Hello all members, this post comes from your Public Relations Director James Burkhalter E-11 A Shift. Normally I send out emails In regards to events, and exciting things happening within our union. I wanted to write this so that you would ask yourself, are you satisfied with your union and your involvement as a member of Local 858.
What brings me to writing this post is that one of our very own Brothers is in a contested race for a city council seat, we are about 1 month away from the ballots being dropped and I feel a sense of apathy, entitlement, and complacency. To have one of our own members as a representative on DENVER Ciy council would be unprecedented and a huge gain for our membership for the next 4 years in regards to the issues that effect us as DENVER Firefighters. Wages, run volume, staffing, etc, all this can be effected by city council votes.
The current Dist 1 city council representative Rafael Espinoza has basically called us out, he went on social media and attacked us as “non-resident firefighters that are putting up yellow signs and are incapable challenging the special interests” among other things he has said to our members.
What I have seen in the last few months disturbs me, we have what every other candidate wants, 1000 people strong on the same team to back our candidate and get him elected, but I have seen the same 20-30 people as the only ones involved. I have heard our members ask why retirees should vote in elections, and yet have seen more retirees active in every aspect of our union, including this election.
It is time that we as a Strong Union stand together to support our goal, this includes every member whether you have 1 year on the job, 5 years, 15 years, 30 years, get of your lazy a@#@$$ and band together to show how strong this Union can be when tested! What we’re asking is 4 hours or more of volunteer time over the next month to help Brother Somma in any way you can, come out and knock on doors, sign up to walk and talk to citizens, run a phone bank call Mike or myself and see what you can do. There are 730 hours in a month, we are asking for 4, from each of you, that’s 4000 hours to help our Brother and his goal to represent us. I know we all have family, children, spouses, commitments, but I ask you to find the time, and help make our union stronger. Brother Somma is not running for City Council for his own well being, he is running to represent YOU and this great Local And all DENVER FIREFIGHTERS and the citizens of DENVER. If you can’t find time, then donate towards the campaign, or even better do both.
I ask you what makes you proud to be a DENVER Firefighter? Hopefully some of those answers are the proud traditions and the sense of brother and sisterhood. This is our chance to make our statement as current members of Local 858, we’ve ridden on the coat tails of so many great members before us, but it’s now time to put some work in. If you think that our contracts are always going to be good, and the economy will be great, and our relationship with the mayor and city council will always be fine, you’re wrong. These can and will change and to have a voice of one of our own is huge and the opportunity doesn’t come along often.
Please find time to volunteer. Walk the district, run a phone bank, all sorts of things and times throughout the day. You can go the 858 website and sign up for a time to help, or call the union office, or call me, we have times everyday to walk or ride the antique rig.
4/50 challenge, 4 hours of volunteer and $50 dollar donation, we can show them what a Strong Union is capable of and that Local 858 is to apathetic and weak.
Thanks for your time, and I hope we look back upon this not as an opportunity missed, but as a time when we came together and made each other proud.