Tag Archives: convention

formation of afm bylaws

The Formation of AFM Bylaws

The committee process developed for AFM Conventions that vets recommendations and resolutions has served the Federation well for numerous decades. Submitting resolutions by the March 1 deadline in a convention year provides an opportunity for them to be printed and published prior to the convention. Resolutions are then assigned to an appropriate convention committee. At the convention, committee chairs announce to the attendees the time, place, and which resolution(s) the committee will be discussing that day. Proponents can go before the committee and speak in favor of the resolution and opponents can speak against the resolution with time allowed for questions from the committee members.

Convention committees often spend many hours discussing and debating the pros and cons of recommendations and resolutions. There are times when a resolution may have unintended consequences that were unanticipated by those who submitted it. All of the ramifications of a resolution must be taken into account by the committee. Once the committee has completed their discussion, a vote of the committee is taken to determine what the committee will recommend to the delegates.

When the convention is in session, the committee chair first makes a report to the delegates, sharing some of their discussion and reasons for how they arrived at their recommendation. There are several options the committee may suggest. They may recommend its adoption, suggest an amendment, or recommend it be defeated. Sometimes the committee may suggest a substitute resolution or even suggest that those submitting the resolution withdraw it. (Proponents wishing to withdraw their resolution must request permission from the assembly to withdraw it. This requires a majority vote or general consent, i.e. without objection.) At times, a committee may recommend a resolution be referred to the International Executive Board. At this point, delegates have an opportunity to debate the resolution. At the close of debate, the delegates vote on the resolution.

In the event of an emergency, the bylaws allow for an emergency resolution to be introduced to the convention. The framers of the bylaws took emergencies into consideration allowing for the ability of delegates to address real emergencies but requiring a two-thirds majority vote to introduce the emergency resolution to the convention. There are indeed times when an important issue comes to light after the March 1 submission date. A good example of this took place at the recent convention, when the Baltimore Symphony musicians were locked out by their management after the March 1 date. The delegates wanted to make a strong statement in support of the BSO musicians, and an emergency resolution was necessary in order to do so.

That said, there were some emergency resolutions that were put forth at the convention that in my opinion were not actual emergencies. Since emergency resolutions do not go through the same careful vetting process (in committee) that normal resolutions do, these last-minute resolutions can be a cause for concern. A momentary knee jerk reaction can leave us with an ill-considered bylaw that cannot be changed until the next convention. This is only meant as a word of caution for the next convention if a questionable “emergency” resolution is proposed.

Now that the convention is over, we will be moving forward with a new printing of the AFM bylaws which will include the changes to the bylaws adopted at the convention. In addition, there will be a proceedings booklet that will include the convention minutes and the roll call.

Convention Delegates Smash TEMPO Record

During the 101st AFM Convention in Las Vegas, delegates rallied around our legislative-political efforts in Washington, DC, to show their support for the TEMPO (Taskforce for Employment of Musicians Promotional Organization) fund, which has long played a critical role expanding our voice in Congress. Based on the number of critical issues the president’s office and the AFM Government Relations Office handles weekly, as well as on recent successes in copyright and arts funding areas, delegates recognized the importance of helping our friends on Capitol Hill remain in office. With a view toward the future, many more issues will require our constant attention requiring face-to-face discussions with any number of members of Congress. 

Alfonso Pollard, AFM Legislative, Political, and Diversity Director (left) thanks Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) President Patrick Hollenbeck at the AFM Convention for his personal $1,100 donation to TEMPO. Photo: Chiemi McGhie

As we review the modest fund increase from the beginning of 2019, the AFM Convention has long been the gathering where union leadership shines. However, after an overview by President Hair of past and future issues, delegates took it upon themselves to renew their commitment by contributing over $10,000 to the fund through TEMPO merchandise sales, which were led by Local 400 President and TEMPO Committee Chair Candace Lammers. Delegates also made an extraordinary commitment to our AFM Leadership Program Signature Fund, which gained more than 30 new members.

