Power Boosters for Obama!

Music & Power

Volume CVIII, No. 10October, 2008

Ethan Fein
Earlier this summer, Local 802’s new, all-volunteer political action squad named itself: we are the Power Boosters! Our mission is to support the union’s efforts, using corporate campaign strategies. See my previous articles for background.

The presidential election of 2008 presents us with an opportunity to change this country forever. We cannot let this fail. Barack Obama must be elected president. Working to make this kind of thing happen is precisely the reason the Power Boosters have volunteered.

Democratic institutions only exist because individual citizens and members come together to work collectively. Otherwise, all of the things we hold dear will fall apart. We are seeing this deterioration everywhere we look. We must turn this around now.

This first opportunity creates more opportunities to follow. It will not be enough, one time, to come together to change the government. We must remain active even after we succeed, or our efforts will be wasted. We cannot depend on others to follow through and protect our dreams and make them real. We must do these things ourselves.

The Power Boosters now have our first task, and we need to step up and accomplish it. Once we are successful, even if just to the point of actively contributing to a larger effort, we can feel more confident the next time we need to apply ourselves, and we will understand better how to do it. Each time we engage, we will improve and be more efficient.

It is helpful to our union that our activities are organized through the Power Boosters. There are not very many of us yet, but our activities will make us appear to be a much larger and more effective group. This can give us an enhanced reputation with our friends in labor, and our potential opponents elsewhere. We need people to see us as a force with which to be reckoned. 

I would encourage anyone interested to volunteer to help in any way possible. Individuals can volunteer directly with the Obama political campaign, but I would urge people to join our group so we can serve our country and also our union at the same time with no extra effort involved. Double your effectiveness.

We will also promote participation in electioneering in swing states like Pennsylvania, but as this kind of activity is often done on weekends, it may not be generally appropriate for musicians. We are going to be working on phone banks. We will try to tie our participation in with other unions, so we can make connections for Local 802.

Local 802 will need allies in the future in our struggles. Power Boosters can do a little networking when we get active, and this helps us in the long term make friends. 

This column is a heads up for the people who have already signed up with the Power Boosters, but I also hope it will encourage more people to join us. We have justice and the future of live music in New York as our goals, and we need your help. Thanks. Contact me at