IAFF Local 31
Donate to FIREPAC
Updated On: Mar 22, 2018
Why I am Donating $500 to FirePAC
Wait, what the heck is FirePAC? Well, it is the IAFF's Political Action Committee. It distributes money to political candidates and causes that will benefit firefighters. This year money is being spent to combat the vicious attacks on pensions and public employee unions. I have donated each year since I got the job, but I have yet to reach the level of commitment that a few of our other members have shown for years. But this year is different, here's why.

1. I want the shiny pin. But damn it, they just made a $750 level and some stinking shirt.

2. Pensions are under attack. We have all seen the TV shows, radio programs, and news items telling us how our pensions are extravagant and unaffordable. There are a few pensions that are in trouble, only because politicians failed to make the required contributions. Our pension is 100% funded, not because of the generosity of the state, but rather the fact that our LEOFF2 Board has fought tooth and nail for contribution rate stability. Why do they hate defined benefit plans? They work just fine if you actually make the necessary contributions. First, the benevolent Titans of Industry want to break up the 2.7 trillion dollars of Public pension funds into tiny poorly managed individual accounts with high fees and no political or economic influence. Imagine you had planned to retire in 2008-2009. Poof! Suddenly 40% of your life savings is gone. Looks like you are working a few more years. And finally, WE DON'T PAY SOCIAL SECURITY! NOR DO WE GET IT! What are we supposed to do? Retire to the breadline and homeless shelter when we are to broken to fight fire any more?

3. Fire ACT Grants/Safer/UASI/Misc Grants. Our department gets a lot of money from grants. The most recent include the Apparatus Bay Ventilation Systems (fingers crossed), the 1.5 million SAFER grant to hire 8 firefighters, the driving simulator, the new boat, and many others from the past. This money will go away if we don't fight to keep it. Influencing politicians takes money, and that's why I am making the investment on the FirePAC side to keep these grants coming. They help us get equipment and training we wouldn't be able to afford otherwise.

4. Collective Bargaining is under attack. WISCONSIN! NUFF SAID! If you don't think it can happen here: Senate Bill 5347, a "Right to Work Bill" is chilling in the capital right now. It just needs an anti-union majority to get it rolling. As we have seen from the events in Wisconsin, it is not about the budget, it is about taking away the right to establish a contract with their Employer. I saw a great quote that summed it up well "United We Bargain, Divided We Beg".

5. The IAFF is an honest, democratic, and effective union. I am proud to be a member of a union that is putting up a reasoned fact and evidence based fight against the current union-busting campaign. I know my money is well spent on candidates and issues that matter to my profession. They don't choose candidates by party, rather they choose candidates that support unions, defined benefit pensions, and other issues important to firefighters.

I am not asking you to run out and join the Socialist Workers Party. I am asking you to consider your economic self interest, and the preservation of the hard won victories of the firefighters and labor leaders of the past. This job is safer because of the union, this job pays better because of the union, you get a lot of time with your family because of the union, your job is protected if you are injured because of the union, you can look forward to a comfortable retirement because of the union. These gains and more can be lost if we are apathetic. Reject this race to the bottom mentality. Put some salt in the game. DONATE some of your hard earned money to help educate the public and politicians on the truth of these issues. Download the donation form at http://www.iaff.org/politics/PDF/11Card12.pdf and give it to Melinda or Matt.
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