Now that we are well into hurricane season, I wanted to inform the membership about AFM Recommendation No. 2 that was adopted at the recent AFM Convention. I bring your attention to the italicized portion below, which is the new language that amends Article 5, Section 47(a) of the AFM bylaws:
“SECTION 47(a). Each Local shall pay to the AFM Per Capita Dues at the rate of $66 per annum for each Regular, Student and Youth member and $50 per annum for each Life member in good standing with the Local. Federation Per Capita Dues shall include the subscription fee of $2 for the Official Journal, a contribution of 10 cents to the Lester Petrillo Memorial Fund as required to maintain the Fund at a balance of no less than $500,000, and a contribution of 10 cents to the AFM Emergency Relief Fund as required to maintain the Fund at a balance of $100,000.”
This additional language will help fund the AFM Emergency Relief Fund, allowing the AFM to provide assistance not only for hurricanes, but for earthquakes, tornadoes, and wildfires as well. There are criteria that must be met in order to be considered for financial assistance:
- You must currently be a member in good standing of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada as well as a member in good standing at the time of the loss;
- You must have resided in, or been employed as a professional musician in, a county affected by an emergency or major disaster proclamation (examples: wildfire, tornado), by a governor or the president (in the case of Canada, a provincial state of emergency declaration) prior to and during the occurrence of the circumstances giving rise to such proclamation;
- You must have suffered one of the hardships (described in the application) as a result of the disaster that is not reimbursable by insurance.
As we begin to experience the very real effects of climate change, we are seeing very large and severe storms on a regular basis that were once referred to as “once in a lifetime” or “storm of the century” events. The recent Category 5 hurricane Dorian tore its way through the Bahamas leaving a devastating path of destruction and then made its way up the eastern seaboard. The destruction was sobering to say the least. I urge our members to heed the warnings to evacuate if you ever find yourself in the path of one of these monsters. Nothing is worth saving more than your life and the lives of your loved ones, so please stay out of harm’s way.
If you experience an uninsured catastrophic loss due to one of these natural disasters and meet the criteria on the application to be considered for AFM assistance, please visit the homepage of the AFM website and scroll down to Emergency Assistance.