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Local 724 Political News
Keep it right here for you latest Team 724 news and events.
Political Director Chuck Flynn will posting vital info to the campaign
and Team 724's next move..

December Update


The police union conducted its biennial election for union officers this past November. Many incumbents returned to office with three new Executive Board members: Matt Cassiere, Brian Laurie and Josh Malaro.
Outgoing EB members Joe Buzzelli, Deana Nott and John Michaud are applauded for their time and efforts. Like any organization ideas are great but execution makes them happen. It comes down to a core group of people that make the time and energy to ensure mission success, that core included our departing executive board members.

Local 724 along with our friends and associates once again conducted another very successful holiday food drive benefiting the United Way/Gemma E. Moran Food Bank. This year marked our 13th year with the second highest overall collection that brought in a record breaking 111 turkeys and an estimated 3,000 pounds of non perishable food, $325 cash donations to the food bank. We also plan to distribute an additional $600 from the food drive for our Holiday Adopt a Family program providing ShopRite supermarket gift cards.
Our many donors included visits from Mayor Mike Passero and former Mayor Daryl Finizio who was "happy to give us the bird" this year. It's nice that regardless of politics we can all come together to help our citizens in need. We thank the mayors and everyone else for their very generous support making our campaign a success.


After almost a year of waiting Local 724 members are proud to offer congratulations to Pete Reichard after he was formally chosen and sworn in as our newest Chief of Police. The process was long but the results were worth the wait. Rank and file officers are eager to formally begin a new chapter of this agency history and curious to see what the future holds.
Chief Reichard has demonstrated his ability to juggle meager budgets, politics, union issues and the many demands for police services required of an urban police agency. While we remain severely challenged with manpower, equipment and training there is a measureable tone of civility returned to the building. We wish future success to Chief Reichard, because his success benefits the agency and citizens alike.

CharlieIn the 1959 novel Flowers for Algernon character Charlie Gordon is a mentally retarded thirty-two-year-old man, chosen by a team of scientists to undergo an experimental surgery designed to boost his intelligence. Dr. Strauss asks Charlie to keep a journal. The entire narrative of Flowers for Algernon is composed of the “progress reports” that Charlie writes. In 2017, Charlie Gordon no longer blogs, instead he provides "reports" about others to his friend down the street but fails to reveal his own troubles yet to be discovered.


More good news to report, DPW carpenters are actively underway with long awaited renovations to our report room and shift commanders office. Both will undergo significant remodeling which we hope will not only improve working conditions but improve efficiency too.

Voters spoke this November with congratulations in order to our returning incumbent City Councilors. We also welcome newcomer Alma Nataratez and venerable war horse Marty Olsen back to another new term as Councilor. With the state budget mess resolved we hope city hall can begin to work on and implement a real plan to move the city forward with measurable results.
We extend our appreciation to outgoing councilors Martha Marx and Tracee Reiser for their public service and for especially supporting us with yea votes ratifying our new police contract. Thank you and good luck in your future endeavors.

The speculation if Nancy Wyman would not run for governor in 2018 came to a halt when she announced she would not run. After 40 years in government she chose to spend more time with family. Always friendly and available to Local 724 issues, we offer a heartfelt thank you, for her many years of service to the citizens of Connecticut. Good luck in your next chapter Nancy.
Wyman with the highest name recognition now out leaves a field of over 30 potential lesser known B list candidates when it comes to statewide name recognition vying for the job- all. That all changed when Hartford's 38-year-old mayor Luke Bronin announced he is seriously considering a run for the job. Funny two weeks earlier he claimed he had no interest in leaving Hartford.

Well that announcement brought out many Hartford Courant bloggers who had a much different opinion of Mr. Bronin. Take for example this one: "No more than two years at any job he's ever had, no accomplishments as Mayor of Hartford, a begging tour that went nowhere, no union concessions and running a city that Moody's has in junk bond status and the TV personality of a test pattern. How can he lose?"
It’s hard to imagine anything getting done in Washington these day. In fact while our Connecticut senators continue daily news releases of Never Trump Resistance Congressman Joe Courtney has been quietly but effectively representing the state and his district after successfully negotiating a huge new defense spending budget. The final defense bill that would boost the number of F-35’s requested by President Donald Trump from 70 to 90 , Sikorsky-made Black Hawk helicopters from 45 to 53. Besides boosting the number of F-35s — whose engines are made by Pratt & Whitney –and Black Hawks requested by the White House, the defense bill authorizes the construction of four ‘heavy lift” CH-53K helicopters.
Also $5.9 billion for the Virginia- class attack submarine program and authorizes the Navy to build three submarines a year in 2020, 2022 and 2023. Currently, the pace of Electric Boat’s production is two subs a year. It also authorizes $1.9 billion for Electric Boat to continue development and design work on the new Columbia-class sub happening right here in New London.
In mid November while waiting for a flight at Regan National Airport I had the chance to speak with and congratulate Joe on his great work securing this deal. Please remember his efforts on our behalf to help secure our nations defense industry and provide good paying jobs to Connecticut families next November when he runs for re-election.

