In 1992, I was a young Crime Analyst with six years in the Department when I was elected to the PPOA Board. Never could I have imagined 30 long years later I would be elected to return to the PPOA Board. It should be interesting to see how things have changed!
I am a Christian, a father and a proud union member. I am also an incredibly proud and devoted L.A. County Sheriff’s Department member. Reporting to East L.A. Station so many days per week and being surrounded by the quality of people I encounter daily is a huge blessing. If you don’t get what I mean, apply for a part-time job for a week. Go work in retail, a restaurant, a car dealership or an insurance office, and you will be amazed at the nonsense that goes on and how people treat each other. Ask your non-Department-member spouse how work was! Try waiting tables. Try teaching a class of angry kids afraid to take their masks off! We are one really lucky group of people. That’s why I am back involved in my union. Your union. Our union. Without this union, we would be in a world of hurt. My goal 30 years ago and to this day is to make PPOA and LASD a better place.
Please let me share why I feel it’s important that PPOA maintains its purpose — to be a labor union. President Biden proudly made clear to the American public, from the earliest days of his campaign to his most recent intervention in the potentially disastrous railroad strike, that he is the most outspoken supporter of unions and collective bargaining in American history. He added that no one has ever occupied the Oval Office who was stronger on labor and union issues than him. On his first Labor Day, he called unions vitally necessary “to counter corporate power, to grow the economy from the bottom up and the middle out.” I love this quote. The salaries and benefits unions have secured for law enforcement in California are among the highest in the nation.
This is what I want every member of Unit 621 who returned me to the PPOA Board to understand about me. This is what I believe PPOA should be doing — bringing superior wages and working conditions to law enforcement professionals while protecting them from external and internal threats. This will come through education, assertive leadership and a smart Board with smart leadership.
I implore every Department member, especially my younger, less experienced Unit 621 members, to understand why unions are so important. They may not realize that this was all about something we long ago lost interest in because we are so used to it. It’s those 12 days of sick time that your union — PPOA — negotiated for you so many years ago. Because rail workers don’t get paid sick days, they are forced to use vacation time instead. Since vacation time needs to be approved in advance, workers are often compelled to work when they come down with an unexpected illness or medical emergency. Can you imagine having those kinds of terrible policies being inflicted on us? I was on the negotiating team when we went from eight to 12 sick days, and no matter what union busters say, PPOA is not going backward. We aren’t giving up a thing. The heroes I work with, well, I got their back.
Thank you for your time and consideration.