With the arrival of spring comes the inherent desire to freshen things up — out with the old and in with the new, in the spirit of “spring cleaning.” Although Mother Nature doesn’t yet appear to have opened the floodgates for us to welcome any April showers in the state’s capital, we did welcome San Mateo County DSA president David “DJ” Wozniak, who won election as Region I’s Legal Defense Fund Trustee, as the Fund fills the remaining months of DeeDee Lundquist’s term after her retirement at the end of last year. PORAC’s leadership team, Board members and fellow trustees are looking forward to working with DJ as he steps into this new role for our organization. Congratulations, DJ!
The process for this most recent special election (it seems as though we’ve had several in the last year) certainly kept Headquarters on its toes during this go-round. And it offers this timely opportunity to impart a helpful recommendation, especially to those association leaders who don’t want to miss a thing that we are doing at PORAC. It is absolutely critical that we have your association’s information up to date and current in our membership system. This is not only important to guarantee that you are included in critical correspondence (like special elections), but also ensures that we have the most efficient and direct way to contact the correct person should an issue arise that could affect your membership. Updating your information is simple and doesn’t take long at all. If you are using our new online membership system, you can complete this on your own. You most certainly could also include an updated list of your association officers with your quarterly dues invoice. Or, you may always contact Angie Gonzales at PORAC Headquarters directly or via firstname.lastname@example.org. So please take a moment (right now) to check and make sure that we have your most recent address and association contact information on file.
Though tardiness doesn’t happen all that often, I cannot emphasize enough just how important it is to get your association’s membership dues in on time and without delay each quarter. To access benefits like the Insurance & Benefits Trust (IBT) and the Legal Defense Fund (LDF), your association must remain current (in good standing) on your dues. If you aren’t current, or you’re over a month behind, you risk causing a lapse in coverage for your members, which will cause a problem if one of them seeks to activate a claim for benefits. Delinquent dues also restrict your chapter’s ability to obtain reimbursement for monies they are entitled to collect from Headquarters and use locally for issues and events that directly affect you. As I said, this doesn’t happen very often, as we really try to contact the association leadership before it gets to that point … that is, if your contact information is up to date!
Not only are your PORAC leaders busy advocating from coast to coast on your behalf, but so are our local associations. I am very pleased to write this on the heels of returning from Washington, D.C., where we completed the first of several treks in 2015 to advocate for you. Our presence there has been maintained by the team of Steptoe & Johnson, LLP, and was perpetuated with President Durant, Treasurer Blanco, Secretary Magor and me, as well as nearly all of the Executive Committee and representatives of the Nevada Chapter, spending two full days talking about the most important issues to law enforcement. Now more than ever, those issues are highly relevant in the public discourse, ranging from funding for our agencies to the implementation of body-worn cameras. PORAC effectively amplified its position — nationally — on the use of cameras and how that impacts you, the public and your agency. This message reverberated through the halls of congressional offices as our representatives discussed their experiences with lawmakers and staff of key committees, as well as staff from the President and Vice President’s executive offices. Before my wheels even touched back down in California, we began receiving positive feedback and requests for more information on the full breadth of PORAC’s positions and ideas.
Be it our members coming together to help one of their own, or associations helping each other out, the work you do is the foundation of what PORAC is built upon. It is this fraternal brotherhood that makes our profession and our organization so unique! We are always interested in seeing and hearing about what you are doing, so if you have a picture of your association in action for one another or in the community, please don’t keep it to yourself. We always welcome potential photos for Law Enforcement News, our Facebook page (www. facebook.com/PORAC) or our Twitter feed (www.twitter.com/ PORACalifornia).
Keep up the great work doing what you do best: helping each other. Take care and stay safe!