Whether it’s the physical and emotional toll of a year-round fire season or the daily battles on the front lines, California firefighters have always stood tall in the face of adversity. 

But as firefighters stand up for the safety of California, will California’s elected leaders stand up for firefighters?

The answer depends on what happens November 6. 

From City Hall to the halls of the Capitol, the leaders chosen in this year’s election will decide the future lives and livelihoods of CPF’s 30,000 members. 

On staffing … the next Legislature will decide on funding for the “new normal” and local leaders will decide whether you aren’t facing deep cuts

  • On retirement security … the next governor, Legislature and local leaders could decide whether your pension will be cut and whether your new brothers and sisters will get a pension at all.

  • On contracting out jobs … the wrong governor and Legislature could lead to more privatized local and state services.

  • On your safety … the next governor and Legislature will decide whether the physical and mental challenges endured by firefighters will be recognized and respected.

Nobody can tell you how to vote, but the candidates and causes in these pages are the best choices on these core issues.

Please review these recommendations, get active and above all vote. 

It matters.  



Proposition 5:
Special Interest Tax Break Threatens Local Funding

What it does: Proposition 5 carves out a new property tax break for a few select groups, the largest of which is people over 55. Those select homeowners would be able to shift their current property-tax assessment if they buy a larger, more expensive home. The measure also purports to offer the same benefit to those with disabilities and disaster victims – both of which already enjoy property-tax benefits under current law. 

Who’s for it: Prop. 5 was placed on the ballot by a single interest group, the Realtors Association, with the objective of trying to induce wealthy older Californians into buying more expensive homes. 

Who’s against it: Teachers, counties, cities, public safety 

Why it matters to firefighters: 

  • According to the non-partisan Legislative Analyst, Prop. 5 threatens to blow a $2 billion hole into local government and education funding. At a time when many fire departments are still woefully understaffed, the shortfall would almost certainly be felt in local fire stations and other local services.

  • The proposition provides no meaningful benefit to disaster victims, as the tax benefits it purports to offer largely mirror those already available to rebuild homes.

  • The benefits of Prop. 5’s tax break largely skew to older, wealthier homeowners, who will have the means to buy larger, more expensive homes. This could drive up housing costs, making it that much harder for those under 55 to afford homes.

CPF Recommends: No on Proposition 5


Proposition 6:
A Threat to Road and Bridge Safety Improvements

What it does: Proposition 6 removes $5 billion a year from road, bridge and transportation improvements by rolling back an increase in gasoline tax passed in 2017. The tax, approved by the Legislature and the governor, is required by state constitution to go only to transportation projects, a requirement reinforced by voters earlier this year with the passage of Proposition 69. If Prop. 6 passes, 6,500 state infrastructure projects would be shelved, many of them critical earthquake safety improvements. 

Who’s for it: The most visible proponent of Prop. 6 are Carl De Maio, a local San Diego talk-show host and anti-pension advocate. The measure is also being pushed by anti-worker politicians, including gubernatorial candidate John Cox and U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes. 

Who’s against it: More than 300 groups, including the California Highway Patrolmen’s Association, the California Chamber of Commerce, American Society of Civil Engineers, the State Building Trades and nearly every labor, business and local government organization in California.

Why it matters to firefighters: 

  • From evacuation routes to fire access roads to traffic safety, public safety depends on our roads and bridges, and California’s need fixing. Prop. 6 would stop 6,500 road, bridge and transportation improvements needed to keep our roads and streets safe.

  • California has more than 1,600 bridges and overpasses that are structurally unsafe, a potentially catastrophic problem in the event of an earthquake or major disaster. Prop. 6 would stop many of these essential repairs dead in their tracks.

  • Poor roads and crumbling freeways, county and city streets are a major factor in vehicle collisions and narrow roads and shoulders complicate vehicle accident scenes for first responders.

  • Voters overwhelmingly passed Prop. 69, which puts the gas-tax funding into a lock-box that can’t be touched for anything other than transportation projects. Prop. 6 violates the accountability imposed by voters.

CPF Recommends: No on Proposition 6

CPF Also Recommends…


Authorizes use of existing tax on incomes of over $1 million for mental health services to underwrite bonds to prevent homelessness. Preventing and housing homeless eases pressure on emergency responders and contributes to safety of homeless individuals and communities



Limits profits for dialysis providers and promotes appropriate staffing and equipment at dialysis clinics. Understaffed dialysis clinics create unnecessary emergency calls, adding stress to the 9-1-1 emergency response system. Prop. 8 eases that pressure and ends windfall profits for dialysis providers.



