Presidents Message – March 2012

March 21, 2012

Hello my friends,

 

The election season is in full swing and the craziness is in full swing as well.   It seems that every cycle the longest stretch is the relatively short time between the first primary and the last one.  There seems to be something about elections that brings out the loonies on all sides.

 

Regardless of our personal leanings there are several questions we as union musicians should be asking of our candidates:

1.      How are you going to go to bat for me?

2.  What are you going to do to help keep my union strong?

3. What are you going to do to continue the fight to ease the restrictions on travel that I face when I carry my instrument?

4.  Are you going to help keep music and the other arts alive and funded?

5.  What commitment are you going to make to see to it that established retirement programs, public and private, are going to remain healthy and viable through my retirement?

6. Your questions here.

 

All of us in one way or another are dependent on the whims of politicians and policy makers to keep the coffers that support our livelihood open and flowing freely.  Without adequate funding even the most major orchestras whither and die, dance companies switch to taped music, theatres close and theatre companies disband.  That funding comes from grants and donations.  If the stock market drops, so does the amount of interest money available to big pocket donors, therefore the donation amounts dwindle.  If the party in power doesn’t respect the importance of the arts funding for them will drop.

 

When the economy is weak job pay suffers.  A person making less money is going to be less likely to visit a club that has live music.  Without the money from a cover charge the club won’t be able to continue to pay musicians.  So there will be fewer musicians working.  We need to insist that the slowly improving economy keep improving so we can keep working.

 

I hope you will be at the forefront this season.  Contact your respective political party and make your concerns known.  Ask questions.  Write letters.  Send email.  Be a loud voice for our profession.  We need you.

Fraternally yours,

 

Mike Palumbo