However, one of the most telling shows of support for the TEMPO Program came about with the donation of a personal check for $1,100 from Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) President Patrick Hollenbeck, who challenged convention delegates to take up the cause for the sake of our pension lobbying efforts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and for a performance right in terrestrial radio. President Hair, in fact, immediately took up that challenge and donated $1,000 himself.

These issues, along with others such as cross-border immigration, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) international travel issues, and more, sounded the political clarion and the delegates’ rush to the union’s support. Our success at the convention was unprecedented, and I want to thank all the delegates for their support of our political program.

Members of the TEMPO Committee at the TEMPO merchandise table, which raised over $10,000 during the 101st convention. Pictured from left: Back row—Candace Lammers, Chair, Local 400; David Gibbs, Local 25; Chris School, Local 25; Paul Wesley Lott, Local 447-704; Deborah Dansby Wells, Local 389; Alan Rickmeier, Local 325. Front Row—Carol Dunevant, Local 1; Bonnie Janofsky, Local 47; Lois Pfister, Local 380; Laurence Hofmann, AFM staff. Sandra Grier, TEMPO coordinator, not pictured. Photo: Chiemi McGhie

101st Convention: Real Unionism

Together We Can!

One hundred and twenty-three years after our founding Convention in Indianapolis in October 1896, the Federation convened its 101st Convention on June 20 in Las Vegas. With more than a century of advocacy and 101 conventions to its credit, the Federation’s enormous accomplishments for professional musicians, economically and politically, were celebrated not just by elected officials and delegates, but by our sister unions, dignitaries, and guests.

Presiding over the debate on Resolution 8, which was defeated.

In memorializing these historic anniversaries—and our accomplishments—nothing could have clarified the Federation’s purpose better than the diverse program of superb musical performances presented from the eve of the convention to adjournment. For anyone who might have wondered why on earth there ever was an American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, just hearing the supreme musicianship of such instrumental luminaries as Blue Lou Marini; Walt Fowler; University of North Texas Jazz Faculty Mike Steinel, Ed Soph, John Adams, Fred Hamilton, Rosana Eckert, and Brian Piper; the touching memorial service accompaniment by members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra; and the many other fine performances by Local 369 musicians during the course of our meetings provided a musical explanation, nourishment, and context. The power of our members’ music became the backdrop for the attitudes, the issues, and the discussions that followed.

As those present would realize—particularly after hearing heartfelt testimonials by Matt Comerford of the Chicago Lyric Opera and Terryl Jares, president of Local 10-208, on the recent Lyric Opera and Chicago Symphony strikes; Local 72-147 bluesman Jim Suhler with Omaha Local 70-558 president Dan Cerveny about the abuse and default experienced in an Omaha nightclub; enthusiastic Boise Philharmonic Orchestra Musicians who demanded and obtained recognition from their management, prompting the re-chartering of AFM’s Boise Local 423; and the powerful narrative and video presentation from Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra Negotiating Committee members Dan Sigale and Julie Vinsant who, with the unwavering support of Dallas-Fort Worth Local 72-147 and AFM’s Organizing and Symphonic Services Divisions, withstood a terrible four-month strike, defeating attempts by management to impose unjustified concessions—the power of real unionism can make a difference in musicians’ lives, helping build the unity necessary to inspire millions of musicians worldwide.

As many of you know, in addition to reviewing various bylaw changes and policy resolutions, convention delegates elect Federation officers for three-year terms effective August 1 of each convention year. I am honored and privileged to have been reelected by acclamation to serve another term, and I am also deeply gratified that delegates chose to reelect by acclamation Vice-President Bruce Fife, Vice-President from Canada Alan Willaert, and Secretary-Treasurer Jay Blumenthal. Current executive committee members John Acosta, Tino Gagliardi, Dave Pomeroy, and Tina Morrison were also reelected, along with Local 161-710 President Ed Malaga, a newly elected member of the committee. First and foremost, we are a team, and we will continue to work together to improve the condition of the Federation and the livelihood of musicians everywhere, as we have done over the past nine years.

