In the interest of this blog's function as a forum, The State Worker asked candidates for the California Correctional Peace Officers Association presidency to tell us why they want to lead the union. The CCPOA's annual convention runs from Aug. 15-18. Delegates there will vote on who will lead the union for the next three years.
We'll run one candidate statement per day. So far the challengers to incumbent Mike Jimenez -- C.J. Mohammed, John Lanthripp and Marques Jones -- have submitted responses. Jimenez has not yet responded to our request.
Mohammed offered the following two paragraphs, which we have not edited, via e-mail:
Why do you want to lead CCPOA?
I am a member of C.C.P.O.A. and like all members we have been personally affected by the dysfunctional system that has been demonstrated over the last several years under the current leadership. I have seen officers lose their homes, file for bankruptcy and divorce. I have felt and seen the sacrifices that we have had to make as a result of the economic situations placed upon us due to the loss of pay and benefits we have incurred. The current leadership has proven that they have lost sight of the foundation of our union, which is for the protection and the enhancement of the correctional peace officer series. Our once great union has suffered with the loss of millions of dollars in financial holdings. The executive council refuses to take responsibility for their actions and continue to place the blame of the down-ward spiral on everyone except for themselves
Our union is in dire need of change in order to get back to what we stand for and for the protection of our positions. I along with many other officers want to see that and are looking for that change to start happening now. As a member, I am willing to take on an active role so that we can start the process for the betterment of all correctional peace officers. This question of why do I want to lead C.C.P.O.A. is not about me, it is about "we" the membership. The responsibility lies in us to make this organization as great as it was when it was founded. In order to get there I am willing to stand up for what I believe in and take on the leadership role. And even though I will make decisions that some members might not agree with, what makes me a leader is that I will take full responsibility for my actions and never place the blame onto others.