As we begin to gather with family and friends this holiday season let us not forget the 118 officers killed in the line of duty in 2017 as of 11/28/17. We hold them up as heroes because that’s what they are. It takes a special kind of courage to be a peace officer and they gave the ultimate sacrifice keeping us safe. We are reminded of the words given by President George H.W. Bush dedicating the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial, "Carved on these walls is the story of America, of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream".


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NOVEMBER UPDATE

Connecticut finally approved a $41 billion two year budget after a record setting 118 days late. No raise in income or sales tax and New London came away with minimal loss in state funding. This essentially veto proof budget now rests with the governor to dot the 'I's, cross the 'T's and move on. While our elected officials in Hartford preen their feathers while congratulate each other on finally approving a budget they enacted unnecessary pain on their constituents and voters should remember these days when they face re-election in November 2018.

With a budget finally in place and no gubernatorial candidates with statewide name recognition our money is on Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman to enter the race. Wyman has been described as certainly partisan when she has to be but she's instinctively fair with incredible inner strength and self deprecating charm compared to Dan Malloy's wonkish intensity. Harford insiders continue to suggest Governor Dan Malloy will step down in early 2018 and allow Wyman to become governor allowing her to run for the office as an incumbent.

This past fall the state came to an agreement with hospitals on a new tax plan. The complicated back-and-forth arrangement of state taxes and payments back to the hospitals actually is employed by most states as a means to leverage federal aid. In 2011 the industry paid $350 million in taxes and got back $400 million in supplemental payments. As state government struggled frequently with budget deficits over the past six years, the tax grew while the supplemental payments shrank.

Hospitals paid $556 million in total last fiscal year and received $118 million back. So while the state will make money from hospital taxes localities get none of that revenue and the payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) program has never worked as promised and essentially dead for any real reimbursement to municipalities.
L&M Hospital and its affiliation with Yale New Haven Health provides an invaluable service to the community, but are they also a large corporation making millions of dollars and getting even richer off the tax breaks afforded by their exempt status?

While we don’t pretend to know that answer we do know L&M is another city tax exempt entity that places a huge demand on our police/fire services with over 500 calls for services in 2017 alone. Calls ranging from assaults on staff, unruly combative patients, found street drugs and or patients with arrest warrants and fire alarms. The sector car assigned to the south part of the city routinely spends much of each shift at the hospital instead of patrolling the assigned area. Bottom line we tie up a lot of manpower and city expenses each week at the hospital while the city gets no tax revenues in return. Maybe it's time for City Hall to have discussions with hospital officials for voluntary payments.

Municipal elections are just days away with many incumbents and former councilors vying for another term to serve with the usual platitudes used for the past 40 years: ", New London is a diamond in the rough, waiting to be discovered, on the cusp of turning around, etc, etc, etc. Reality is the city can't figure out what it wants to be or how to get there and faces dire fiscal challenges.
Councilors should be tasked to develop a five and ten year plans of what the future of the city should be then actually implement it to enhance revenues, increase city services and become attractive to new development. Because the status quo for the last two generations is strangling New London. You can't complain if you don't vote, so shape tomorrow by voting this Election Day.

Taxpayers claim the city budget is excessive demanding lower spending in hopes of lower taxes but city municipal spending is already thread bare with understaffed departments citywide leaving it unable to improve upon city services. With almost one third of the annual operating budget from state handouts, is taxpayer rationale that city spending cuts will be backfilled by the state? Are residents willing to accept even less city services and if so, what services are next to be eliminated? Will those cuts make the City even more unattractive?
Some share the idealistic political stance that government should be run like a business. But reality is business exists to make a profit with the luxury of dumping a line of business that’s not profitable or streamline offerings to serve a particular sector of the population. Government agencies don't have that option and provides services for all citizens through "the common good"– things like roads, schools, and police protection.

