Brent J. Meyer
PORAC Vice President
Spring is upon us, and time seems to be flying by; it passed by quickly for PORAC, which already had a full plate, and now there are even more things on the horizon for us here in Sacramento. Over the past two months, we’ve been staying keenly aware of all the legislation pending under the dome of the Capitol. As you will notice on the bill chart this month, many of those two-year bills died when they didn’t make it out of committee, but we are certain that the war on law enforcement will continue, especially if it is left to the media and a few uninformed legislators. If I didn’t think that your Board of Directors and advocates were up for this challenge, I wouldn’t be running so headlong to this fight, but I say, bring it on! From Sacramento to Washington, D.C., the PORAC team is ready.
Regretfully, a key member of our team for the past several years will be moving on, and I would be remiss if I didn’t publicly thank her and wish her well in her future endeavors. I first met Chelsea Irvine of Marketplace Communications and Aaron Read & Associates on a video shoot for PORAC in 2010. My association was helping PORAC shoot some B-roll footage for a public relations and political action campaign, and Chelsea was assisting in this effort. We had a great time, staging police cars and creating images that we thought would pique the public’s interest and showcase our members in a favorable light. While there, Chelsea and I began a discussion about the advantages of social media, one that we would continue in 2013 when I made it over to PORAC as an executive officer. Like many of you probably felt back then, social media was a relative unknown … a strange dynamic that you couldn’t stop. It was the new thing, and whether you liked it or not, it was here to stay. Fortunately for PORAC, Chelsea was there to guide us through it, helping the most adaptable cops manage their Facebook posts and tweets. Scary as it was, PORAC grew as an organization, venturing out onto the “digital beat,” where we connected with our community of millennial members, the public and our elected officials. Suffice it to say, we eventually created a common theme with our Facebook pages, website, magazine and even our own app! I am certain that we could not have accomplished this to such a high degree of success without the contributions of Chelsea. While I am very happy to see her pursue new adventures, I’ll definitely miss the energy, excitement and promise that she generated for PORAC’s image. Her enthusiasm for our organization (and for what you do!) will certainly guide us toward the next steps we take in improving and maintaining the image of California and Nevada’s finest public safety members. So thanks, Chelsea. We will definitely miss you and the level of professionalism you brought to PORAC!
Fortunately for us, the creative space left by Chelsea’s departure wasn’t left unfilled for long. Michele Cervone, new to Marketplace Communications, has come on board with the PORAC team to help, and we look forward to charting new territory with her in the years ahead.
As you are probably aware by now, PORAC has endorsed and is again supporting efforts to reform the death penalty in California. In furtherance of this effort, we are part of a vast and diverse coalition, the Californians for Death Penalty Reform and Savings, which is coordinating this campaign. Back in December, Californians for Death Penalty Reform and Savings received the title and summary from the Office of the Attorney General, opening the prescribed window of time for the coalition to collect and submit valid signatures from registered voters. Our recent polling suggests that if we can get it on the ballot, we will be successful in passing this initiative! To get onto the ballot, however, our coalition must collect and submit over 350,000 validated signatures from registered voters in California. So, we are calling on you to help the campaign! When we first supported this effort in 2014, many of you assisted in providing and helping collect signatures for the initiative. Today, we are again looking to our membership for assistance with this effort. PORAC members contributed over 5,000 signatures the last time we did this.
Last month, we sent petitions to our chapters’ presidents. These were sent with a request to get them out to their respective associations. While we aren’t asking you to roam neighborhoods or stalk supermarket customers to get them signed, if you could lend your signature for this initiative, it would be a great help to our efforts. The most important thing to remember on this is that each petition may only contain the signatures of voters from one county. See your chapter president or drop by PORAC Headquarters to sign or get a petition. They will need to be returned to us in Sacramento or to the campaign directly no later than 5 p.m. on March 31, 2016. This initiative is important to our profession and to the perpetuity of justice, especially for the families of slain California law enforcement officers. Thank you in advance for your support!
Take care and stay safe!