Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.

As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.

The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.

Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.

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Home » Legislative Update » The New Balance of Power in Washington, DC


The New Balance of Power in Washington, DC

  -  AFM Legislative, Political, and Diversity Director

On November 4, AFM members across the country exercised their rights as they voted in national midterm elections. As Republican candidates picked up victories across the country, important AFM House and Senate champions from both parties were able to retain their seats. Our eyes were set on those who, over the years, have exercised leadership with legislation and regulatory issues we currently have moving in Washington, DC.

Two critical retirements by longtime arts and entertainment supporters, Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) and Representative Howard Coble (R-NC), will have a profound positive impact on AFM labor, aviation, film, and copyright issues moving currently and in the future. We wish them well in retirement.

Department of Transportation Musical Instrument Carry-On Negotiators: (L to R) Local 161-710 (Washington, DC) President Ed Malaga; Local 257 (Nashville, TN) President Dave Pomeroy; AFM President Ray Hair, ICSOM Governing Board Member, National Symphony Orchestra Violist, and Local 161-710 Member Jennifer Mondie; AFL-CIO Department for Professional Employees Assistant to the President Eric Geist; AFM Legislative-Political Director Alfonso Pollard; and Performing Arts Alliance General Manager Cristine Davis; Not pictured: League of American Orchestras Vice President for Government Relations Heather Noonan; The Recording Academy Director of Government Relations Todd Dupler; Recording Industry Association of America Senior Vice President for Public Policy Morna Williams; Chamber Music America Chief Executive Officer Margaret Lioi; and Performing Arts Presenters President and CEO Mario Garcia Durham.

The 2014 midterm elections ushered in a host of new congressional members shifting the Senate majority from Democratic to Republican, while newly elected Republican members boost the current House Majority. In the House, Representative John Boehner (R- OH) is expected to retain his position as Speaker of the House, while Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) will most likely replace current Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). Both chambers are fairly well seated with the exception of at least one important race that will not be decided until long after November 4. Current 113th Congress Senate member include 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and two Independents. Changes following the 2014 election set the new numbers at 44 Democrats, 53 Republicans, two independents, with one unsettled race in Louisiana.

As of the end of November, one Senate run-off election is still to be settled. Incumbent Democratic Senator Mary Landrieu is locked in a run-off battle against Republican Bill Cassidy. The run-off will take place December 6.

There were 36 governorships up for election, as well as governorships in the American territories of Northern Marianas Islands, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands. After November 4, Republicans maintained majority leadership in the national governor’s association with 25 Republican, 10 Democratic and two independent governors winning their elections.

As the AFM looks forward to moving legislation in Washington, DC, it is even more important to call on AFM members to engage their representatives in the Congress. This includes telephone calls, letters, e-mails, and other methods of communication that give a clear indication about the depth of our organization and the strength of our resolve.

The AFM will be confronted with tax, immigration, employment, healthcare, arts and entertainment, copyright, aviation, and other issues that will have a profound impact on our industry. I want to thank members who weigh in on these issues and encourage others to join in our government relations efforts. It is the responsibility in the Office of Government Relations to address matters that impact every segment of our union. Your voice is always welcome. When the 114th Congress gavels in this January 2015, we will again ask for your help. We know you will come through in the future as effectively as you have in the past. Thank you for your service and thank you for voting. Feel free to contact my office if you have questions or need information about the issues.







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