The 101st Convention was certainly a major celebration, but it was also a time to remember what our ancestors were doing when they started their engines in Indianapolis 123 years ago—a dangerous time for unions. Our founders were activists. They believed that by working together through concerted activity, they could save lives. They also knew there would be the hate-preaching, the scapegoating, and the divisiveness that comes with the territory. They knew that some of our own members would become union busters to pursue their own selfish politics of personal enrichment. They knew it would be a fight.

That is why it was important to remember who we are, where we came from, what we did, and how we did it over a span of 101 conventions, before and after the advent of technology, the invention of records, radio, film, the talkies, television, cable, the internet, on-demand streaming, and everything else. What did we do in the beginning?

We didn’t make excuses. We got out of our own way. We worked together, we compromised and organized. Our founders were in it to build a union that would endure for generations. They knew the way to reach our potential and grow a strong union was to agree on a set of unifying principles to build union power, and then aim that power toward our employers to promote fairness and improve members’ lives. And it’s just as important to know that when we abandon the principles that bound us together to begin with, we lose. We hurt each other, and we become the very thing that destroys us—where members take from each other what they believe they can’t get from the employer.

Together, we can make a difference. Our staff and our team of elected officials have made a difference. Local officers and members across the Federation who’ve stood up to employers have made a difference. We’ve endured for 123 years because we are hopeful and because of our members’ incredible talent.

As musicians, we have power. Through the power of our music, we have the strength to find the unity we need to achieve our goals.

That is why the 101st Convention was a renewal of faith in what we can do together, about remembering the great things we did together, and what we can be. We can do it all again, because we have to. Our union must be about what we can do for each other, not to each other. It’s about sticking together and protecting each other, because TOGETHER, WE CAN! That’s real unionism. That is our purpose, and that is why we are the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada. God bless this union. Here’s to another 123 years.

AFM 101st Convention Committees

Credentials Committee

credentials committee

Chair: Varun Vyas of Local 571 (Halifax, NS)

Diversity Committee

diversity committee

Chair: Lovie Smith-Wright of Local 65-699 (Houston, TX)

Election Committee

election committee

Chair: John Sprott of Local 71 (Memphis, TN)

Finance Committee

finance committee

Chair: Brad C. Eggen of Local 30-73 (St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN)

Good & Welfare Committee

good and welfare committee

Chair: Tammy Kirk of Local 94 (Tulsa, OK)

International Musician Committee

IM committee

Chair: Mark Reed of Local 247 (Victoria, BC)

Law Committee

law committee

Chair: E. Bayens of Local 390 (Edmonton, AB)

Measures & Benefits Committee

measures and benefits committee

Chair: Gary Lasley of Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA)

Organizing Committee

organizing committee

Chair: John O’Connor of Local 1000 (Nongeographic)

Organizing & Legislation Committee

organization and legislation committee

Chair: Tammy Noreyko of Local 7 (Orange County, CA)

Public Relations Committee

public relations committee

Chair: Robin Moir of Local 180 (Ottawa, ON)

Small Locals Committee

small locals committee

Chair: John Leite of Local 300 (Lowell, MA)

TEMPO Committee

tempo committee

Chair: Candace Lammers of Local 400 (Hartford-New Haven, CT)

2019 Convention General Information

Per Diem & Hotel Allowance, Rules for Resolutions, Candidate Statements, Certificate of Recognition, and Memorial Service

The 101st Convention of the American Federation of Musicians will be held in Las Vegas, Nevada, beginning Monday, June 17, and concluding Thursday, June 20.

