My report this month will be short because there’s really only one thing on our minds: the Nov. 8 election, which is just around the corner. In this issue, please see The Local 802 Endorsement Slate. As always, we do not take endorsements lightly. Over the past few months, I’ve heard from many members who appreciate our endorsements, including our presidential endorsement of Hillary Clinton and the other state and local endorsements that we’ve made. On the other hand, a few members have told me that we shouldn’t take sides; at most, we should print all viewpoints and let members decide for themselves. I respect that opinion, but frankly we don’t have that luxury. When the Local 802 Executive Board votes on endorsements, we do so with the full knowledge that we need the support of our political leaders in order to help musicians, help union members, and help all working people. We advocate for legislation that reflects the unique needs of our industry. This includes tax credits to support the recording industry; protecting workers’ compensation; fighting against laws that misclassify musicians as independent contractors; advocating for the Transportation Security Administration to process instruments through airport security without difficulty and allow instruments as carry-ons; supporting the National Endowment for the Arts, protecting copyright legislation; and strengthening performance rights in digital and AM/FM radio formats. If you have any questions about our endorsement process, please contact our political and communications director Christopher Carroll at (212) 245-4802, ext. 176. For those of you who want to help us with get-out-the-vote efforts for Hillary Clinton or our other endorsed candidates, contact Chris. And, whatever you do, please remember to vote on Nov. 8! Your country depends on it!
It is hard to believe that three of our finest AFM orchestras have been forced to go on strike recently, due to management’s unfair demands: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Fort Worth. There is one piece of relatively good news: the Philadelphia strike was settled within days. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: musicians should never have to bear the brunt of bad orchestra management. The top orchestra managers earn the big bucks to develop long-term strategic planning and fundraising plans, and managers should not cut the musicians’ paychecks in order to pay for their short-sightedness. Audiences and communities will always crave live music; it’s simply the responsibility of orchestra managers to chart the path forward so that ensembles can flourish. Please support the musicians of Pittsburgh and Fort Worth at www.facebook.com/psomusicians and www.facebook.com/fwsomusicians
CONGRATULATIONS TO BOB DYLAN!
I couldn’t be more thrilled when I heard that Local 802 member Bob Dylan was being awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize in literature. Mr. Dylan has made an indelible mark on global culture, exemplifying the role that musicians, writers and artists can have in raising awareness and transforming the way we see the world. The power of Mr. Dylan’s innovative musical style and poetic expression is matched only by his deep generosity and commitment to supporting working musicians and the music community. He is a generous supporter of the Local 802 Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund. We are honored to call him a fellow member and a colleague – and could not be more proud to have a Nobel Laureate as one of our own!