The National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Show is the single biggest show that comes to the Anaheim Convention Center. This year, 115,000 people will attend the show next week (January 24-27), which has a hugely positive economic impact on Anaheim’s economy – estimated at $100 million for this year’s show.
NAMM has held in Anaheim for decades, and is the crown jewel of the Convention Center’s clients. Other convention-destinations cities would love to lure NAMM away.
And UNITE-HERE Local 11 is doing its part to assist those efforts – a reality underlined by NAMM President & CEO Joel Lamond’s unexpected appearance during public comment’s at this week’s Anaheim City Council meeting.
Lamond drove up from San Diego in a storm to address the council regarding UNITE-HERE Local 11’s plan to protest in front of the NAMM Show on opening day as part of the union’s unrelated labor dispute with the Anaheim Hilton and the Sheraton Park hotels. The soft-spoken Lamond pointed out to the council this protest “will certainly disrupt our event and our members.”
“Our members are music stores, and people involved in the music business, coming from 130 countries,” Lamond explained. “I expect about 115,000 of them next week.”
Among other contributions NAMM makes to the city, Lamond noted the show’s long-standing support of music education in Anaheim schools.
“The unified school district – we’ve helped have more music in their programs here – we’re actually out next Tuesday at Loara Elementary School on Broadway, bringing $10,000 worth of instruments and helping teach music that day, as a way to galvanize our commitment to the city,” said Lamond.
The NAMM president also subtly let the council know that UNITE-HERE’s decision to conscript NAMM as an unwilling pawn in its labor dispute undermines the show’s desire to rebuff attempts by other cities to lure it away from Anaheim.
“I know there’s probably nothing this body can do to help in this dispute. We’re urging all sides to settle and make a deal so we can move forward and have out event,” said Lamond. “I thought I had a tough job until I came here tonight – but I really do have to make some tough decisions on the future of the NAMM show, where we go, these 115,000 [attendees]. Our economic impact is estimated at over $100 million dollars next week. That’s a lot of jobs. That’s a lot of support for the city.”
“I’ve been coming to the NAMM show here since I was 21 in 1983. So this is my home, we want to keep it here,” Lamond concluded — the unstated “but” being “but your militant unions dragging us into labor disputes we have no part of and deliberately disrupting our show makes it harder to stay in Anaheim.”
UNITE-HERE Local 11: Economic Wrecking Ball
While speculation about NAMM departing Anaheim may be premature, neither is it out of the question. NAMM doesn’t get political, which makes it even more striking that it’s president traveled to Anaheim to subtly but clearly tell the city that UNITE-HERE’s antics jeopardize NAMM’s future in Anaheim.
UNITE-HERE Local 11 radicalism is an economic wrecking ball that inflicts more economic harm than good. Local 11 leader Ada Briceno was a driving force in the old council majority that killed the Disneyland Resort’s plan to build a $700 million, 700-room luxury hotel next to Downtown Disney (hurting its own members since hundreds of hotel worker jobs went up in smoke). The union’s Measure L “living wage” initiative will almost certainly kill two planned luxury hotel projects in the Anaheim Resort – the second GardenWalk hotel and second Wincome project (on Harbor Boulevard). Together, these projects represent an investment in Anaheim of more than half a billion dollars and 3,000 construction and permanent operations jobs.
The union tried (but failed) to kill the development agreements for Wincome’s aforementioned Harbor Blvd. project and the Westin Anaheim currently under construction next to the Convention Center.
Now, Briceno – the newly-crowned chair of the Democratic Party of Orange County – is recklessly engaging in tactics that are needlessly giving NAMM second thoughts about staying in Anaheim.
Exactly how is Local 11 helping people climb the economic ladder?
Silence From UNITE-HERE’s Political Allies
NAMM’s beneficial impact isn’t purely economic. As Lamond pointed out, the show – not surprisingly – is materially supportive of music education. Every year, NAMM donates thousands of dollars worth of musical instruments to Anaheim public schools, as well the talents of musicians for a day of music education. This year, it’s happening at Loara Elementary School, which is part of the Anaheim Elementary School District (AESD).
Loara is in District 3, which represented by Councilman Jose F. Moreno – a close friend and political ally of Local 11 boss Briceno.
During councilmember comments later that evening, Moreno – a former member of the AESD Board of Education – oddly had nothing to say about Lamond’s comments. He spent a lot of time defending the teachers union strike in Los Angeles – explaining that teachers union members’ were refusing to teach their students in order to help their students. Moreno also took a nameless Anaheim parent to task for daring to point out how poorly many AESD schools perform on standardized tests. Moreno – rightly – pointed out there is more to educating “the whole child” than standardized test scores. One would think music education is part of that.
Perhaps Moreno might counsel Briceno that disrupting the NAMM show is misguided and counter-productive…except that Moreno supports the disruption and apparently plans to join it:
Perhaps Jose Paolo Magcalas, a Loara High School teacher and member of the AESD Board of Education, will counsel his friend and ally Briceno against rashly disrupting an organization that is materially benefiting the children of his district?
Here’s Magcalas (giving the raised fist sign) earlier this month, picketing the Sheraton Park Hotel with UNITE-HERE Local 11…so maybe not:
It’s a safe bet Magcalas will be there with Moreno disrupting the Anaheim’s most valuable convention over a labor dispute that has nothing to do with NAMM. Wouldn’t want to miss the chance to hang with all the other revolutionaries; after all, as Local 11 senior organizer Austin Lynch said, this street shindig is going to be “off the chain”!”:
Fun times! Who cares if they’re targeting an unrelated organization that helps support music education in Anaheim public schools? You have to break some eggs to make that social justice omelette.