Brent J. Meyer
PORAC Vice President
As you’ll notice in the pages ahead, this month’s feature article highlights the importance of sticking together and relying on the resources you have to aggressively represent your membership. There is no better case study to illustrate this than the resolve of the leadership and membership of the San Bernardino Police Officers Association, who have been through tough times lately … which is definitely an understatement! As you read their story, I hope it reminds you (especially if you are an association leader) that no challenge is insurmountable, nor can any one person or organization do it alone. Having known their past President and my fellow PORAC Board member, Steve Turner, only reinforces that in my mind. Their story is remarkable, and I hope it inspires the great work that goes on in your respective association.
I also hope that the SBPOA story reminds you that PORAC is, and wants to be, a tremendous resource to help you accomplish the goals of your association, whatever they may be. The journey to a better contract, more local political influence, a stronger membership base and solid member advocacy can all start with PORAC and the benefits that belonging to our organization provides. We offer our training courses on a monthly basis, and you may even be reading this as you attend our issues training Symposium at the Silver Legacy Hotel in Reno, Nevada.
A couple of months ago, in light of the looming Supreme Court decision in Friedrichs v. CTA, which is anticipated later this year, the Executive Committee began a discussion about how we could better educate local association leaders on the benefits of PORAC, as well as how to communicate this information to members. Most of the time, these questions are easily answered, but if you don’t field them all that often or are not up to date with plan benefits and what is going on, they can be tough. Sure, this is easy for me to say, since it’s the crux of what I do at PORAC. This is one of the reasons why the Recruitment and Retention Committee has begun meeting formally, and it is something we’d like to address. I’m excited about this initiative and look forward to rolling it out once it’s ready to go. Until then, stay connected to PORAC’s social media and www.porac.org, pay attention to PORAC Law Enforcement News, get to your monthly chapter meetings and, most importantly, never hesitate to reach out to your region, chapter and trust representatives if you find yourself faced with a question about our benefits that you don’t readily have an answer to. We are all eager to help you strengthen your association and take it further.
If you handle the paperwork for your association, this month you received a distinctly colored notice accompanying your quarterly invoice. Beginning with the third-quarter billing process, which will arrive in June, PORAC is embarking on the next phase of upgrades for our membership system. Yes, we are finally going paperless! As you now have the ability to manage your association completely online through PORAC’s Online Membership System, we will eliminate the distribution of the paper statement in the next billing cycle. Rest assured, though, that if you would like to continue to receive this statement each quarter, you may do so by returning the form you received, which will opt you in to still receive a paper bill in the mail. For those few of you who have not yet set your association up with POLS, you can do this by simply contacting Angie Gonzales at PORAC Headquarters or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Getting your association online means you may make real-time changes to your membership roster, change your contact information for your association leadership, pay your dues and, yes, print out your current and past invoices.
Last month, I received word of an anticipated vacancy in one of the two Region II trustee positions on the Insurance & Benefits Trust. Trustee Scott Nelson will be resigning this month to accept a position at another police department, outside of Region II. In light of this, I will be running a special election for the remainder of his term, which ends in November 2016. Eligible members seeking this position must currently be a regular member and participant in an IBT-sponsored program or health plan. The nomination form and election deadlines will be distributed this month. Contact your chapter president or IBT Chairman Damon Kurtz for additional information on this opportunity.
Finally, I want to thank all of you who went out of your way to take time to assist with collecting signatures and/or contributing to the effort to reform California’s death penalty! I am hopeful that we will meet the threshold of signatures necessary to fix the inefficiencies of this very important part of our criminal justice system. Again, thank you so very much for your support!
Take care and stay safe!