We want to thank our City Councilors for recently voting unanimously 6-0 (one abstention) approving our three year labor contract. The lack of a state budget makes for hard choices but this council realized our challenges and how hard our members work trying to preserve public safety in the city by accepting the agreement.

kris wriaghtBefore the council voted for our contract, anti-police agitator-in-residence Kris Wraight pleaded with city councilors to deny the police contract and instead use designated police funding to replenish any BOE cuts being discussed with her outrageous suggestion that to approve the police contract and not take the police funding to restore BOE funding would directly cause New London children to become criminals.
While she has every right to be heard as everyone else, it is troubling that Ms. Wraight a sitting member of the Police Community Relations Committee charged with improving police relations spouts such inflammatory nonsense. But upon closer look of her anti police antics, her views should not come as a surprise since her beliefs revolve around people with power, privilege and oppression in social hierarchy and those that don’t. In fact she offers seminars that, "encourages to interrupt these systems of oppression with an application of anti-oppression framework with those who have a willingness to interrogate power".
karl marxWraight's views mirror similar Marxist class struggle beliefs and trigger words against the establishment (you and me) and sound like phrases often used by Bob Avaian, leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party USA. Avian dreams of a communist overthrow of America where, "Everyone who hungers for a radically different world, free of exploitation and oppression and all the needless suffering caused by this system, needs to work now with a fired determination to make this happen, so we will have a real chance to win". Kris continue to offer your beliefs in public as you have only yourself to blame for becoming more irrelevant every day, keep up the good work.


Executive Board members are grateful for the continued success of our ongoing fundraising campaign to purchase new police K9's. We have raised almost $19,000 of our $28,000 goal allowing us to purchase two dogs named Rocky and Jesse who start a 12 week patrol and drug detection training program this month before deployed to the streets.
However our work is not done, the Union intends to purchase two more patrol K9's in July upon completion of our fundraising efforts. Thanks you everyone who has generously donated to date.
We encourage all of our readers to make your donation today to ensure the future success of our K9 Unit. Any amount is gratefully accepted. Your check can be mailed to: New London Police Union- K9 Fund, PO Box 135, New London, CT or for your convenience utilize our New London K9 Unit gofundme page.

Did you know that one in eight New London County residents is food insecure? That’s 34,670 of your neighbors. In addition, one in six, or 10,840, children is food insecure. Please join Local 724 at the New London Shop Rite on Saturday November 18th from 9:00 am - 4:00 pm for our 2017 Pack the Paddy Wagon Food and Turkey Drive. Come down to Shop Rite and donate nonperishable food items or a frozen turkey, or even both. All donations benefit the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center which are used to fill traditional holiday baskets and support holiday community meal sites in New London County. Our members look forward to meet and greets with our community at large. We also encourage all of our city luminaries to stop by and say hello and maybe even get their photo posted on our web page.

 



 


   


Why Political Action

THE DECISIONS that a legislative body makes, whether it is a school board, city council, county board, state legislature, or the U.S. Congress, affect AFSCME members and their families in dramatic ways.

Elected officials vote on budgets that affect employee wages, benefits, working conditions and pensions. They vote on issues of particular concern to AFSCME members, like privatization, and they vote on broader issues of concern to all working families, such as health care reform and workers' compensation. That's why working people need to have allies among elected officials. And that's why working people need to work to elect these allies.

The Local 724 executive board has the collective responsibility to provide vision and direction for the local. It is up to the leadership team to look ahead, set goals and develop a plan to make strategic planning a critical element to having a strong union which can only come about when membership is informed, educated and active.

Unions can never hope to match the hundreds of millions of dollars big business pours into every election. But working people have superior numbers, so they can get out in the streets and work for candidates. And if members pool their cash, unions can help make sure that their endorsed candidates have enough funds to compete against business-backed opponents in the ever-more important media ad wars.

Through the political process we can be involved in setting important public policy. Through the political process public employees can elect representatives who are sensitive to maintaining vital public services and committed to dealing with workers fairly.

Local 724 accomplishes this through political action in conjunction with the exercise of collective bargaining process, growth and community involvement to produce a just and rewarding workplace.

   

Local 724 gets recognized on the national level!

On January 28, 2011 at the Council 4 Campaign for the Middle Class Seminar in Meriden The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), AFL-CIO thanked the New London Police Union- Local 724 for their efforts in the Labor 2010 campaign.

Lee Saunders, International Secretary-Treasurer and AFSCME Council 4's Sal Luciano who is also an International Vice President honored Local 724 with a certificate "In recognition of their tireless work and commitment during the 2010 State of Connecticut general elections". To this day labor leaders throughout the state continue to praise our Malloy/Wyman Pre-Debate Rally as a new benchmark of what local labor can achieve when committed to a goal.

Chuck Flynn was honored to accept the award on behalf of our entire membership which will hang proudly in the 724 "Hall of Justice". I want to personally thank everyone that participated in some way no matter how big or small. Our election success was due to the collective efforts of our TEAM-Together Everyone Accomplishes More.

 


724 helps East Lyme fight the cause

Why Political Action


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Political Director C Flynn

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