SECRETARY-TREASURER’S DESK | MIKE LOPEZ
The Path Forward
As the temperatures heat up and fire season gets into full swing, our firefighter’s health and safety is always our top priority. Firefighters across the state will be gone most of the season from their families protecting the public and battling wildfires. We all know that fire season is becoming longer and more intense than ever before. It’s important that we take care of our firefighters when the job takes a toll on physical and mental health. We encourage members to reach out for help. Visit www.healingourown.org for behavioral health resources, and record exposures using www.PERonline.org. We thank our firefighters and their families for the sacrifices they make to keep us safe.
In the last several months we have been out in the field with our members listening, learning about the needs and providing trainings. We have launched several projects to connect with our members and get them the tools they need to be successful.
Our first trainings were the Political Action Committee (PAC) workshops that we took directly to members. CPF staff traveled throughout the state, giving a total of nine trainings on the "dos and don’ts" of PACs, campaign communications, campaign finances and how to run successful campaigns. I attended several of those trainings and the feedback was very positive. The information presented was useful to those in attendance, as California’s new March Primary is forcing all of us to start our campaigns early.
Some of you may recall that at the last CPF convention, delegates overwhelmingly passed the Expanding Membership Activism Resolution. The resolution called for the creation of the Membership Activism Committee, charged with making recommendations for new trainings and techniques that locals may apply to increase union activism and engagement. The committee has representatives from each CPF district and has met several times. At the last meeting we set forward plans to create new member orientation packets and a presentation for our locals to utilize in their efforts to increase engagement in their locals. Stay tuned for more from the committee.
We also recently launched CPF Fire Wire, a new monthly podcast to communicate with members what CPF is doing, how we are fighting for our members and the value of unions to firefighters. The very first episode, aptly titled "Union Values," features CPF President Brian Rice, Nick Gracia, President of Daly City Firefighters Local 1879, and Brian Ursettie, President of Arcadia Firefighters Local 3440. They all discuss why they made the choice to become active in our union and the power of standing together to make the firefighter voice heard. You can listen to CPF Fire Wire on Apple podcasts, spotify or the CPF website.
We are making significant strides forward and continue to look for opportunities to support our members. Our field visits are the most vital pipeline to understanding our members needs and getting resources out there. We look forward to continuing those visits throughout the year.
Finally, as the fire year is in full swing and families and friends take to the streets for vacations, please be careful so you can make it home to your families.