The Westgate Hotel & Casino (3000 Paradise Road; Las Vegas) will serve as both the official headquarters and the site of the convention’s business sessions. Delegate registration will be Sunday, June 16, 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Monday, June 17, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

Please note, local delegate entitlement will be based upon the number of members reported by the local as of December 31 immediately preceding the convention. [see: Article 17; Section 4 (a),(b),(c),(d)] 

Convention Per Diem and Hotel Allowance

The per diem allowance and the hotel allowance for one delegate from each local, from each players’ conference, for each diversity delegate from locals merged in accordance with the AFM’s civil rights policy, and for committee members required to attend prior to the first convention session are paid from the Federation’s funds. The per diem allowance shall be $50 for each full or fraction of a day during which the convention is in official session and the delegate attends, and for one day of travel to the convention city. The period for which hotel accommodations are paid consists of each day the convention is in official session and the delegate attends, plus one day for delegates designated above.

There will be general hotel reservation information available to local officers and delegates prior to the June 2019 AFM convention. Please be reminded, delegates shall be responsible for: (1) providing necessary credit card information to the Westgate Hotel at the time of reservation; (2) payment of your hotel bill at the conclusion of your stay.

Following the convention, those delegates whose accommodations are to be paid by the AFM will be required to submit a copy of their hotel bill to the AFM for appropriate reimbursement.

How to Introduce Resolutions

Delegates, locals, or conferences wishing to introduce resolutions for consideration during the convention must forward same in writing to the office of the AFM Secretary-Treasurer, postmarked or electronically transmitted no later than March 1. All electronically transmitted resolutions must also be submitted by mail, postmarked no later than the next business day. Resolutions must bear the signatures of all sponsoring delegates, or the signatures of authorized officers of sponsoring locals or conferences.

In order to expedite their preparation, resolutions submitted must be typed and double-spaced. The local number of the proponent(s) should be indicated under the signature (hand signed and printed). In accordance with Article 18, Section 4(b) of the AFM Bylaws, any resolution or measure to amend the provisions of the AFM Bylaws shall be cast in the following form for presentation to the convention:

(1) Language and punctuation to be deleted from an existing provision shall be set forth in full and enclosed by square brackets and the deleted material shall be struck through, as [—]. This requirement shall not apply to a proposal to repeal an entire section, which may be done simply by specific reference. A resolution prepared on a typewriter on which square brackets are not available may use double parentheses as a substitute for the square brackets.

(2) New words added to an existing provision shall be underlined.

(3) The deletions shall precede the new matter; e.g., “…in the sum of [$50] $100.”

(4) Entire new sections need not have all words underlined but shall be preceded by the designation NEW SECTION. in upper case followed by a period and the designation underlined, including the period.

Notice to Candidates Seeking International Office

In accordance with Article 19, Section 2 of the AFM Bylaws: “Candidates seeking election to any international office may forward to the AFM Secretary-Treasurer, postmarked or electronically transmitted not later than April 1 of the convention year, a statement certifying their intention of seeking election for the particular office and a campaign statement that shall not exceed 100 words. All electronically transmitted resumes must also be submitted by mail, postmarked no later than the next business day. The AFM Secretary-Treasurer shall publish the names and campaign statements received from candidates in the International Musician prior to the convention.

Recognition to AFM Delegates

The AFM will award a Certificate of Recognition to those delegates who have served as convention delegates for a minimum of 25 years, when the delegate’s local requests such recognition.

Locals should submit the names of eligible delegates to the AFM Secretary-Treasurer no later than April 1, stating the number of conventions attended. Please advise if the recipient(s) is to be mailed the certificate or if it is to be presented at the convention.

Names of delegates honored for the first time will be printed in the International Musician.

Memorial Service

The Federation recognizes former delegates who have died since the last AFM Convention during the Memorial Service. Names of deceased delegates should be mailed to the AFM Secretary-Treasurer’s office no later than June 1. Please indicate that the individual’s name should be included in the Memorial Service.

