Happy new year! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays with your friends and family.
As the new year kicks off, we at PORAC are very excited for what is to come in 2022 as we continue to find new ways to support you, our members, and advocate for the entire law enforcement profession and public safety.
Furthering PORAC’s Branding Efforts
PORAC has made many New Year’s resolutions, and branding is no exception. Increasing PORAC’s state and national presence is crucial to both growing the organization and our ability to advocate for our members in Sacramento and D.C. With PORAC’s new headquarters, we have invested in building out our studio as a resource for PORAC and our member agencies as we look to develop podcasts, radio ads and more. We have many new capabilities in the studio and want to make sure members are aware that the PORAC studio is a no-cost option that you can and should be taking full advantage of — particularly when it comes to voicing our support for endorsed candidates for political office. Our involvement in these races helps ensure the right individuals are representing us at the local, state and federal levels. It also represents an opportunity to get PORAC’s name out there, elevating PORAC as an influential, credible and politically active organization. Developing and promoting new content using the studio will allow us to create and strengthen relationships with our elected leaders — all of which enables us to advocate for our members more effectively, ensuring we have a seat at the table as we navigate another year of law enforcement–focused legislation.
We know that many of our associations do not have the resources or tools necessary to produce materials for the candidates you support, but it’s important that we get our voice out there and rally behind candidates who will stand with, not against, law enforcement. Utilizing our studio is a great way to do this in your local elections. I also need to reiterate that if you do not have a political action fund, you need to start one immediately.
In addition, we are working to increase our presence on social media to share resources, engage on priority issues, offer our experience and recommendations, flag important research and news media articles, and activate our members. To ensure you’re staying up to date on key issues, please make sure you’re following us on our social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and engaging with our posts so we can reach more people.
Sharing Chapter Resources Through the New Website
As you know, PORAC launched a new website in November of last year. The website will improve the user experience with easier navigation and a clean, updated look. We are particularly excited to work with our chapter leaders to help them personalize the new chapter pages, where members can go to find all relevant information and updates related to their individual chapters. We will be leaning on chapter leaders to build these pages out and provide the necessary resources to ensure they can be used as an easy way for your members to stay organized and up to date.
Continued Discussions on Law Enforcement Contributions to DA Races
As you may know, back in August of last year, four district attorneys put forward a request to the California State Bar to prevent law enforcement unions from contributing to candidates for district attorney. PORAC immediately responded to this attempt to silence the voice of law enforcement by submitting a letter to the State Bar outlining our serious concerns with this inherently biased proposal. On December 3 of last year, the State Bar’s Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct (COPRAC) held a meeting to determine whether they will seek to advance this proposal. In addition to sending yet another letter to the State Bar in opposition, PORAC called for your participation. PORAC asked our association leaders to make their voices heard, and I am pleased to report that for the first time in a long time, we outnumbered the callers speaking in opposition to our position. In recognition of our association leaders who successfully outlined the serious flaws in this proposal, the Committee responsibly held back the item for greater consideration before moving forward.
District attorney races directly affect you, as members of the law enforcement profession, and while we were pleased with the results of the last COPRAC meeting, I am calling on all PORAC members to up your participation game when it comes to these key inflection points that have serious implications for rank-and-file officers. Out of more than 77,000 members, 13 participated in December’s meeting. As we look ahead to the next legislative session, our profession will continue to be the target of a litany of legislative proposals. PORAC’s ability to advocate for our members is greatest when our members participate, and we must continue to do more to make our voices heard.
A Friendly Reminder
As we gear up for this upcoming legislative session, we know that law enforcement will continue to be top of mind for legislators. I want to give our members a friendly reminder that as we navigate this legislative landscape, everything, and I mean everything, that you put in writing — including in text messages, social media and private forums — is discoverable. If you wouldn’t feel comfortable sharing what you think with the public, please do not put it in writing. We live in a new world where privacy doesn’t really exist, and the right to it is becoming ever more opaque. Regardless of how you feel about anyone or anything, if you are not putting your thoughts through the filter of “How would this look if it were made public?” you are risking your own reputation, your department’s and that of our entire profession, given the intense scrutiny we are under today.
Thank you all as always for your hard work, dedication and support, and we look forward to the coming year.