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.
March 30, 2020Alfonso Pollard -
From March 2-4, AFM President Ray Hair made a trip to the nation’s capital to visit with principal sponsors/legislators who are responsible for introducing legislation specific to this union’s mission. The Bipartisan Artist Tax Parity Act (HR 3121) offered by Representative Judy Chu (D-CA) and Vern Buchanan (R-FL), would help restore qualified performing artist’s “above the line” tax deductions lost with the passage of the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2019.
We met with Chu, the bill’s principal sponsor, in the Capitol Building and filled her in on our efforts to bring more co-sponsors onto the bill. While on the Hill for those two days, we also spoke with congressmen Collin Peterson (D-MN) and Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), as well as the staff for representatives George Holding and Ways and Means Chair Richard Neal to shore up their support for the Chu and Nadler legislation.
Nadler’s bill, the Ask Musicians for Music (AM FM) Act (HR 5219), provides a performance right for music played on terrestrial AM/FM radio. We also spoke with the chairman about supporting cross-border non-resident immigration O and P visas that are now complicated by new U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) rules. These rules are scheduled to increase visa fees relating in part to AFM Canadian members who apply for temporary entry into the US for short-term employment purposes.
At that 8:30 a.m. breakfast meeting, Nadler reiterated his determination to see HR 5219 through this year and urged the AFM and its Music First Coalition partners to work closely with radio broadcasters to complete negotiations that would lead to swift passage. Our meeting with Homeland Security Chair Bennie Thompson to discuss border issues is being rescheduled due to an appointment conflict.