A talented singer finds his political voice

Singer-songwriter Ari Herstand captained the effort to carve out an exception for working musicians.

On California Globe, they’ve been closely covering a law called AB5. It was touted as a bid to protect “gig workers,” and was mostly designed to force Uber and Lyft to treat its drivers as employees. Predictably, a ton of other professions got caught up in this legislation.

Many of those workers had enough money and clout to get their industry exempted from the law. Lawyers, architects, engineers, private investigators, accountants, doctors, surgeons, dentists, psychologists and veterinarians all got special permission to be excused. So did security broker-dealers and investment advisors, marketing professionals, travel agents, human resources administrators, graphic designers, grant writers, and fine artists.

One of the only categories of “gig worker” not to receive an exemption — other than ride share drivers — were the ones who actually make their living playing gigs. Musicians.

I interviewed a really terrific singer-songwriter named Ari Herstand who found himself in the unlikely role of political activist.