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June 09, 2007


Tina is a fully evolved labor leader who knows realistically what can and cannot be done under today's labor law. The AP comments are obviously from a candidate who thinks his political puffery will actually save the AFM and anyone who says differently is an evil force.

I think we can figure out who this is.

Tina is totally in touch with today's AFM and can look beyond the rhetoric to a better day.

Tina had the courage to speak up and give us an idea of what she stands for. She's exhibiting real quality traits such as independence and forward thinking. We need her on the IEB (and we need more people like her running our locals).

Tina: You went “all in” and you lost! Lost votes and lost respect! You've exposed yourself as being so far out of touch with AFM reality that you'd prove to be of little or no use as a member of the IEB. Vote for Hal but not for Tina.

I want to make it clear, who I support for other offices see:


I have listed 3 other candidates who I endorse for AFM office.

I am going to add more information and a sound file of me speaking soon, service was down for the last 24 hours, so I could not upload things I had plan to for this weekend.

Michael Troy Moore for International Secretary-Treasurer

If elected for a position on the International Executive Board it is my intent and duty to work with all other elected officers to effectively, efficiently, and responsibly serve the best interests of our Union.

That being said, as a Local Officer I support Hal Espinosa for President. Hal has always been honest with me. I respect that and I believe him when he says he will reunite our union.

Now, with the courage of my convictions and like my friend Madelyn says, I’m going to go “all in”!

Tom has been President for almost six years and I am disappointed and very concerned about the state of our Union.

In no particular order:

The infighting with RMA is a leadership problem that has been weakening us.

The AFM hasn’t prepared to help Locals deal with Beck rights issues, we received a memo telling us to hire a Labor Attorney to figure it out.

Small Locals who don’t have an Electronic Media specialist can’t get information to properly answer members recording questions, which results in both weakening existing recording agreements as well as members respect for the Union.

We contacted the legislative office to see if they had developed any language for locals to use for going after employment rights on a state by state basis and was told to contact my state labor council. Who are the “experts”?

The increases in Per Capita going straight to the Federation while my Local isn’t receiving any noticeably improved services causes me to think our members’ money would be better either kept by our members or invested in their Local.

The Union doesn’t have enough AFM negotiators or anyone in training, and we end up negotiating when to negotiate making symphony members’ wonder why they’re paying so much to support the Federation while making us look foolish to both management and musicians.

The AFM hasn’t produced any educational materials for Locals to use to promote the AFM effectively to students who are the future of the Union.

Recently I received information about the issues with SaveNetRadio and the CRB. I noticed that the legislation to overturn the favorable to musicians CRB ruling was being introduced by Jay Inslee, a democrat from Seattle I met at a function in Spokane. I called the Seattle Local to find out if they had been contacted by the AFM since Inslee was from their jurisdiction? They hadn’t been so I told them to contact the AFM legislative office which resulted in the letter on the home page of the AFM website. Our political action looks good….

There’s no mechanism through the AFM for Local Officers to communicate with each other to assist each other with developing issues – does anyone remember the Officers Blog on the old AFM website? We continue to have to individually reinvent the wheel.

We don’t have a unified direction or goals for organizing and I can’t see how we’re going to grow or improve our Union’s representation of musicians.

What I’ve been “preaching” to our members and potential members is that the Union gives musicians the ability to pool our funds, support each other in all types of work as well as supporting music performance as a profession. My Local is working like that – we have to, but we sure don’t seem to be getting the support one would expect from our investment in the Federation.

I’m concerned that we don’t have a plan for the future. We aren’t attracting musicians who are entering the work force. We’ve already let down, ignored or ticked off at least two maybe three generations of working musicians. When are we going to come up with a plan to meaningfully benefit the largest portion of our workforce – freelance musicians? Maybe it means employment rights for musicians working in clubs or figuring out how to work legislatively to enable our Union to get group rates for health insurance; educating young musicians to respect themselves and their work; giving hope to musicians that someday the work they do will be respected as work – even by other Unions! Maybe it means we have to decide among ourselves whether freelance music performance is actually work and the workers deserve the protections and benefits that workers can get through collective bargaining agreements. If we decide we are not going to work to benefit all musicians, maybe we should come clean about it and say so! Then we will lose approximately 2/3rds of our membership, but at least we won’t keep stringing these people along.

GoPro has been helpful, but remember it was developed before the Federation hired Paul Sharpe and honestly there are a number of other websites out there where musicians can either list themselves free or pay per referral.

