Esai Morales for President!

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The COOList SAG-AFTRA President Nominee!

Esai.M.500It official actor Esai Morales declared his candidacy for president of SAG-AFTRA opposing incumbant co-president Ken Howard yesterday, June 13.  A historic day, should he win he would be the very first Latino in its eighty-eight year history.

I have personally known Esai for over twenty years.  He was at my wedding!  He had recently moved to Hollywood and our Hollywood based Nuyorican connection (and Latin Heat co-founder) Loyda Ramos brought him to my wedding.  We have been friends ever since.

I know first hand of his commitment to everything he gets involved with.  And he is commited to many causes not just for Latinos in Hollywood but for all of the industry.  Not only is he a champion for everything from the enviroment, to homelessnes and eduation, he has  been an active SAG member, always actively involved with the union and in recent years as one of the National Board members.  I remember over 10 years ago seeing him reading to young kids, participating in the SAG Book Pals initiative.

Naya Rivera with NHFA's Felix Sanchez
Naya Rivera with NHFA’s Felix Sanchez

Esai is commited and passionate about everything he does, from his acting career; to being a SAG board member; to the work he has done for 16 years as one of the founders of the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts, a non-profit organization created by Jimmy Smits, Sonia Braga, Esai Morales, Merel Julia (the widow of the late Raul Julia) and President of the organization Felix Sanchez which was founded in 1997.  The non-profit organization’s mssion is to advance the presence of Latinos in media, telecommunications and entertainment.  Every year at their fundraising event in Washington D.C. they recoganize the work of established and successful Latinos and additional are always concious to invite the up and coming Latino talent in Hollywood.

Kikey at FOX
HOLA! LA co-host Kikey Castillo

This past Monday the Fox Audience Strategy held a reception to honor the work of the Hispanic Foundation for the Arts. Morales made the unofficial announcement of his intentions to run for President of SAG/AFTRA to the delight of all in attendance.

The attendees greeted the news with much encouragment and congratulations.

In attendance to at the Fox Audience Strategy’ Celebration of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts were its founders as well as, the dynamic producing duo Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci; Fox’s Audience Strategy exec Nicole Bernard; actor Nicholas Gonzalez, starring in the new ABC’s show Resurrection; Glee’s very own Naya Rivera; actor/producer Jesse Garcia, actor Jeremy Ray Valdez (Mission Park, Dreamer); Justina Machado who will be starring in the new NBC show Welcome to the Family along side Ricardo Chavirra (Desperate Housewives); Sons of Anarchy’s Benito Martinez; actress Wanda de Jesus; and CBS2/KCAL9’s HOLA! LA co-host Kikey Castillo and producer Lorena Alvarado.