Exempts private ambulance providers from state labor law concerning meal and rest breaks. Financed solely by private ambulance providers, who have repeatedly been found to violate these labor law provisions.



When it comes to the decisions that affect California firefighters’ jobs, health and safety, retirement security and workplace rights, nobody is more important than the governor. We can’t afford a part-time friend in the governor’s office.

Gavin Newsom has a proven record of standing up for firefighters … even when the heat was on. His opponent, John Cox, refused to meet with CPF for a candidate interview, and has been either silent or hostile to firefighters on the issues affecting your life and livelihood.

Gavin Newsom has stood with firefighters. He has earned CPF’s support


What’s Newsom’s record on supporting firefighters?

As mayor of San Francisco, Newsom held the line against fire staffing cuts during the recession, despite political pressure to lay off or cut back. Newsom negotiated with employees on pay and pension issues, and supports the “California Rule” protecting pensions. Newsom stood up against contracting out critical local services. He was consistently supported by his home local, San Francisco Firefighters Local 798, and promises firefighters a voice in his administration.

How did CPF make the decision? 

All candidates – Democrat and Republican – were invited to meet with CPF’s executive board for a candidate interview. Four of the six primary candidates interviewed with CPF. John Cox and Travis Allen refused a CPF meeting. After hearing the candidates’ answers on a range of core firefighter issues, the Executive Board voted unanimously to endorse Gavin Newsom.

What about John Cox?

On the core issues that affect firefighters’ jobs, safety, rights and retirement, John Cox has been either silent or openly hostile. Cox stands with hardline anti-pension forces who want to put an end to secure pensions for new public workers. Cox stands with management in urging more contracting out of local services. Cox stands with anti-union hard liners who have tried to silence your united voice in the process, and has openly attacked “union power.” And Cox won’t answer direct questions about these core issues because he wouldn’t even talk to CPF. Mr. Cox has said or done nothing to prove he will be on firefighters’ side if elected governor. 

There are a lot of things that Gavin Newsom talks about that I don’t agree with. Even if I don’t like Cox, why should I vote for Newsom?

Nobody ever agrees with any candidate 100% of the time. Like all voters, CPF members have their own set of personal issues they look at when casting their ballots. But, unlike some other labor organizations, CPF knows it’s not the union’s job to tell you how to vote on personal issues. It is the union’s responsibility to inform you on the issues that affect your professional life and your family’s future. On these core professional issues, it’s not even close. Newsom has earned the endorsement. 

Why do we even have to endorse anybody? 

Everything affecting CPF members on the job is the result of decisions by elected leaders, and the governor is the most important one of them all. There’s just too much at stake to sit on the sidelines. Firefighters are being overwhelmed by the disaster threat. Our retirement security is under constant attack. Local governments are cutting back resources and threatening to contract out. Firefighters need leaders who will stand up for us in good times and bad. 

Full documentation of statements and other candidate information at www.FirefightersForGavin.org


CPF and IAFF recommend candidates with a record of support on the core issues affecting our firefighters’ lives and livelihoods on the job. We recommend candidates from both political parties: It’s about standing with firefighters, not about party labels.


U.S. Senate

Dianne Feinstein



Gavin Newsom

Lieutenant Governor 

Ed Hernandez


Attorney General 

Xavier Becerra


Secretary of State 

Alex Padilla



Fiona Ma

State Controller 

Betty Yee


Insurance Commissioner

Ricardo Lara


superintendent of Public Instruction

Tony Thurmond


Board of Equalization, District 1

Ted Gaines


Board of Equalization, District 2

Malia Cohen



State Assembly

AD01 Brian Dahle

AD02 Jim Wood

AD04 Cecilia Aguiar-Curry

AD07 Kevin McCarty

AD08 Ken Cooley

AD09 Jim Cooper

AD10 Marc Levine

AD11 Jim Frazier

AD12 Heath Flora

AD13 Susan Eggman

AD14 Tim Grayson

AD16 Rebecca Bauer Kahan

AD17 David Chiu

AD18 Rob Bonta

AD19 Phil Ting

AD20 Bill Quirk

AD21 Adam Gray

AD22 Kevin Mullin

AD23 Jim Patterson

AD24 Marc Berman

AD25 Kansen Chu

AD26 Devon Mathis

AD27 Ash Kalra

AD28 Evan Low

AD29 Mark Stone

AD30 Robert Rivas(D)

