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.

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Home » Officer Columns » Executive Board Members » Preparing for the 2016 AFM Convention: Make Sure You Are Represented

Preparing for the 2016 AFM Convention: Make Sure You Are Represented


joe-parente speaking about 2016 AFM Conventionby Joe Parente, AFM International Executive Board Member and President of Local 77 (Philadelphia, PA)

The 2016 AFM Convention is less than a year and a half away. That may seem a long way off, but in reality, it will be upon us sooner than we think. Now is the time locals should begin preparing and making plans to attend the convention.

We all know that over the last several conventions there have been fewer delegates in attendance and fewer locals represented. Beside the fact that there is a Federation bylaw mandating at least one representative be in attendance at their regional conference and the convention, each local officer has the responsibility to represent his/her members. This can’t be done by staying home. Greater attendance translates into greater participation, which in turn, translates into more productive debate of the issues.

I know that not all resolutions and recommendations affect every local. However, that does not mean a delegate can’t have an idea or an opinion on a particular issue. It’s easy to refer a resolution to the IEB for disposition, but debate can bring out new ideas and different viewpoints that could lead to a more desirable outcome.

Between now and the next convention, every regional and player conference will have at least one meeting. Each conference and local officer has, or at least should have, a copy of AFM Bylaws from 2013. Now is the time to review these bylaws with an eye toward making them stronger and more effective by amending them, adding to them, or even deleting articles. Locals should also be discussing the same topics at their board meetings. Any conference, local, or even a single member can bring a resolution to the convention.

A successful democratic process depends on the involvement of every constituent speaking his/her mind to formulate solutions that work toward bettering the institution. The 2016 AFM Convention is the single most important opportunity to be heard on a national level. The Federation is not made up of just its officers, or the IEB, or the player conferences. The Federation is all its members, represented by local delegates at the convention. Without a delegate at the Convention, you can’t represent and protect the interests of local members. Now is the time to become involved.


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