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ologies? Well, you try and get the commonality of how they’ve been battered, and they realize, ‘Wow, I do need to change things, because I can’t even do my job anymore.’”
PAC to life
If the next, last or most important question concerns whether good candidates are out there and what the Lodge will get for its time and money, well, look no further than Stephens. As may- or of Rosemont, he had established a record of supporting law enforcement and had even thought about taking the test and going to the academy at one point in his life.
To win the war, the FOP is looking for candidates with a very fundamental philosophy about governing.
“I think that it just goes back to that a staple of any communi- ty is safety, public safety,” Stephens comments. “And what bet- ter way to have public safety than to support and advocate for your local police.”
There are others who would like to run with the right support and even incumbents who are worthy of the Lodge 7 endorse- ment.
“There are people that I’ve spoken to and that I’ve emailed that are very appealing,” Merck reveals. “Would a person be the ideal candidate for every ideology? Absolutely not. But I would state that the current elected officials are not perfect either. So I don’t think we need to worry about having the perfect candi- date. Are they perfect at this moment?”
The return on investment will be representation that gives members faith that their contract will be enforced. Because if that contract is whittled away, they will not have an income to support themselves and their families. So the return on invest- ment is having a contract and a job that enriches them.
“Public safety is going to be a huge issue in the upcoming cycle.”
Illinois State Rep Brad Stephens
Furthermore, members should ensure that they are invest- ing in legislators who know what it will take to win the war. Ste- phens offers some insight on what message you want to hear from your candidates.
“I think that it’s a feeling of, ‘We don’t want to have this defund the police crap and all that,’” he says. “I mean, it’s the wrong message. It should be more of, ‘Hey, my community where I live, we want more cops on the street. Let’s get behind our cops, and let’s make sure that they understand that we’ve got their back.’ And we’ve got to continue to fortify that.”
To get into the political action, Sullivan asks members for three contributions. One is financial support. The second is to volunteer time to help on campaigns. And members and their families and friends need to be registered to vote.
Contrary to popular belief, potential jurors are not selected from voter registration rolls. That is done by having a driver’s li- cense. So that sets up perhaps the most important contribution in the end.
“Alderman Ed Burke told me years ago — you know he’s a for- mer cop — he said one of his big complaints about the police is that they don’t go out and vote,” Sullivan adds. “And if you’re not voting, legislators and all of them care a little bit less about what you’re doing.”
      32 CHICAGO LODGE 7 ■ JANUARY 2022

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