On December 2, all of our lives were shaken by the terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. As the tragedy unfolded, PORAC was communicating with several leaders from around the Inland Empire offering our assistance, but most of all, we offered prayers for the victims and all of the first responders who were on the frontlines of this attack.
What would our world be like if law enforcement turned and ran at the first sight of danger? How many citizens do we know who would be willing to take a bullet for a complete stranger? At some point early in our lives, something told us we were meant to serve. Whether it was for our country serving in the military or this life of public safety, all of us have chosen this career path to provide for others, to protect our communities, and to defend the citizens who oftentimes will unwittingly be on the frontlines. It is at times like these that we shine the most. Remain vigilant. Do not be diverted from your primary mission of protecting and serving our communities. All of you do this with honor, courage and sacrifice. We commend each of you for your heroic efforts in the face of danger.
In December, PORAC had the opportunity to attend several chapter meetings. During the Central California Chapter meeting, newly elected Chapter President Anthony Gomez (Fresno DSA) requested that PORAC swear in his newly elected
officers, which has become a tradition with this chapter. It was a great meeting, with many associations and PORAC providers attending.
The next meeting was held in Oakland, hosted by the Bay Area Chapter of PORAC. Chapter President Matt Avery (Pinole PEA) did a great job of leading the meeting, which for this specific month always has more of a family atmosphere, with association leaders, various insurance and benefits providers, and PORAC LDF panel attorneys spending quality time together.
Early this year, we will begin planning our annual lobbying trip to our nation’s capital. Each year, many of your PORAC Executive Committee members travel to Washington, D.C., to meet with our congressional delegation, as well as U.S. senators and various committees relevant to public safety. If there are specific issues that you would like the Executive Committee to address while in Washington, please bring those requests to your local chapter meetings so that we can share them with our advocates, Steptoe & Johnson.
As the new year begins, we urge all of our associations to select at least one of your members to attend local PORAC chapter meetings. These meetings are held monthly in a geographical area close to your city. At these meetings, your PORAC chapter directors, Executive Committee members and trustees will be on hand to discuss and disseminate information from recent PORAC Board of Directors or Executive Committee meetings. Also in attendance at chapter meetings are PORAC LDF providers, as well as our PORAC-sponsored insurance and benefits providers. This is one of the best ways for PORAC to keep each of our associations informed on events and issues of importance to each of you.
Over the past several months, many of our local associations have elected new board members, including new leadership within their organizations. Please contact PORAC and provide us with the most up-to-date information on the changes within your association. This is the best way for PORAC to contact each association to provide necessary information for all of your members.
January is usually the time when the new leaders take their respective seats to do business for their local associations. It is our suggestion that all new association board members, including officers, attend our PORAC Leadership Training class.
We offer many classes, from Collective Bargaining to Internal Affairs, but our leadership class is a must for any new association leader. Please take a look at our website (www.porac.org) for
a list of all of our training classes offered throughout California and Nevada.
January also marks the month when our future PORAC members can begin applying for PORAC scholarships. If you have a child who is enrolling in college, please take a look at our website for complete information, including online applications. Good luck to all of our applicants!
I hope you all had a nice Christmas and holiday season. Spending quality time with family and friends should always be a priority. As we enter this new year, let’s continue to keep all of our fallen heroes and their families in our thoughts and prayers.