Brian R. Marvel
Happy new year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and were able to spend quality time with your loved ones. Beyond the festivities, the holidays are an opportunity to reflect on what you’re most thankful for, including family, friends and colleagues. It’s also a time to reflect on the realities of our profession. For many law enforcement personnel, the holidays are like any other day of the year. We sacrifice spending time with our loved ones so that the members in our community can have peace of mind while celebrating with theirs. In fact, we spend a lot of time away from our families year-round, missing birthdays, sporting events and other milestones because of our sworn duty to protect others. I would like to recognize all the officers who worked during the holidays to keep us safe and extend thanks to those in our communities who are supportive of the many sacrifices made by law enforcement.
We should also be thankful for our Legal Defense Fund attorneys who work relentlessly to represent our members with the utmost skill and professionalism. We arguably have the best and most qualified attorneys in the nation, who make sure the due process rights of our officers are protected. In addition, I would like to thank our vendors, who year after year help make our Conferences, Symposiums, fundraisers and other events possible. We would not be successful without them. These companies and organizations donate their time and money in support of our efforts, which make it all possible.
I would be remiss not to extend our gratitude to the elected officials in both Sacramento and Washington, D.C., who are supporters of PORAC and the law enforcement community in the state and across the nation. Sometimes, these individuals don’t receive the recognition they deserve. We have many friends in our State Legislature and on Capitol Hill who are dedicated to helping us keep our communities safe, although you wouldn’t know that if you relied solely on the media.
In addition to being a time for reflection, the holidays and the start of the new year are a time to look ahead. In 2020, the focus for PORAC will be getting more folks involved and moving forward together as a group. As you know, the last two years were difficult for us legislatively, and with this being a critical election year and the second year of the Legislative session, it looks like we’ll have even more work cut out for us. January will be an exceptionally busy month as over 1,000 bills will be introduced or bills that didn’t make it out last year will be gutted, amended and reintroduced. And if last year is an indication of what the future holds, brace yourself. As the makeup of our State Legislature is a cause for concern, it is not insurmountable. I have always believed rational people who put the work in during negotiations ultimately succeed. PORAC has shown year after year that we bring rational, well-thought-out ideas and proposals to the table, hence the success we see at the Capitol.
Because of the super-supermajority, we’re going to have to rely on more of our members to stand up and make their voices heard in Sacramento and Washington, D.C. We have to let our legislators know that our more than 75,000 members are active and engaged on the issues that are affecting our profession. They need to know you are listening, watching and, most importantly, voting. For those of you who have been publicly pounding the pavement and voicing PORAC’s position on issues, we are thankful for your willingness to do so. You’re not always recognized, but we see and appreciate you.
While we’re thankful for all the things we’ve gotten in 2019, we clearly need to continue to organize our members, educate everyone we come in contact with and constantly advocate for our positions. I hope you’re reinvigorated and ready to tackle the new year together.