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SEAN PATRICK FLAHAVEN – Music Director/Orchestrator/Copyist; Record Producer; Music Publisher

Having been a member of AFM Local 802 and Broadway veteran for over 20 years, I’m throwing my enthusiastic support behind 802 Musicians for Change in the upcoming election. It is absolutely essential that the union have new leadership that not only understands the realities and challenges of today, but also the necessities of tomorrow.

I’ve gotten to know Adam Krauthamer well over the past few years, and I can’t think of anyone more thoughtful, energetic, and committed to musicians and their welfare. His work with Musicians for Pension Security has exposed monumental danger in remaining with the status quo. 

As a someone who has spent his life in politics, been both employee and employer, and served on many music industry boards, committees, and trade organizations, I know there is a genuine need for change at the union.

On a regular basis, there are significant problems that 802 must face, and most often they aren’t simply about protecting chairs, wages, and benefits. Those are certainly important, but 802’s business-as-usual and don’t-blame-us-it’s-the-AFM attitude is toxic to employment opportunities and the future of the union.

Consistent refusal to negotiate any point of even promulgated agreements (which is illegal and exposes the union to major liability), work rules that ignore technology from the ‘90s onward, reliance on economic models from the ‘50s, and an approach to bargaining that careens between irrational presumption of evil intent and obsequience are the hallmarks of the current administration.

Every union has its flaws, just as every employer and institution does. Experience is useless if it isn’t accompanied by proactive listening and learning. Let’s at least try to make it better. Vote Musicians for Change on December 4.