Local 1000 President Aaron Fowler and Member John O’Connor represented L1K membership at the 102nd AFM Convention, June 26-29 in Las Vegas. President Fowler reports:
This was my first AFM Convention. It was a fantastic gathering that moved the Federation forward in many ways. The Convention began on Sunday with workshops presented by AFM staff on a variety of topics including Race and Labor and US/Canadian boarder crossing. During the the week we heard reports from agencies that benefit members including the Music Performance Trust Fund, the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund, SoundExchange, the Film Musicians Secondary Markets Fund, and the Intellectual Property Rights Fund. All of these funds are available to our members if they qualify.
We also attended to the business of the Federation by voting on Recommendations and Resolutions. One notable decision is that there will be no increase in Federation Work Dues, Federation Initiation Fees or Federation Per Capita. That is good news for our members. We also voted on a resolution that allows for waivers of multi-local membership, and a resolution that exempts student members from paying Local and Federation Initiation Fees (LIF and FIF).
Our own John O’Connor proposed a successful resolution committing the AFM to joining other unions around the US to fight for Medicare for All. A powerful conversation was had on this very important topic. Thank you John for your efforts on this resolution!
Another resolution formally added DJ’s, Hip Hop Artists, and Electronic Dance Music (EDM) Artists as members of the AFM, an exciting change that opens up membership to many artists who were previously not eligible, and a potential area of organizing for Local 1000.
The highlight for me was meeting other officers and delegates from locals across Canada and the United States. Talking with delegates about the challenges and successes of our Locals was exciting. At 335 members, Local 1000 is by far not one of the smallest Locals but we share many of the same challenges as these small Locals. We have agreed to continue our conversations about how to grow our locals and support each other in our challenges.
Delegates also elected a new International Executive Board (IEB). International President Ray Hair, International VP Bruce Fife, and Secretary Treasurer Jay Blumenthal all retired, and were given the honor of Emeritus Status. They have all done a fantastic job of shepherding our Federation for more than a decade. Our new IEB consists of Tino Gagliardi, President; Dave Pomeroy, International VP; Alan Willaert, Vice President from Canada; Ken Shirk, Secretary-Treasurer; and 5 Executive Committee members: Dusty Kelly, Tina Morrison, Ed Malaga, Lucy Fortin and our own L1K member, John Acosta.
The Convention was closed by members John Acosta, David Burroughs, Aaron Fowler and Local 618 President Tracy Whitney in singing Solidarity Forever with the entire Convention Delegate body.
There is much work to do and I am excited to figure out how L1K can grow and contribute to the power of working musicians across Canada and the US.