AFL-CIO Convention Passes Timely Resolutions

Once every four years, elected delegates to the AFL-CIO Convention gather to elect the AFL-CIO Officers and Executive Council. Our AFM delegation consisted of AFM President Ray Hair, Local 65-699 (Houston, TX) President Lovie Smith-Wright, and myself. Unfortunately, due to a death in her family, Lovie was unable to attend.

AFM members from Local 2-197 (St. Louis, MO) entertained the delegates as they filed into the hall to take their seats before AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka banged his gavel bringing the convention to order. Members of the St. Louis local also played for various receptions throughout the convention.

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100th Convention Epilogue: The Quest for Fairness for Subs and Extras

A resolution that provoked considerable debate during the recently concluded 100th AFM Convention was Resolution 20—“Extras and Subs in Orchestras”—a measure which sought to address the disparity in wages and working conditions that exists in many orchestral collective bargaining agreements for substitute and extra musicians, as compared to those of their seasonally-contracted colleagues.

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Convention Delegates Renew Commitment to Legislative and Political Action

The 100th AFM Convention became the forum for our delegates to organize around legislative and political issues that impact the lives of professional musicians. Delegates to the Convention stepped up in very real, tangible ways, committed to support our goal to keep government focused on the honest treatment of musicians impacted by legislation and regulations that might be harmful, if not kept in check.

Not enough praise can be bestowed upon Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-MS), ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee. The congressman took time on Father’s Day, June 19, to travel to Las Vegas from Mississippi to engage the delegates. He addressed our ongoing immigration battle over delays in P-2 and O-1 visas, filling the delegates in on the work he and his staff are doing with the AFM Office of Government Relations to address this complex issue.

Prior to his appearance at the Convention gala, the congressman met with AFM President Ray Hair and AFM staff to lay the groundwork for congressional action. Thompson was true to his word about resolving this issue as evidenced by ongoing meetings with his congressional staff and exchanges with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) administrators.

(L to R) AFM Legislative-Political Director and Diversity Director Alfonso Pollard, Congressman Bennie Thompson, and AFM President Ray Hair.

(L to R) AFM Legislative-Political Director and Diversity Director Alfonso Pollard, Congressman Bennie Thompson, and AFM President Ray Hair.

It should be noted that resolution of this matter will be “a process,” not a quick fix, as his staff establishes a path toward a permanent solution. In his comments to the delegates and to the congressman, AFM President Ray Hair noted, “The AFM has no greater champion on the issue of repairing the broken P-2 visa process than Congressman Bennie Thompson. My long-term relationship with him and my family over decades underscores the fact that he is a man of means and great integrity. Congressman Thompson is very knowledgeable about, and has a wonderful appreciation for, music and the arts, as well as a heart of gold as relates to the plight of professional musicians struggling to earn a living. We welcome a man of his stature and superlative character into our house and pledge to do all within our power to assist him in his endeavor toward a resolution of this difficult issue.” 

A discussion also took place over the importance of locals getting behind HR 1733, the Fair Play Fair Pay Act. Convention delegates were treated to a remarkably lucid presentation by SoundExchange President and CEO Mike Huppe. An independent nonprofit collective management organization,
SoundExchange collects and distributes digital performance royalties to featured artists and copyright holders. Huppe was able to clearly outline the nexus between the importance of a solid royalty stream to artists and the passage of the act. HR 1733 will provide a permanent royalty stream for current day musicians whose sound recordings are performed on AM/FM radio, as well as provide copyright law protection for artists who performed on pre-1972 recordings.

On the political front, special appreciation goes out to the AFM convention delegates, all of whom showed exceptional leadership by joining the AFM Signature TEMPO Campaign. This vital leadership campaign was developed as a platform for AFM officers and members to more actively engage in our legislative-political work. Signature Members participate in group conference calls discussing long- and short-range plans to create a stronger national legislative political base throughout the union. In addition to participation on strategic calls, Signature Members receive special TEMPO marketing tools, along with a monthly copy of The Atlantic Magazine to share with members.