AD31 Joaquin Arambula

AD32 Rudy Salas

AD35 Jordan Cunningham

AD36 Tom Lackey

AD37 Monique Limón

AD38 Christy Smith  

AD39 Luz Rivas

AD40 James Ramos

AD41 Chris Holden

AD42 Chad Mayes

AD43 Laura Friedman

AD44 Jacqui Irwin

AD45 Jesse Gabriel

AD46 Adrin Nazarian

AD47 Eloise Reyes

AD48 Blanca Rubio

AD49 Ed Chau

AD50 Richard Bloom

AD51 Wendy Carrillo

AD52 Freddie Rodriguez

AD53 Miguel Santiago 

AD54 Sydney Kamlager

AD55 Phillip Chen

AD56 Eduardo Garcia

AD57 Ian Calderon

AD59 Reggie Jones-Sawyer

AD60 Sabrina Cervantes

AD61 Jose Medina

AD62 Autumn Burke

AD63 Anthony Rendon

AD64 Mike Gipson

AD65 Sharon Quirk-Silva

AD66 Al Muratsuchi

AD69 Tom Daly

AD70 Patrick O’Donnell 

AD72 Josh Lowenthal 

AD74 Cottie Petrie-Norris

AD75 Marie Waldron

AD76 Tasha Boerner Horvath

AD77 Brian Maienschein

AD78 Todd Gloria

AD79 Shirley Weber

AD80 Lorena Gonzalez



State Senate

SD02 Mike McGuire 

SD06 Richard Pan 

SD08 Andreas Borgeas

SD10 Bob Wieckowski 

SD12 Anna Caballero 

SD14 Andy Vidak 

SD16 Shannon Grove 

SD18 Robert Hertzberg

SD20 Connie Leyva

SD22 Mike Eng

SD24 Maria Elena Durazo 

SD26 Ben Allen

SD30 Holly Mitchell 

SD32 Bob Archuleta

SD34 Janet Nguyen 

SD38 Jeff Griffith 

SD40 Ben Hueso

Ballot Propositions

Proposition 2 - Support

Proposition 5 - Oppose

Proposition 6 - Oppose

Proposition 8 - Support

Proposition 10 - Neutral

Proposition 11 - Oppose

Proposition 12 - Neutral



U.S. House of Representatives

(Provided by International Association of Fire Fighters)

CD2 Jared Huffman

CD3 John Garamendi

CD5 Mike Thompson

CD6 Doris Matsui

CD7 Ami Bera

CD8 Paul Cook

CD9 Jerry McNerney

CD10 Jeff Denham

CD11 Mark DeSaulnier

CD12 Nancy Pelosi

CD13 Barbara Lee

CD14 Jackie Speier

CD15 Eric Swalwell

CD16 Jim Costa

CD17 Ro Khanna

CD18 Anna Eshoo

CD19 Zoe Lofgren

CD20 Jimmy Panetta

CD21 David Valadao

CD22 Andrew Janz

CD23 Kevin McCarthy

CD24 Salud Carbajal

CD25 Katie Hill

CD26 Julia Brownley

CD27 Judy Chu

CD28 Adam Schiff

CD29 Tony Cardenas

CD30 Brad Sherman

CD31 Pete Aguilar

CD32 Grace Napolitano

CD33 Ted Lieu

CD34 Jimmy Gomez

CD35 Norma Torres

CD36 Raul Ruiz

CD37 Karen Bass

CD38 Linda Sanchez

CD40 Lucille Roybal-Allard

CD41 Mark Takano

CD42 Ken Calvert

CD43 Maxine Waters

CD44 Nanette Barragan

CD45 Mimi Walters

CD46 Lou Correa

CD47 Alan Lowenthal

CD48 Harley Rouda

CD49 Mike Levin

CD51 Juan Vargas

CD52 Scott Peters

CD53 Susan Davis


Every decision that affects the lives of firefighters and their families is made by elected officials or through ballot propositions. 

The single most important thing firefighters and their families can do to protect their rights, profession and future is to register and vote. 

