Proposed Change in Endorsement Procedures
Since the mayoral election, your FOP elected officers have been discussing many issues brought to us by concerned members about the endorsement procedure for candidates for public office. We know that as with any decision or action taken, we must evaluate the process and always strive to improve.
Brother Thom Bell, one of our elected Lodge Trustees, has been instrumental in brainstorming for ideas on how we can improve the process. Members of the Executive Board of the FOP have worked with him since the endorsement and we have come up with a proposed Standing Rule for our lodge which Brother Bell will move to adopt this Wednesday night at our regular lodge meeting. It begins at 1900 hours.
Brother Bell’s motion will be similar to the following:
“A vote to make any public endorsement in the name of the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 93 for any candidate seeking elected office shall require a minimum of 48 hours notice be given to the membership to inform them that the vote may occur. The notice will be sent by email through the lodge website, tulsafop93.org”
This rule, if adopted by the Floor, will address many members’ concerns about the latest endorsement. It will require notice to all members through FOP email (tulsafop93.org) before any vote can be taken on an endorsement for any candidate for public office. It will also allow members who wish to attend the opportunity to make a motion that such a vote should go to an online election in which all registered members could vote (requires 2/3 majority of those voting at the meeting). Of course, the Board of Directors can always vote to take any question before the Lodge to an online (“station-house”) vote.
There was discussion about making all possible endorsement votes online elections but there was one main concern with that rule. For most station-house elections, FOP leadership can go to squad meetings and send emails discussing the pros and cons of the options such as contract votes, FOP officer elections, dues increases, etc. In an election for city officers such as mayor or city council, we are not allowed to discuss those openly or become involved other than voting and stating our opinion in private. Therefore, we could not go to squad meetings or send emails about the pros and cons of particular candidates for fear that we would be disciplined. The only way to have those discussions, is in the privacy of a lodge meeting open to members only. However, if the membership in attendance at such a meeting feels it must be a station-house vote, 2/3 of those in attendance can vote to hold the election electronically.