Happy New Year — at Your Chapter Meeting
By now, most of us have stowed our holiday decorations (or maybe not) and are working on overcoming the overindulgence that inevitably accompanies the season. Some have probably already broken some well-intended, yet misguided, New Year’s resolutions.
No need to be alarmed, however — there is still time to make some resolutions that you may be able to fulfill for the rest of 2018. As your association’s board gears up for the new year by preparing meeting calendars and establishing new goals and resolutions, keep in mind your PORAC chapter meetings. As the president of the Inland Chapter, I can tell you that chapter meetings are an invaluable fusion center for dissemination of information to members. This year will be especially important as we work toward dealing with negative court decisions that will have a detrimental effect on union membership throughout the nation. Chapter meetings are a vital resource for networking with your neighboring POAs and DSAs.
As association presidents and boards are filling appointments for 2018, consider creating a PORAC chapter liaison position. Your PORAC chapter liaison does not necessarily have to be a board member; however, it does help, since they can speak from a position of authority. Nonetheless, the representative can be an aspiring board member who is active within your POA or DSA — but they must be an active member of PORAC. Remember, your appointee is going to represent your POA or DSA at the chapter level, so you want someone who has the authority to share pertinent information about your association. Chapter meetings are where “the rubber meets the road” regarding networking and information sharing. I have had the pleasure of witnessing new attendees at my chapter meetings who realize that their perils are currently, or were at some point, shared by other associations at the table. Hence, having a chapter liaison is extremely important. Ultimately, this person realizes that they do not operate in a bubble and there are other resources available to assist them with their concerns. In law enforcement, we are masters of not reinventing the wheel, and chapter meetings are a great resource to help your association with tried-and-true approaches to solving problems. It may be as simple as creating or updating your bylaws to deal with issues within your association, or as intricate as navigating the negotiations currents.
Your PORAC leadership in Sacramento is usually approached by associations seeking assistance from PORAC with issues affecting their members. One of the first questions we usually ask is “Did you attend your last chapter meeting?” Inevitably, the response is something like “We don’t have the time,” or “Why do I need to attend meetings to seek guidance from PORAC?” The answer is that you don’t have to attend chapter meetings to get assistance; however, most of the time there is another member present at your local meeting who has experienced what you are dealing with — or knows other members who have — and has invaluable insight on how to assist you at the local level.
Visit PORAC.org/calendar to find information about your next chapter meeting. If your chapter information is not listed, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will research the information for you. See you at the chapter meeting!
Be safe and have fun in 2018.