CPF has made it easy for you to get registered.
Visit www.cpf.org/vote:

  • Check your voter registration status

  • Find your polling place

  • Register to vote and apply for a permanent absentee ballot status

  • Access the CPF Digital Voter Guide for recommendations on candidates that stand with firefighters and support our issues

The deadline to register, or re-register is October 22. Register today and
make your voice heard. 

You can also get more information at registertovote.ca.gov


Xavier Becerra 
for Attorney General

Attorney General Xavier Becerra has been a steadfast ally of our firefighters and those we serve, throughout his decades-long career. As a member of Congress, Becerra supported FIRE and SAFER grants, fought for health care and compensation for 9/11 responders and stood up for occupational death benefits for firefighters. 

As the current attorney general, Becerra has proven to be an advocate for working families. He has been especially steadfast in protecting retirement security. When the governor sought to have the attorney general defend his 2012 pension law by going after the “California Rule” that protects pension promises, Becerra stood with firefighters and public workers by choosing not to represent the governor’s challenge in court.

The attorney general’s position as the state’s top law enforcement officer makes the position a critical one for public safety. For firefighters, the attorney general is also important as the person who writes the ballot titles and summaries for statewide initiatives. The fate of attacks on retirement security and union rights at the ballot box can depend on someone who will make fair and accurate summaries, without bowing to political pressure.
Xavier Becerra has earned firefighters’ trust. CPF recommends him.



The Firefighter Voice

Nobody knows the issues affecting firefighters and their families more than someone who’s been on the front lines. 

Electing firefighters to public office, whether it be at the local, state or federal level, is a priority of California Professional Firefighters and its affiliated locals. It’s the best way to make sure elected leaders are responsive to the concerns of firefighters and public safety. 

Here’s a quick look at some of the active and retired firefighters seeking public office in 2018:  

Greg Batix

Board member, Moraga Orinda Fire District

Greg Batix is a firefighter with the East Contra Costa County Fire Protection District and member of United Professional Firefighters of Contra Costa Co., Local 1230. Batix is currently seeking a seat on the Moraga Orinda Fire District. 

Damon Covington

Board Member, Rodeo-Hercules Fire District

Damon Covington is a fire captain with Oakland Fire Department and member of Oakland-Alameda Co. Firefighters, Local 55. Covington is currently seeking a board seat on the Rodeo-Hercules Fire District.

Michael Donner

Board member, Moraga Orinda Fire District

Michael Donner is a retired firefighter with Oakland Fire Department and was a member of Oakland-Alameda Firefighters, Local 55. Donner is currently seeking a seat on the Moraga Orinda Fire District. 

Jeff Griffith

State Senate, District 38

Jeff Griffith is a second-generation firefighter, a fire captain and member of CalFire Local 2881. Griffith is currently seeking a state senate seat in California’s 38th district, representing a sizable portion of San Diego County, including the cities of El Cajon, Escondido and San Marcos. 

Jim Heinle

Supervisor, Kern County

Jeff Heinle is a fire captain with the Bakersfield Fire Department and member of Bakersfield City Firefighters, Local 246. Heinle is currently seeking the District 3 seat on the Kern County Board of Supervisors. 

Brian Oftedal

Board Member, East Contra Costa County Fire District 

Brian Oftedal is an active Oakland fire captain and a member of Oakland-Alameda Co. Firefighters Local 55. He is running unopposed for the East Contra Costa Co. Fire District, and is expected to become the board chair.

Cinthia Saylors

Board Member, Sacramento Metro Fire District

Cinthia Saylors is a retired firefighter with Sacramento Fire Department and was a member of Sacramento Area Firefighters, Local 522. Saylor is currently seeking the Division 1 seat on the Sacramento Metro Fire District Board.

Jim Steiner

Councilmember, City of Corona

Jim Steiner is a retired fire captain with the Corona Fire Department and past president of the Corona Firefighters Association, Local 3767. Steiner is currently seeking the District 4 seat on the Corona City Council. 

Nathan Sweet

School Board, Moorpark

Nathan Sweet is a firefighter with LA City Fire Department and a member of UFLAC, Local 112. Sweet is currently seeking re-election for school board in Moorpark.

Jim Zuniga

City Council, Woodland

Jim Zuniga is a retired firefighter with Woodland City Fire Department. Zuniga is currently seeking the District 1 council seat in Woodland.