As we wrap up the last year of the 2010s and usher in the beginning of a new year and decade on January 1, there will be many challenges and opportunities awaiting PPOA. Rest assured that your union will hold strong and remain committed to a “tradition of success,” which has not changed during PPOA’s 68-year history.
THE 2020 LOS ANGELES COUNTY ELECTIONS
In March (not June) of 2020, there will be two critical elections that PPOA must engage in: the race for the 2nd District on the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and the L.A. County district attorney’s race. I cannot overstate the significance of these two elections. The ability for PPOA to negotiate fair and equitable labor contracts, which is the first and foremost objective of not only PPOA, but any labor union sitting at the bargaining table, must be fully supported by our elected officials who vote to approve our memorandums of understanding (MOUs). This fact is one of many reasons why PPOA has proudly endorsed L.A. City Council President Herb Wesson (wessonforsupervisor2020.com) for County supervisor. As council president, Wesson has championed forward-thinking policy initiatives that have made Los Angeles a better and safer place to live, work and raise a family. As supervisor, PPOA is confident that he will work to ensure that our public safety officers have the resources and support they need to do their jobs safely.
PPOA is also extremely pleased to once again endorse our two-term incumbent District Attorney Jackie Lacey (jackielacey.com), who is the first woman and first African-American to serve as L.A. County’s district attorney since the office was created in 1850. Standby for our extremely effective and superbly qualified district attorney — who works every day to protect the rights of all and who works even harder to enhance neighborhood safety — to be challenged by former San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon.
If there is any doubt that Gascon, who is a self-proclaimed criminal justice progressive, is not the right choice for L.A. County’s district attorney, consider this statement from the San Francisco Police Officers Association: “We are praying for the residents of Los Angeles, hoping that George Gascon does not do to their city what he did to San Francisco during his tenure — double digit increases in crime, author of Proposition 47 that created our criminal justice revolving door, cars broken into by the thousands and neighborhoods ravaged by open-air drug markets and crime. We are happy he will be leaving San Francisco but feel horrible that he is taking his record of failure to an even larger county where he can cause even more harm to public safety. Good riddance.”
These two 2020 elections are prime examples of why PPOA must be proactive in the political arena, especially in elections that will directly impact each PPOA member. Please do yourself and your family a favor and opt in to donating to the PPOA Political Action Committee (PAC).
THE RETIREMENT OF L.A. COUNTY CEO SACHI HAMAI
On October 15, to PPOA’s great disappointment (but congratulations to her nonetheless), CEO Sachi A. Hamai announced she will retire in early 2020 after 31 years of County service. Ms. Hamai was named the interim CEO in 2014, appointed CEO in 2015 and presently oversees a County budget of $36 billion and a workforce of almost 113,000. The Board of Supervisors will be tasked with selecting her successor. PPOA will be reaching out to the Board offices to communicate our thoughts and ideas on the critically important qualities and skill sets that the next County CEO must possess.
PPOA’s last two MOUs (2015–2018 and 2018–2021) for Bargaining Units 612, 614, 621, 631 and 632 have occurred under the watchful eye of CEO Hamai and have been negotiated in good faith by members of her staff. For the most part, PPOA has been treated fairly and equitably at the bargaining table, resulting in collective bargaining agreements that have been overwhelmingly ratified by the PPOA membership. In the fall of 2020, PPOA and the County will return to the bargaining table to begin negotiating a successor MOU for Bargaining Unit 612. PPOA is certainly hopeful that the new CEO will continue the professional collective bargaining practices that have occurred over our past two contract negotiations, resulting in labor peace and harmony in the County of Los Angeles.
On behalf of PPOA, we send our sincere gratitude to Ms. Hamai, who has always displayed in thought and action her care and concern for the PPOA membership and their families. Her selfless service to the residents of Los Angeles County and her fair and equitable treatment of the County employees and PPOA members charged to deliver the Board of Supervisors’ policies will not be forgotten. PPOA wishes Ms. Hamai a very healthy and prosperous retirement.
We must all collectively commit to and never forget that a strong and unified PPOA can overcome any challenges in front of us and allow us to proactively engage in opportunities (e.g., opt in to PAC) that will better our membership. Thank you for your support this past year and your continued commitment to ensuring that the PPOA membership prospers in 2020.