A good deal has already been said about the importance of this upcoming election cycle, and as candidates enter the final stretches of races that will decide offices from city councils to the highest in our nation, it’s important to remember the massive role that elections have on our union.
As firefighters, and public employees, we are all acutely aware that virtually every decision that affects our jobs and our livelihoods is made by an elected official. Every few years, we’re given the opportunity to weigh in on who exactly will be tasked with making those decisions, as well as who will be sitting across from us at the bargaining table.
For this reason, elections – and all of the campaign work that leads up to them – are some of the most important times for our union, and we treat the occasion as such. Months ago, California Professional Firefighters began its usual process for identifying candidates that would be receiving the firefighter endorsement.
In making our recommendations, CPF judges candidates by just one, simple metric: Where do they stand on the issues that matter to us?
This means having candidates spell out their positions on things like public safety funding, retirement security, employee rights, training, disability and survivor benefits, as well as any other issue that impacts our lives on the job.
If it doesn’t fall into one of those areas, it doesn’t factor into our endorsement process.
California Professional Firefighters makes its recommendations on firefighter issues, and firefighter issues alone. When CPF makes the decision to become involved in a contest, every credible candidate – Democrat and Republican – is invited to an interview. In legislative races, CPF calls upon the local unions in that district to help vet and interview candidates.
More often than not, local unions are the ones that have worked with these candidates in the past, at the municipal or county level, and their participation ensures that the issues that are closest to your heart are made known to everyone looking to go to Sacramento.
Keep in mind that our recommendations are just that - recommendations. They aren’t meant to be seen as direction on how to vote. We’re simply offering information on firefighter issues to help you make an informed choice at the ballot box.
These are the candidates that have stood by us, and it benefits our profession to stand by them.