FRED ROWBOTHAM, Chairman
Your elected PORAC leaders are constantly battling at the federal, state and local levels to retain the hard-earned benefits negotiated over the years by those who came before us. This fight is made harder by other groups of lesser significance who claim to represent law enforcement’s interests, continually trying to convince PORAC members to defect and join another organization. Unless you are searching for a better fish fry or barbecue, the truth is that they deliver nothing in exchange for your membership. I have seen other groups come into California and make promises. They have set up legal plans. They have tried to become the bargaining agents for local associations. Then, in the middle of the night, they skip out of our state to look for the next desperate association somewhere — in search of their next victim.
Even if some of these labor groups of lesser significance don’t close up shop but instead linger around in our state, they do a disservice to everyone in California law enforcement. They chip away at the tremendous clout that PORAC — as the largest statewide law enforcement group in the nation — brings to bear on the issues we need to address.
While many out there may view the recent news that Reed and DeMaio have pulled their initiatives for consideration this election cycle as a win, we must see it in a much larger context. Reed and DeMaio, despite being crushed in personal runs for political office and in previous attempts to pass damaging pension initiatives, are still hanging around. They have loudly proclaimed that this is a tactical decision to temporarily retreat and regroup. They see the Supreme Court as preparing the battlefield for them right now, by way of the soon-to-be-decided Friedrichs case. We, and they, see that the Supreme Court’s decision will likely not be in favor of labor. It is clear that Reed and DeMaio view this expected decision as a crippling blow to labor and will try to hit us with their initiatives when they perceive that labor has been weakened sufficiently. We must continue to stand together, now more than ever, speaking with one strong voice, under one flag — the PORAC flag, as the largest statewide group of peace officers in the country.