Karen is running for Financial Vice President of Local 802 to build a stronger union for all its members.
Before joining Local 802 as your Concert Representative, I worked for 20 years as a professional clarinetist. After earning a BM from the Cleveland Institute of Music, I won a job with an orchestra in Mexico. Within my first week, I began to develop a union sensibility as I saw my colleagues fighting unsuccessfully for better working conditions and basic rights. Upon returning to the States, I performed with the United States Coast Guard Band, followed by many years of teaching and touring with a variety of productions, including the New York City Opera National Company. In 1997, I moved to New York City and began freelancing in the tri-state area and performing on Broadway.
Although it was a difficult decision to give up performing, I have found profound satisfaction in serving my fellow musicians as the Local 802 Senior Concert Representative for the past 11 years. In that capacity, I have gained a wide range of experience in negotiating contracts, resolving grievances, preparing arbitrations, and working in conjunction with my colleagues in other departments. I continued to enhance my skills by attending classes at the Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, where I earned a Certificate in Advanced Labor Union Leadership.
Regrettably, I have witnessed disturbing changes to our Local under the watch of the current administration. Organizing, recording, and membership rolls are way down. Minorities and younger musicians have been marginalized. The challenges that women face in our industry are of particular interest to me and have been largely ignored by the current leadership. I intend to provide our diverse membership with a platform to safely discuss issues and resolve problems.
While working at Local 802, I have seen your dues dollars squandered on vanity projects, failed campaigns, poor vetting practices for new hires, lavish travel upgrades and fringe benefits for the current administration. As a result, we are facing a six figure deficit. This proves to be a critical moment in our history: Local 802 is in dire need of new ideas, energy, vision, and leadership.
As your Financial Vice President, I will provide fiscal responsibility, transparency, and accountability. Under my watch, I will ensure that we develop a robust organizing department and intelligently utilize our resources so that every dollar of your money is spent in a responsible manner. 802 Musicians for Change offers hope and a positive way forward. That is why I am proud to be a part of this vibrant, dynamic team. I would be honored to receive your vote and look forward to a brighter future at Local 802.