The last days of September and most of October will have taken me across the country three times, and up and down California another five more. It has seemed that my bags are perpetually packed, as I made my way to Washington, D.C., with President Durant and a contingent of PORAC’s Board of Directors for our second trek to advocate in the nation’s capital on your behalf, as well as for some critical RMT trustee training. Throw in several chapter meetings, outreach to a potential corporate partner, and a critical recruitment and retention event with the Legal Defense Fund, and I have essentially starred in my own adaptation of Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
Once again, our time in Washington was well spent. Although the trip was short in duration, I think the foundation we are building for our national relationships will reap benefits to our members for years to come. This time around, our group focused on many of the caucuses and committees that are relevant to us and make the wheels of government turn. A couple of months ago, one of our members asked me if we tracked our federal legislation in a bill chart, similar to how we track our state legislation — and if we did, why didn’t we publish it every month in this magazine? Though seemingly obvious, the omission had never been something that jumped out at me as I flipped through PORAC Law Enforcement News. Needless to say, I could not be prouder of the progress we have made in our goal of expanding the footprint and raising the profile of PORAC nationally. We’ve done this in a time of relative change and amid uncertainty about the relationship between peace officers and the citizens of this country. Through thoughtful and precise ideas, we’ve begun a dialogue with lawmakers that I believe will lead to better conditions for you. Many of these will come from federal bills that PORAC has reviewed and evaluated, and then supported or opposed. That being said, I am pleased to direct your attention to page 35 of this issue, which summarizes the key federal legislation that PORAC is supporting in the current session. As with the state bill chart that you are familiar with, you can easily read and follow all of these bills on our website at www.porac.org/advocacy/legislation-overview.
The term “busy” was quite the understatement for me last month, as I also wrapped up our regions’ election nomination meetings throughout the state. All were informative and well attended, with each area hosting its respective representatives from across our 15 chapters. President Durant and I attended all of these meetings, keeping our members up to date on the end of the legislative session, and on the health and efficient operation of our organization. I also accepted the nominations of candidates for regional offices — all of whom were unopposed, and therefore re-elected (or elected in one region) by acclimation. Because of this, no ballots will be sent out this year. All of these individuals will be sworn in at the PORAC Conference in Monterey, and will assume office with the commencement of the Board of Directors meeting on that Sunday after the closing session. President Durant and I congratulate and look forward to working with the individuals listed below as they begin their next terms of office.
As mentioned last month, the PORAC room block for our 63rd Annual Conference of Members in Monterey is sold out. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that you can’t still register to attend our Conference. We have a great training program lined up for the weekend, which will feature speakers from many of our panel attorneys on a wide array of subjects — summaries of which are now up on the Conference page at www.porac.org. I am looking forward to seeing many of you there for a weekend of fun, camaraderie, training and networking with fellow members from all over our state, and I hope that you will make time to join us!
Take care and stay safe!