Page 30 - Jan2022_FOP_Magazine
P. 30

resonating with so many because we say that we can do better than what is being presented by the current leaders. We think that we have a great chance of winning and making the city safe again.”
PAC atcha
The happenings at the Martinez event should encourage ev- ery Chicago Police Officer. The gathering included several poli- ticians who spent the past two years beating up on cops via de- funding campaigns and supersized oversight initiatives, among other mechanisms. So for Catanzara and company to get such a big shout-out confirms there is a huge return on investment waiting for Lodge 7 political action.
The Lodge can reap some of the benefits Chicago Firefighters Union Local 2 and the International Union of Operating Engi- neers (IUOE) Local 150 have procured in the political arena. The firefighters have had success investing money through their PAC fund and volunteering to help their own get elected to state rep and city council positions. The IUOE has built up such a big PAC fund that every year it holds a party to disburse contribu- tions, and more than half of state reps and senators attend.
By contrast, Lodge 7 had amassed about $40,000 annually for PAC funding. For both state and City candidates.
“That $40,000 a year to cover the city council and Springfield means you’re not a player, and that’s not acceptable for some- thing as important as public safety,” asserts Dave Sullivan, the lobbyist who covers the state house and senate for Chicago Lodge 7. “If you’re a candidate in a targeted race, it’s a multi- million dollar adventure. That’s unbelievable for a job that pays about $70,000 per year, but we need to be part of that system.”
Sullivan served as a state senator, and he will be the first to
“Our message of keeping people safe is resonating with so many because we say that we can do better than what is being presented by the current leaders.”
Lodge 7 PAC Co-Chair Brock Merck
point out that PAC funding is not a means to buy a candidate. The means to the end is to assist by volunteering for campaigns, voting and contributing financially.
“Legislators want to hear our voice,” Sullivan adds. “I have legislators literally asking me what the rank-and-file police are thinking, what the police union is thinking. They want to hear our voice, and this is amplifying that voice by being politically engaged.”
Lodge 7 first experimented with increased political engage- ment during the 2020 election. State Representative Brad Ste- phens, from the 20th District, which includes parts of the City’s west side, garnered an FOP endorsement and contribution, and he proved to be one of the loudest voices arguing against the anti-police legislation that passed in 2021.
Stephens agreed that the time to get politically active has never been more important because some of his colleagues in the legislature admit that they sort of had a gun held to their head about voting for that legislation. He added that constitu- ents want candidates who advocate for getting police the tools to keep communities safe.
Will those candidates running in November and beyond real- ize that the police can be a great force to help them get elected because they can help get out the vote and because they bring a lot of votes?
     BRAVE Police & Public Safety Wellness Center
Help strengthen those who serve
     Individual, group and family therapy for issues related to addiction, mood disorders, family and work-related matters, critical inci- dents and post-traumatic stress.
Being Brave Together
Road to Resiliency Program
Trauma & Addiction Tracks Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday 9 a.m.-Noon
Stress Management Training and First Responder’s Yoga is offered as part of BRAVE Center’s Wellness and Resiliency Program.
BRAVE Police & Public Safety Wellness Center
  6323 N. Avondale Avenue, #111B, Chicago, IL 60631 847-778-9322
Meet Meeko, Therapy Dog & Employee of the BRAVE Center
Dr. Robin Kroll, owner and Clinical Director of BRAVE Police & Public Safety Wellness Center, is a Board-Certified Police and Public Safety Psychologist.

   28   29   30   31   32