The Future of Music Coalition (FMC) released a report on Nov. 18 documenting the effects of radio station consolidation on musicians and the public.
The study, entitled “Radio Deregulation: Has It Served Citizens and Musicians?” showed that consolidation of the commercial radio industry that followed the Telecommunications Act of 1996 has led to a loss of local focus, less competition, fewer viewpoints and less diversity in radio programming in media markets across the country.
FMC utilized industry data to demonstrate that deregulation has failed to benefit both musicians – who rely on radio to promote their music – and the public in general. The FMC’s report has found that, contrary to the claims of commercial broadcasters, radio consolidation has had profound and negative effects.
The report found that ten parent companies dominate the radio industry, and virtually every music format is tightly defined, making radio playlists more and more homogeneous.
THE GREENGROCER CODE OF CONDUCT
The state Attorney General’s office, the United Food and Commercial Workers and community groups are supporting a new initiative to raise the standard of living for thousands working in the city’s greengrocer (or deli) industry.
The Greengrocer Code of Conduct is designed to pressure greengrocers to comply with state labor laws like minimum wage and overtime. The code mandates minimum levels of working conditions and encourages owners to respect workers’ rights to organize.
Local 802 members can assist in the campaign by looking for the Greengrocer Code of Conduct seal in your greengrocer’s window. If you do not see a seal in the window, ask the owner why they have not signed the Greengrocer Code of Conduct. If they are unaware of the code, please ask them to call (212) 416-8700 to request more information.
NEW YORK CITY BUDGET OUTLOOK
The Fiscal Policy Institute (FPI) conducted an analysis of the 2003-2004 city budget. The FPI found a $7.4 billion gap that needs to be closed over 20 months and suggested some alternatives to relieve the budget deficit.
The study suggested that the tax increase proposed by Mayor Bloomberg be modified to change the mix of taxes, with less reliance on property tax and more on personal and business income taxes. The institute also recommends that the city push for increased state aid.
FPI strongly advocated reinstating the commuter tax to make the tax structure more equitable. The report states that commuters receive nearly $3,000 in city services; suburbs are increasingly reliant on the city economy; commuters earn 2-3 times what New York City residents earn and their wages rose twice as fast in the 1990’s; and a commuter tax is a cost effective way for the state to assist the city.
Local 802 members can view a copy of the full report at www.fiscalpolicy.org.
LIBERTY BOND HOUSING COALITION
A coalition of community, advocacy, research and service organizations is protesting the use of Liberty bonds for luxury apartments in Lower Manhattan. The coalition wants the governor and mayor to use the bonds to leverage affordable, mixed-income housing instead. Liberty bonds are triple tax-exempt private activity bonds, $8 billion of which were authorized by Congress to rebuild lower Manhattan after Sept. 11, 2001.
To learn more about Liberty bonds, go to www.goodjobsny.org/rec_news.htm.