The LS-1 has potential, but really it’s too little too late for many who already created their own individual retirement plan. Besides wages are stagnant in so many places it’s hard to earn enough to cover the costs of doing the job, much less negotiate pension on top. Maybe this is only effecting regions like mine where driving an hour or two to get to the job is just part of the business?

When I was first elected Secretary-Treasurer of my Local in 1998, I remember being able to call the different areas of the federation to get answers to many of my questions. I relied a lot on my experienced and competent International Representative Dennis Lynch who taught me to run my office efficiently and effectively for our members. Dennis used to come in and go through our financial reports - which I deeply appreciated – to make sure that we were filing and paying everything properly. We couldn’t afford an accountant so I depended on him to help me make sure everything was above board. I was fortunate to receive officer and union training at the George Meany Center – now gone along with Dennis who was fired along with three other IR’s without using progressive discipline and without checking with the Locals they served to see how it would affect us.

Tom says all the right things. Following are some quotes from the President’s Reports from either the month before or after previous AFM Conventions that I copied from the International Musician. Remembering that Tom has had 6 years in office already, read the quotes and compare them to the reality of where our Union is today. Then I ask you to consider whether it is time for a change in Leadership.

Lee's goals as president are to "increase the AFM's activity with the AFL-CIO, address the problem of runaway productions, broaden the AFM's involvement in legislative matters in Washington, DC, provide additional services and benefits for freelance musicians, and increase visibility for the Federation throughout the US and Canada."

President Lee summed up the AFM's role in handling the challenges facing its membership today, saying, "We cannot react. We must initiate."
Citing unity within the AFM membership as imperative to the success of any sort of political action, President Lee said, "Part-time musicians must be in the union." He said it is only by bringing full- and part-time musicians together under the AFM umbrella that the union can maintain a voting presence in every congressional district in the US and every province in Canada.
"I think it is up to the leadership of this union to create an atmosphere where musicians are proud of the work they do and don't apologize for wanting to be paid a decent wage for that work. Musicians' needs and wants are the same as every other worker in America and Canada."
“Fundamental to a union's responsibility is the representation of its members. The AFM's representation of its members results in responsibilities to three groups: the locals, the Federation, and the members. While each have separate obligations, all three groups work together to ensure that representation of the members' interests is as effective as possible.”

“It cannot be overemphasized that one of the most essential components of effective representation is input from members. It is the members who ultimately work under the agreements; thus, they know best about their working conditions. It is not unusual for musicians to disagree on what the national standards should be. It is vital, however, that each member throughout the US and Canada has the right through their local to provide input into negotiations that ultimately may affect them. This helps create a better understanding between all parties. Fostering inclusive contributions, rather than excluding participants, leads to greater solidarity.”

“As with any union, member representation in the AFM is a complex process. But I believe that this complexity is a good thing. It ensures that democracy is strong by involving all parties in negotiations and the development of new member services. If the opposite happened--i.e. locals negotiating without any input from their members or the Federation--then AFM members would lose in the end because their negotiators would not be armed with the most resources and best tools possible. It is my belief that as communication continues to grow and becomes stronger than ever, the AFM's representation of its members will become more effective than previously imagined.”

“I cannot emphasize enough how seriously I accept the responsibility of serving as your president. I look forward to working with local officers and player conference officers representing all segments of our membership. I urge everyone to work together accepting that there will be differences but addressing those differences in a cordial and respectful manner. We must build trust based on our flexibility and understand that everyone bringing something to the table is doing so for what they view as the good of the organization. If we develop relationships based on respect, this organization will benefit and so will our members.”

“Together we must reach out to more musicians. One of the wonderful things about music is that it unites people from all walks of life: rich, poor, young, old, mainstream, jazz, rock, and much more. We must promote the diversity of music and protect our reputation as one of the most inclusive unions of the 21st century. We will work selflessly to secure safe working environments, benefits, and good wages for all. Whether you are a theater musician, a recording artist, or a freelancer, your union's strength in bargaining for your rights depends on the solidarity of your brothers and sisters who work in fields other than yours.”

"Don’t we, as AFM members and voting delegates, deserve to know whether candidates for the IEB positions (including VP, S/T and Governor-Generalissimo of Canada) are going to line up behind Tom or behind Hal?"

YES - and it should be just one of many questions asked by every delegate to each and every candidate for any office that solicits their support. This election is more important than any I can think of in the last twenty years or more! Let's make informed decisions this time. A vote for a candidate that supports Tom is a vote for the status quo. A vote for a candidate that supports Hal is a vote for positive change.

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