Brothers & Sisters,
We are coming up on a very important time of year. Elections are upon us and it is very important to take part in the process. As some of you may know, the Executive board made the decision to endorse Steve Ortega as the next mayor. These endorsements are not a snap decision by any means. We interview the candidates and base our decision on who will back firefighter issues. That is our only requirement. We dont consider political affiliation or other planks of their platform. If they are onboard with protecting our interests, we choose them. Steve Ortega voted to have the city back our pension bill that was submitted by Joe Pickett, and that was an ordeal that your executive board worked very hard at. Had Steve Ortega not voted for it, it would have died right there. Other members on city council that said they had our back voted against us that day, so It never would have had to go to Mayor Cook for the tiebreaker. I say this because there are alot of grumblings about people unhappy with our endorsement. Members can vote however they like, regardless of our endorsement, we just want you to vote. While many candidates vie for our endorsement, the cold hard fact is that our endorsement is really not backed by a strong voter record. As of right now, we have around 25% of the membership actually voting, with maybe 40% even registered to vote. This is a huge mistake. If we expect those we endorse to stick their neck out for us politically, there has to be something in it for them. Heres an analogy to help make senseof this. We are at war and I ask you to take the hill, and my battalion will provide cover fire. If you know that means that 750 rifles are faced up that hill then your pretty likely going to take the hill. If on the other hand you know that there are only going to be a few rifles pointing up that hill, you may not be as willing to take that chance. There is strength in numbers folks, and right now numbers arent looking very good. We as a union need to strive to get 100% registered AND voting. As of right now there are 777 members in the union so out of that only about 200 even vote. We have about 400 people that are even registered. This has to change, especially if we want to be taken seriously when we have issue that we need supported. If we had 777 members voting, and asking family members to also vote and support our issues, we would be a force to be reckoned with. This needs to be one of our goals if we are to advance any of the issues we having coming up in the future. As of this date it is too late to register for the upcoming elections. You can however be ready for any impending runoff elections if you act now.