Why Vote This Year? Here’s Why!

Music & Politics

Volume CVI, No. 9September, 2006

Heather Beaudoin

Local 802 musicians should vote in the Sept. 12 primaries and volunteer on Election Day on Nov. 7. Why? Because this year’s elections will better you, your family, and your profession — if the right candidates win.

Local 802’s Executive Board has endorsed Eliot Spitzer for governor, Andrew Cuomo for attorney general, Hillary Clinton for senator, Alan Hevesi for controller, John Hall for Congress in the 19th district and Shelley Mayer for State Assembly in the 93rd district.

Why these candidates? Because each of them has a proven record of accomplishments that could help make life better for a New York musician.

Spitzer has transformed the attorney general’s office into a strong advocate for working musicians. One major example is Spitzer’s investigation into payola in the music industry resulting in settlements from EMI, Sony, BMG, and Warner and Universal. Spitzer has also created a “Greengrocer Code of Conduct” to protect workers’ rights; and has prosecuted several contractors who underpaid their workers.

When Andrew Cuomo was the secretary of housing and urban development, the number of families that bought a house grew significantly because of changes to HUD’s federal mortgage program. This benefited millions of families, at no cost to taxpayers. HUD also helped 255,000 New York families purchase homes by providing $25.4 billion of mortgage insurance and lowering mortgage insurance costs. At HUD, Cuomo worked with the AFL-CIO to increase investments in communities and support projects to improve the quality of life of working families across the country.

Senator Clinton successfully led a bipartisan effort to extend unemployment insurance three times in the last four years, enabling families to continue to pay household bills while they seek new employment. She is a co-sponsor of the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2005, which would raise the minimum wage for the first time in more than eight years. She fought to expand the State Children’s Health Insurance Program and Medicaid to parents of eligible children; to provide tax incentives for small employers to offer health insurance for their employees; and is a principal author of the Wired for Health Care Quality Act, which creates an interoperable health information technology system that can be used to enhance efficiency and improve patient care.

In January 2006, Comptroller Hevesi issued an agenda of 21 reform measures to strengthen New York’s fiscal management practices, as well as an analysis of best fiscal practices conducted during the past several months. The agenda is designed to improve fiscal responsibility, lengthen the budget deliberation process, enhance accountability, provide the public with better information and foster public participation.