Brothers and Sisters,
You may have seen today the AFL-CIO announced its endorsement of Hillary Clinton for president.
To avoid any confusion, we want to make sure our leaders and members know that the
IAFF abstained from this vote and our union has not made an endorsement in the 2016 presidential campaign at this point
As we made clear in our previous communications, your Executive Board has been engaged in a detailed and deliberate process to evaluate candidates -- where they stand on our issues and where our members are at this point in the campaign. The Executive Board met again earlier this month and discussed the presidential endorsement once again, and we again determined that we are going to let the process continue to play out and not step into that arena.
For a detailed explanation of our internal endorsement procedure and focus, I encourage you to take a look at my column in the latest edition of our Fire Fighter Quarterly magazine.
Just as our union continues to go through our paces on this issue, a number of unions in the AFL-CIO have completed their processes, endorsed Hillary Clinton and now have garnered enough votes on the General Board of the AFL-CIO to get the Federation's endorsement of Secretary Clinton based on their belief that she is a stronger candidate for working families on the basket of issues that are important to their unions.
While we respect that those unions have their own process -- and we honor their right to make their own decisions on their members' behalf on endorsements, we also demand that they must respect our union and our decision this far to not weigh in on the presidential race.
Looking ahead, we will continue to evaluate the candidates and educate our members on our basket of issues, the Executive Board will continue to discuss when and if we will weigh in and we will continue to listen to our members.
We encourage you to place a serious priority on these core IAFF issues as you make your voting decisions going forward because we need elected officials in office who have our back, and to get those leaders in office, we need to support them at the ballot box when the time comes.
Beyond the White House, in this election cycle there are also 34 U.S. Senate seats and all 435 House seats up for re-election, along with 12 governors' races, dozens of state legislative body elections and scores of municipal and local offices on the ballot. We are actively working and engaged with local and state affiliates to support candidates who support our issues at all levels of government.
In the meantime, we will continue to update you as the election campaign progresses.
Stay informed, and stay safe.
Harold A. Schaitberger