I was blessed to be hired onto the Los Angeles City Fire Department (LAFD) at the age of 19, becoming a proud union firefighter at one of the busiest stations in the nation. Last month I began my 29th year of service and I continue to be active in the field. I went through the ranks of the LAFD as a Firefighter, Apparatus Operator, Engine Captain, and for the past 17 years a Truck Company Captain. I have been working with and protecting firefighters in the field throughout my career.
In addition to my career as a firefighter, I have answered the call in IAFF leadership, where I have been able to further protect firefighters by advancing legislation, negotiating strong contracts, and protecting retirement security for our members. I have worked my way through the ranks of the union. I started as a station steward and was later elected to the Local 112 Executive Board as a Director, Vice President, Lead Negotiator, and eventually President. As the Local 112 President, I led the fight resulting in parity pay with police, providing all Local 112 Firefighters with the dignity and equality they deserve. I also led a fight against the cell phone industry, when a plan with Los Angeles City was in place to put cell phone towers up at our firehouses, which would have placed the health and safety of our members at risk. That victory is now the model for all IAFF locals to follow. Most significantly, Local 112’s assets increased by over 200% under my transparent, fiscally prudent leadership. During my Local 112 Presidency, I also served as a Vice President for the California Professional Firefighters (CPF), where we passed landmark legislation in the state capital. Through this experience I gained invaluable knowledge and a greater appreciation for the significance of the work accomplished through the State and Provincial Associations.
Currently, I serve as the IAFF 10th District Vice President where I have brought unity and collaboration to the largest district in the IAFF. In this position, I have the privilege of representing firefighters both in collective bargaining states and a ‘right to work’ state, each having distinct issues to address. I have also represented private sector firefighters and led one of the most powerful, victorious strike sanctions in the IAFF in the past 25 years. We collaborated with other labor unions and nearly shut down a major airport to obtain a fair contract for a 17-member local, because no local should be left behind. I have been on the frontlines working tirelessly for our members during floods and wildland disasters providing much needed disaster relief assistance to IAFF families. I have gained incredible experience expanding our IAFF by organizing new local affiliates, bringing in hundreds of new firefighters. I have successfully fought to get IAFF union leaders their jobs back after they were unfairly terminated for protected union activity. These experiences have provided me with a strong foundation of knowledge essential to being a strong union leader.
One of my greatest assets is my ability to unite people. In the 10th District, we have built unity, solidarity, and respect for others across four very different and unique states. This is the model I will bring to the IAFF across our two countries. From urban departments to rural, from red states to blue states – I will work tirelessly on behalf of ALL of our IAFF firefighters.
This is a critical time for our union. We need to come together and unite in order to effectively represent our members. With my experience in pension retirement plans, serving as a fiduciary, and operating large budgets, I have the knowledge, skills, and abilities to immediately hit the ground running on day one. I will work collaboratively with our General President and District Vice Presidents to represent the best interest of our members. Most importantly, I will never forget that I am working for you – the rank and file IAFF members across the United States and Canada.
Now is the time to UNITE, FIGHT, and ORGANIZE.
I humbly ask for your vote for IAFF General Secretary Treasurer.
In solidarity – Team IAFF,
Lima for GST