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. Delegates at CCPOA's annual convention, which runs from Aug. 15-18, will vote on four men who are vying for the office.
Incumbent Mike Jimenez has declined to participate.
On Monday we ran e-mailed remarks by C.J. Mohammed. The next day we gave space to John Lanthripp. Today we're featuring four paragraphs from Marques Jones via e-mail. As with the other submissions, Jones' words have not been edited.
Why do you want to lead CCPOA?
My name is Marques Jones. I am currently a Correctional Sgt at Kern Valley State Prison and I am running for the position of CCPOA's State Wide President.
I joined the Marine Corps in 1979 and served just over thirteen year on active duty. I Spent three years as a Drill Instructor at Parris Island, in South Carolina. I Acted as an instructor at the Non Commissioned Officer (NCO) Leadership Academy. I joined the Department of Corrections in 1994 and became a union activist officially in 1998 when I attended Job Steward Training. I have been elected and reelected as Chapter President twice at both Chuckawalla State Prison and Kern Valley State Prison.
I would like to be elected as CCPOA's statewide President because I have many goals and a plan to refocus CCPOA and right what I feel is our current misguided direction. I am not one to offer "feel good" campaign slogans or attempt to pacify a voter to see myself elected. I offer the truth, something that has become clouded from CCPOA's current leadership. Yet, without first getting to Sacramento in order to assess any damage that has been done by the current hierarchy, it isn't prudent to become specific about to many individual improvements and I will simply say this.....
We (members) pay monthly dues to ensure our chosen profession is protected. The primary mission of CCPOA is to advance the Correctional Series. It would appear that our current leadership has chosen to address their own personal agenda's and have in turn drifted away from ensuring the memberships rights to a safe work environment and the idea that protections both fiscally and physically must be paramount. My goal is to change that direction back to a "membership first" mentality and also motivate the members to become more involved in their own futures. Apathy has been CCPOA's biggest downfall and without first changing that mentality, no long lasting improvements can be made by any one man or woman.