Page 14 - February 2021
P. 14

Recording Secretary’s Report
Let our political action speak as loud as our words
 Listen up, Lodge 7 members. It is time to step up our political action even more. This call comes in the wake of the Illinois General assembly passing HB3653, a bill which contains drastic criminal jus- tice reforms that will adversely affect law enforce- ment and public safety.
The passing of this bill accentuates how Lodge 7 members need to become more politically active. If we didn’t know it before, we know it now after the passage of a bill that leaves law enforcement facing issues in this horrible bill such as officers not being
able to view body camera footage before writing reports and giving I bonds to repeat violent offenders.
The bill passed the House by one vote. So imagine what more political action could have accomplished if we just had one more rep supporting us. This goes to show you can’t rely on just one politician. You need to have relationships with many, many legislators. You have to be able to bend their ear, and you have to have ongoing conversations with them.
Prior to the November general election, small groups of us went out, knocked on doors and got people out to vote. But go- ing forward, we need hundreds of people knocking on doors,
hundreds of off-duty officers and retirees going out to get peo- ple to vote, canvassing and passing out political literature to make people aware of what affects the safety of each commu- nity.
Everyone needs to acknowledge that people need to register to vote. It’s not going to get done with just a few people. It’s go- ing to take a lot of people to wake up. Historically, cops have not voted in large numbers unless they’re from an older generation. But it’s really important to get everyone to vote and actually par- ticipate in regular primary and general election cycles.
Tell your family members and anyone you can talk to, be- cause it affects everyone greatly. Every community in the city, the suburbs and in this entire state is affected by decisions elected officials make. They need to know our perspective and account for those when they make those decisions.
Unfortunately, this bill has woken people up to say, “I have to register. I have to get people to vote.” But it’s not too late. We still have a chance to fight a lot of this. We need to reach out, email and call our legislators, our state senators, the state reps and the governor, at least on a weekly basis. Everyone should sign the petition on our Facebook page asking the governor to veto HB3653 as well.
If you don’t know where to start or how to speak to these leg- islators or senators, just be professional. I know we’re all upset about this even getting to the governor’s desk. But when you’re professional and clearly articulate that this is wrong for not only law enforcement, but also for the regular citizens who just want to go to work every day and take care of their families, it will work.
This bill doesn’t really help the community at all. Instead, it continues to embolden criminals and allow for lawlessness. Ex- plain that it’s going to make people leave their jobs and move out of state, which means a decrease in population. Jobs will be impacted because people will no longer want to frequent Chicago, or even Illinois, and won’t bring their business here, affecting the tax base. When people leave, no one’s paying taxes. It’s that simple. Tell your legislator that it affects the bottom line: dollars to pave roads, have snow removal in the winter and how we’re able to build bridges.
It’s paramount that these legislators adjust this bill complete- ly and that the governor vetoes it. You can explain that it’s going to make people less safe, reduce our population, lower our tax base and put us into fiscal disarray. When you articulate the ma- jor points about the bill making the streets less safe and making moms and dads worried about their children, you will get your point across.
It is impactful when you take just five or 10 minutes of your time to explain how this hurts the overall population, public safety and how we go about our everyday business. It’s not go- ing to just affect officers. It’s going to hurt the everyday family, the everyday person.
So take action now. Take political action, now, Lodge 7 mem- bers. And don’t ever stop.

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