May 2014

On 5/20/14 your Board of Directors met at our regularly scheduled meeting.

I am relatively confident we will soon have scrolls to give to the DDAs of the Month thanks to the efforts of former Director Karen Tandler and we will try to get those to all the DDAs who have patiently been awaiting them as soon as possible. Sorry for the delay.

The Membership Outreach Committee, comprised of Craig Gold, James Evans, Stuart Lytton and our Business Representative, Tris Carpenter, reported to the Board about their membership meetings held at various DA offices throughout the County. The Directors discussed the concerns many of you have expressed with the Board.  More meetings are scheduled.

One goal of the Membership Outreach Committee and their town hall type meetings is to get feedback from the members on how the ADDA can improve and what is important to you. Another goal is to improve our dissemination of information about what we are doing and what is happening. To that end please make sure we have your current personal e-mail address because we are not permitted to utilize the County Lotus Notes e-mail system.

I think I already mentioned in a previous e-mail that I personally met with both DA Jackie Lacey and Assistant DA Pam Booth. It was very pleasant and they indicated their general support of the ADDA. I think it is fair to say that we all agreed that what is good for the Office is good for DDAs, and what is good for DDAs is good for the Office. I am confident that there is a new spirit of mutual respect and cooperation. They also made it clear to me that they want to know the rumors and anxieties and concerns of their DDAs in order to address them and dispel them if possible. So please feel free to e-mail me if you have any issues.

We briefly discussed the ongoing security screening concerns of DDAs, and I think we are pretty much aligned on that topic and acknowledge that the ultimate resolution is in the hands of the judicial administration. The ADDA formed a Committee comprised of John Colello, Lauren Naiman and Richard Ceballos to advance our concerns. I am cautiously optimistic that John and the others can make some headway. We met with Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, who will soon be termed out, and he was generally quite supportive of our concerns re security and general salary expectations. The County has agreed to a comparative salary review which we are still awaiting. As to security, it seems to me that it is only a matter of time before DDAs mingling with defendants and their supporters in the funnel of screening will one day inevitably result in a clearly avoidable tragedy.

If you want to know more about the timeline for ADDA’s possible disaffiliation with AFSCME please go to our website at laadda.com and click on the President’s page. I have laid it out there.

We established the Legislative Committee which so far is comprised of James Evans, Jeff McGrath, Stuart Lytton, and Tris Carpenter. We could use some more help with this, so if you are interested please give Tris a call at (213) 252-1313.

During the California Primary Election cycle your Board was quite active in endorsing judicial candidates. Bobby Grace and James Bozajian have worked hard to be thorough in vetting candidates and to make the process fair.  With some mild disagreement, the majority believe that DDAs are uniquely positioned to meaningfully evaluate and participate in influencing this important public office. We discussed modifying our endorsement protocols for future elections to address when we will and when we won’t endorse our colleagues, whether we will endorse two DDAs running for the same seat, publishing our criteria, and perhaps forming a program to assist those who are thinking about being a judge on how to go about it. We also discussed how we can, besides endorsing, further support those we endorse. We discussed joining with police groups, probation, and victims’ rights advocates for a group endorsement. When the Committee frees up, they will start exploring alternatives and make recommendations for the next round of elections.

The Directors unanimously chose to endorse both Danette Meyers and Alan Yochelson for State Bar Board of Governors. They both expressed the need to have public sector lawyers involved in the State Bar.

We heard from and endorsed Dan Dow for San Luis Obispo County District Attorney. It was unanimous.

We tabled consideration whether to endorse in Congressional races.

It should be noted that many beyond this County seek the ADDA’s endorsement. If you would like to participate on the Endorsement Committee, please contact Bobby Grace or James Bozajian.

Depending on the outcome of the Primary Election, we discussed conducting forums during the General Election on both the Sheriff and 3rd District Board of Supervisor positions. As to the 3rd District BOS race, the Board decided not to endorse in the Primary.

A Committee which includes Michele Hannisee, Bobby Grace and Tris Carpenter is working on securing and maintaining the confidentiality of property records of Deputy District Attorneys. Michele and others are looking into services that will purge internet database information of information that identifies DDAs, as well as what role the ADDA may play in providing those services to our members in the future.

The Formation of the PAC [Political Action Committee] is a major priority of Director Eric Siddall who chairs that Committee. The consensus was we need to hurry and finalize the new By-Laws so that they include language authorizing the formation of a PAC.

We will be meeting Tuesday, 5/27 to work exclusively on the new By-Laws which is a requirement of our Affiliation Agreement with AFSCME.

The Board elected not to travel to Chicago for the AFSCME Convention in July.

The Financial Auditors presented the Hudson Report which was unanimously approved.

We formed the Promotional Policy Committee to address the concerns that members have about promotional testing and alternatives to that, and the Transfer Policy Committee to address those general concerns. We also are studying remedies to the ongoing paid parking issues. If you are interested in participating on any of these Committees, please contact Tris.

We anticipate our next newsletter will be disseminated in September. If you would like to contribute an article, please contact James Bozajian.

Your Board is comprised of unpaid volunteers working to improve the lives of our colleagues. We could use your help. Please join us by serving on a Committee. If you see a problem you want to address, you might discover that this Board wants nothing more than to help you improve conditions for all DDAs. Don’t hesitate to contact any one of us. Please visit our web page at laadda.com for more information.

~ Marc Debbaudt ~

ADDA President

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