Fire Fighters for Progress
Political Action Committee
The Local has established a Political Action Committee also known as a PAC fund. The PAC gives our membership the ability to contribute financially to political causes and candidates that support our Local. We recognize that there will be many questions regarding the Local's political action. If the following information doesn't answer your questions, just let us know.
Why should I contribute to political activity?
Either you sit by while others make decisions that affect your livelihood or you get in involved and have a say in your future. Today's policy makers are not the crews you serve with side-by-side on a daily basis. Many sit behind a desk making the decisions that can affect your life/safety and the compensation you receive for your sacrifice. By contributing to a PAC, your Local can support those who support you.
Who else is doing this kind of stuff?
Many Locals in the area have their own PAC funds. IAFF Local 42 (KC, Grandview, Smithville, Kearney, Belton, South Platte), IAFF Local 3133 (CJC, Fort Osage, Sni-Valley, Prairie), IAFF Local 781 (Independence), Lee's Summit Police Officer's Association, Lee's Summit IAM, and others.....
Most members are aware that CJC's pay and benefits have been attracting our employees. What most don't know is how they got to their level of compensation. Local 3133 got involved with the elections of their board members and helped to get board members elected who were willing to listen to Labor's point of view. The results have proved to be very beneficial to them.
Elsewhere in the state, Springfield mobilized their Local for City elections. Local 152 was on the verge of losing pension benefits. Over the last three to four election cycles, through use of their PAC fund, supporters of Local 152 were elected to the City Council. Fire fighter pensions benefits have been revamped.
What will my contributions be spent on?
We understand how funds are spent is a critical issue to our members. Monies from the PAC fund will be used judiciously to support causes and political candidates that support our Local. This might involve elections for City Council or Mayor. It may also include bond or tax issues that affect our Local. That is not to say, however, that the Local will be involved or supporting candidates in every race. But it would be beneficial to our membership to have available funds for when needs arise.
A careful screening process will be used prior to supporting any candidates for office. The process will identify those who are willing to support fire fighter issues. Preference is not given to political party affiliation or issues that do not concern the priorities of our Local.
It has also been a strategic policy to collaborate with the Police Officer's Association (POA) and the International Association of Machinists (IAM). Both organized Labor groups within the City of Lee's Summit offer a political partner in which to address concerns with City policy. Having our three groups allied together represents nearly two-thirds of City employees and provides a formidable front for Labor issues. Both groups use a PAC to their advantage.
How much of my dues already go to political activity?
None. Membership dues collected by both the Local and the International are not used for political purposes. All contributions for political activity are made through voluntary contributions to the PAC. The International's FIREPAC received over $5.8 million from IAFF members for the fiscal year 2011-2012. That places FIREPAC in the top 1% of federal PACs in dollars raised.
How do I contribute?
The Local asks that members make a minimal contribution of at least $2.50 per paycheck. Contributions of more are welcome. Again, all contributions are voluntary. A form can be downloaded giving the Local permission to collect donations by payroll deduction. If you haven't signed up already, fill out the form and deliver it to your shift steward.