We also thank AFM International Representatives and AFM TEMPO Coordinator Sandra Grier in Washington, DC, for the work they do promoting this special campaign. Convention membership increased exponentially due to their diligent monthly promotion of the campaign. Again, this is not just a fundraising drive but a strategic effort to boost AFM member participation in government affairs.

This year, convention delegates participated in the first AFM TEMPO sweepstakes. It replaced the AFM Convention raffle, giving all participants a chance at winning the grand prize. Winner of the sweepstakes piano was Local 34-627 President Don (Warner) Warmbrodt. Congratulations, Don!

Five TEMPO Achievement Service Awards went to locals that meritoriously participated in TEMPO fundraising over a three-year period between the 2013 and 2016 conventions. AFM Local 257 (Nashville, TN), led by President Dave Pomeroy, had the fifth highest level of contributions. AFM Local 9-535 (Boston, MA), led by President Pat Hollenbeck, achieved the fourth highest level of contributions. Local 47, led by President John Acosta, achieved the third highest level of contributions. AFM Local 161-710 (Washington, DC), led by President Edgardo Malaga, achieved the second highest level of contributions. The highest award went to AFM Local 6 (San Francisco, CA), led by President David Schoenbrun. We congratulate the outstanding work of these locals as we work to find ways to successfully integrate all AFM Locals into the TEMPO program.

New USFWS Rules on African Elephant Ivory

On July 6, 2016, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) placed new rules in effect regarding the African elephant ivory ban that includes positive language for musical instruments. After more than a year, working in cooperation with our national ivory partners (League of American Orchestras, The Recording Academy, Chamber Music, American Federation of Violin and Bow Makers, National Association of Music Merchants, and Performing Arts Alliance) we finally accomplished regulatory language that provides a level of comfort for musicians who own musical instruments with de minimis amounts (200g or less) of banned African elephant ivory, particularly musicians who wish to buy, sell, or otherwise trade instruments with de minimis amounts of banned ivory. Helpful new guidance from USFWS in the form of frequently asked questions is found on the website: www.fws.gov/international/travel-and-trade/ivory-ban-questions-and-answers.html, appropriately titled, “What Can I Do with My Ivory.” A more extensive review of these new rules and the AFM’s ongoing efforts to “do no harm” to professional musicians in every musical genre will be posted in the September International Musician.  For additional information contact Alfonso Pollard at apollard@afm.org.

2016 Diversity Committee Report to the 100th AFM Convention

by Lovie Smith-Wright, President of Local 65-699 and Diversity Committee Chair

Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) member Ashleigh Gordon (center) receives the Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award from Diversity Committee Chair Lovie Smith-Wright.

Local 9-535 (Boston, MA) member Ashleigh Gordon (center) receives the Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award from Diversity Committee Chair Lovie Smith-Wright.

The Diversity Committee had a full agenda at the 100th AFM Convention. Following is a summary of the committee’s activities.

As a follow-up from our 2013 convention, the first presentation of the Diversity Committee at the 100th AFM Convention was the Women’s Caucus, Monday evening, June 20. There were 28 delegates and guests present.  The caucus lasted approximately 75 minutes.

Topics of discussion included interest in seeing a permanent subcommittee of the Diversity Committee to represent women. It would be tasked to come together in support of the union’s agenda on organizing, legislative-political work, and job actions. There was a desire to have a women’s caucus meet more often than every three years. It was noted that, since 2019 will be the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, perhaps a part of that AFM Convention might focus on womens’ contributions to the labor movement and society in general. Our gratitude goes out to Diversity Committee Member and Local 6 Secretary-Treasurer Beth Zare for organizing and chairing the meeting.

The next order of convention business for the Diversity Committee was the presentation of the 2016 Diversity Awards on Tuesday, June 21. The two awardees selected by a non-AFM committee of labor leaders were:

Ashleigh Gordon, recipient of the Charles Walton Diversity Advocate Award. Gordon is a member of Local 9-535 (Boston, MA). Congratulations to Gordon, Local 9-535 Pat President Hollenbeck, and members of the local.

