I want to take this time to wish you and your ohana all the best for 2018.
While 2017 has been chaotic on many national fronts, we must continue to work for progress where we can for our local professional musicians.
At our last membership meeting on December 11, new changes to the bylaws were approved, which mainly addressed issues surrounding the process of elections for our union. Our election process was previously centered around paper ballots and required members to appear in person on one day during a 12-hour window. The new bylaws will allow for alternate methods, including electronic voting, as long as these methods conform with labor law standards. This will encourage participation in the entire membership, including our brothers and sisters on the neighbor islands, as well as many of our members who might happen to travel on election day. Additionally, as opposed to only a single day to vote, a longer voting window may be utilized, which will allow greater participation.
Another aspect addressed with the new bylaw changes relate to term length. Currently, board members, officers, and delegates are elected for three-year terms. The AFM National Convention is also on a three-year schedule, which has coincided with our election cycle. This is potentially problematic, as a newly elected officer or delegate may be required to go into a National Convention relatively unprepared. The intent is to call a one-time early election in 2018 in order to ensure that our local representatives have at least one year of experience dealing with our local issues before going onto the National Convention to represent Local 677. It also allows those delegates to attend the 2019 National Convention and beyond without any distractions.
After the business of the Local was concluded, we presented a Certificate of Achievement to longtime Local 677 member, Paul Barrett, who has been a member for almost 40 years of both Local 677 and the Honolulu/Hawai‘i Symphonies. Several members of the HSO presented Paul with a lei, personal mementos, and affectionate stories. Fellow Local 677 member, accomplished jazz pianist Rich Crandall shared some music with the membership while they enjoyed some light pupus and talked story with each other. It was an enjoyable evening and perhaps the restart of a dormant tradition of making our membership meetings more of a social gathering after conducting necessary business.
While much remains to be done in 2018, I wanted to pause and give thanks for the many members who have helped by serving on various committees, the Board, the officers, and staff for all of your hard work. Let’s take a breath, spend time with our loved ones, and prepare for all that needs to be done in 2018.
In your service,