Pension Update: Critical & Declining Status Projected – What to Expect

As of March 31, the AFM-EPF’s fiscal year of 2018-19 has come to an end. In February, we were notified that actuaries project a strong likelihood that the Fund will enter “critical and declining” status after being in critical status since 2010. You may find the text of the full notification, which is posted on afm-epf.org. 

Over the next two months, the Fund’s actuaries will collect and analyze the year-end data and prepare actuarial projections to determine whether our Fund will remain in “critical” status or move into “critical and declining” status for the new fiscal year.

I recommend that you visit the Fund’s Website and check out the “Staying Informed” tab for more detailed explanation, but I wanted to provide as clear an explanation here as possible.

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Remembering A. Philip Randolph, Union Leader, Father of the Civil Rights Movement

As February rolls to a close, it is most appropriate to remember one of history’s greatest labor leaders, A Philip Randolph. On August 28, 1963 more than 200,000 Americans gathered in Washington DC for a political rally which became a key moment in the struggle for civil rights in the United States. On that day, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired millions across the world with the delivery of his immortal “I have a dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

In many ways that march and that speech defined the virtue and ideals of an era struggling for and through progressive change – a struggle which continues today.

What we often forget is the place of organized labor in bringing about this watershed event.

When looking over photos documenting this history-changing event, one sees the two principal organizers of the event at Dr. King’s side. One is A. Philip Randolph who had been an African American Union leader (National Brotherhood of Workers of America and the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters) for more than 40 years, and now considered the father of the modern American civil rights movement. Randolph’s protege Bayard Rustin, who can also clearly be seen in those pictures, had been cutting his teeth organizing non-violent protest for decades.
The idea for the March on Washington actually began back in 1941 when these two began organizing such an event.

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Resolutions

I hope everyone has had a great holiday season, and a Happy New Year! As we tend to make New Years resolutions, I would like to put forth some resolutions for our local — resolutions we will keep!

Building on the beginnings of last year, we are set to move forward representing musicians and partnering with our community like never before. Last year, we held three events — Jam Sessions — where we reached out to members in the community to host events building our own internal relationships while reaching out to other musicians in our area. We held events in Dallas, Denton and Fort Worth. In beginning this initiative, we took the first steps in developing a new outreach, but achieved things that we had not expected, leading us to new avenues of potential. As a result, we now have partnerships with the community that we otherwise would not have. With the Greater Denton Arts Council for example, we now have a partner in reaching out to students preparing for their music careers at the University of North Texas. And with the Woodall Rogers Park Foundation (Klyde Warren Park), we have a partner in bringing musicians together and showcasing them to the city. (You will hear more about that soon!) With these new connections we are increasingly set up to foster the performing arts scene

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Making a Difference

On behalf of the officers, staff and executive board of Local 72-147, I wish you the happiest of holiday seasons. Reaching this special time of the year, we once again affirm all the hopes for goodwill that we have for life, our families and our communities. We think of those who have less than we do, and of the power of generosity and empathy in making our world better. As musicians, we regularly use our skills to help engender this holiday spirit. Just last month at our last Meet and Greet + Jam Session held in Fort Worth, I learned about some wonderful things our members do. Singer Jennifer Martin told me about a series of concerts that a she and a group of our members come together – regularly – to provide for homeless individuals. I was touched as she described to me the annual holiday concert coming up on December 20, and the effort to put together Christmas packages for the people in attendance. She told me that last year’s concert brought in about 400 people to participate in this sharing of hope and love. Another special holiday celebration comes to mind which takes place with the help of our musicians, and through the funding of Music Performance Trust Fund

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