Christian Vegh received the Charles McDaniel Youth Award. Vegh is a member of the AFM Local 566 (Windsor, ON). Congratulations to Vegh, Local 566 President Christopher Borshuk, and members of the local.

The committee met later to watch a Diversity Awards video produced by Assistant to the President and Director of AFM Freelance & Membership Development Paul Sharpe during the 2010 Convention. It includes statements from members of the 2010 Diversity Committee that provide insight for the newest members of the Diversity Committee. It also outlined the committee’s progress in an effort to create a bridge to where the AFM needs to go.

Local 566 (Windsor, ON) member Christian Vegh (right) receives the Charles McDaniel Youth Award from Diversity Committee Chair Lovie Smith-Wright, while AFM Legislative-Political and Diversity Director Alfonso Pollard (left) looks on.

Local 566 (Windsor, ON) member Christian Vegh (right) receives the Charles McDaniel Youth Award from Diversity Committee Chair Lovie Smith-Wright, while AFM Legislative-Political and Diversity Director Alfonso Pollard (left) looks on.

Committee members expressed their desire to organize around important issues that will further the advancement of the Federation. In an effort to create a contemporary roadmap, each committee member was asked to express what was important to them concerning diversity, so that we would have all concerns and issues on the table for presentation to the development subcommittee and to the AFM International Executive Board.

The Diversity Committee was very active in the 100th AFM Convention. Of special note is that the group, not only met as a committee, but several members of the Diversity Committee also served on the Law, Finance, Organization & Legislation, and Small Locals committees.

I was appointed earlier this year by AFM President Ray Hair to serve on the 2017 Planning Committee for the AFL-CIO MLK Civil and Human Rights Conference, sponsored by the Civil, Human, and Women’s Rights Division of the AFL-CIO. I was also elected as an alternate delegate to the AFL-CIO Convention.

A Development Committee was created as a subcommittee of the Diversity Committee. It is made up of the AFM Director of Diversity plus two members from each of the following: the original Diversity Council; the 2003 Diversity Committee, which became the first standing committee of the AFM; and the newest members since the 2013 AFM Convention.

The Development Committee will plan how to work and implement the ideas and concerns that have been discussed. Its focus will be on engaging musicians of color in all AFM jurisdictions.  They will use the Diversity mission statement and position papers as guides so that the Diversity Committee remembers why it was created.

Diversity Committee

Diversity Committee

Members of the AFM Diversity Committee are: Director of Diversity Alfonso Pollard; Chair, Local 65-699 President Lovie Smith-Wright; Local 105 (Spokane, WA) Vice President Tina Morrison; Local 586 (Phoenix, AZ) member Madelyn Roberts; Local 802 (New York City) member Miho Matsuno; Local 5 (Detroit, MI) Secretary-Treasurer Susan Barna Ayoub; Local 6 Secretary-Treasurer Beth Zare; Local 47 (Los Angeles, CA) President John Acosta; Local 369 (Las Vegas, NV) Secretary-Treasurer Keith Nelson; Local 174-496 (New Orleans, LA) President “Deacon” John Moore; Local 56 (Grand Rapids, MI) member Bennie Keys; Local 424 (Richmond, CA) Secretary Mike Sasaki; and Local 161-710 (Washington, DC) member Otis Ducker.

100th Convention: A Union that Is Stronger Together

120 years after our founding Convention in October 1896 in Indianapolis, Indiana, the Federation convened its 100th Convention—a milestone for any union—June 20 in Las Vegas. With more than a century of advocacy and 100 conventions to its credit, the Federation’s enormous accomplishments for professional musicians, economically and politically, were celebrated not just by elected officials and delegates, but by our sister unions, dignitaries and guests. Continue reading