. As your vice president of Film/TV/Streaming, I have worked hard on our ongoing negotiations, starting with the selection of by all accounts a truly exceptional East NegCom team, to the many months of preparatory meetings, to facing down the AMPTP, and finally into the strike. This strike has meant nonstop, round-the-clock talking with members, meeting with staff, leading committees and coordinating with sister Guilds, politicians and non-members. But I burst with pride at our heroic army of captains and members who stood up at great personal cost to save our beloved industry. We will not give up. We will not give in.
UNITY: I will lead a united union. A year ago, WGA East faced dissolution. Due to rapid organizing in a new work sector, our guild found itself at a perilous crossroads, splintering under leadership conflicts over how and if to move forward as one body. I along with President Michael Winship, Secretary-Treasurer Chris Kyle and our brave, selfless Council representatives toiled over hundreds of hours to craft a referendum, successfully resolving our differences. I am committed to leading a union in which TV/screenwriters, broadcast news journalists and online media journalists not only coexist but support each other as family. We are stronger as one.
LEADERSHIP: I will lead an active and activist Council. This is not your father’s Council. Your elected representatives are tireless, passionate, and in the thick of our careers. We have skin in the game. We care about our members’ issues because they are ours too. This is not a Council that shrugs when members approach us with problems, complaints or suggestions; this is a Council that rolls up its sleeves and figures out solutions. We get sh*t done.
DIVERSITY: I will lead in diversity, equity and inclusion. My proudest accomplishment in this Guild is creating our Salon network of affinity groups, now six Salons and 1,000+ members strong. I also created a network for emerging writers from marginalized backgrounds called the Pre-WGA Diverse Writers of the East (900+ members strong). I co-chair the Committee for Inclusion and Equity. I am proud to have been awarded the Richard B. Jablow Award for Devoted Service to the Guild for my DEI leadership. We fight for justice and change.
How do you know I will do all this? Because I already am. During my seven years on Council, four on executive committee and two as officer, I have proved I can and do lead our 7,000-member union every day with strength, purpose and compassion.
We are powerful. We are united. We are WGA East. Thank you for your consideration. I am deeply grateful to the following WGAE members for endorsing my candidacy:
Sofia Alvarez, Eva Aridjis, Ramin Bahrani, Tanya Barfield, Kathleen Bedoya, Monica Lee Bellais, Eleanor Bergstein, Brooke Berman, Nick Bernardone, Jessica Blank, Peter Blauner, Jenna Bond, Kyle Bradstreet, Adam Brooks, Eleanor Burgess, Jessica Caldwell, Kay Cannon, Justin Carter, Tim Carvell, Laura Maria Censabella, Tom Ceraulo, Jamie Chan, Jack Ciapciak, Micharne Cloughley, Kerry Coddett, Joanna Cohen, Larry Cohen, Robert Brooks Cohen, Geri Cole, T Cooper, Deborah Copaken, Sinead Daly, Bonnie Datt, Sara David, Cheryl Davis, Angie Day, Stephani De Luca, Sabrina Dhawan, Justin DiLauro, Kathy Dobie, Kate Erickson, Brendan Feeney, Matthew Ross Fennell, Tom Fontana, Gabrielle Fulton Ponder, Jonathan Funke, Joe Gangemi, Danielle Gaydos, Marin Gazzaniga, Gina Gionfriddo, Allison Glock-Cooper, Elizabeth Godvik, Josh Gondelman, Maggie Greenwald, Lev Grossman, Tian Jun Gu, Dina Gusovsky, Hallie Haglund, Katori Hall, Denis Hamill, Rashidi Hendrix, Melissa London Hilfers, A.M. Homes, Soo Hugh, Monet Hurst-Mendoza, Liz Hynes, Greg Iwinski, Amy Jackson, Erik Jensen, Hillary Jordan, Christina Kallas, Tom Kelly, Tom Kemnitz Jr., Sarvenaz Kreindler, Chris Kyle, Laura Lau, Christie LeBlanc, Nialla LeBeouf, Gail Lee, Kenneth Lin, Jenny Lumet, Julie Martin, Marc Maurino, Jennifer Mayer, Alison McDonald, Kathy McGee, Bethany McHugh, Sarah Montana, Karen Mooney, Sie Morley, Derek Nguyen, Marygrace O’Shea, Daniel O’Connor, Leizel Olegario, Ian Olympio, Zhubin Parang, Taylor Kay Phillips, Victoria Pollack, CQ Quintana, Franchesca Ramsey, Michael Rauch, Jacquelyn Reingold, Michele Remsen, Mike Rezendes, Celine Robinson, Elizabeth Rohrbaugh, Sharyn Rothstein, Benjamin Rubin, Charlie Rubin, Molly Rydzel, Andrew Saito, Erica Saleh, Melissa Salmons, James Schamus, Ted Schreiber, Lara Shapiro, Jack Sheahan, Madhuri Shekar, Kathryn Sydney Sidner, Courtney Simon, David Simon, Shari Simpson, Lauren Ashley Smith, Diana Son, Sasha Stewart, Susanna Styron, Judy Tate, Natalia Temesgen, Marc Theobald, Bren Thomas, Felipe Torres Medina, Jill Twiss, Jennifer Vanderbes, Louis Venosta, Richard Vetere, Joe Vinciguerra, Caroline Waxler, Suzanne Weber, Justin Weinberger, David Levinson Wilk, Beau Willimon, Tracey Scott Wilson, Kit Yan, Lauren Yee, Brianna Yellen, Linda Yellen, Moujan Zolfaghari