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Letter to the Editor: Clearing Up Firefighter City Council Candidate Endorsement Misinformation

James Geissinger president of the Berkeley Firefighters Association writes in.

-By James Geissinger, President of the Berkeley Fire Fighters Association

Time is short now to clear up some misinformation that’s crept into Berkeley’s political scene since the Berkeley Fire Fighters’ and Police Officers’ Associations both enthusiastically endorsed Sophie Hahn for District 5 councilmember.

Word’s going around that we’re backing Sophie in return for specific promises that she’s made us (but won’t, in fact, be able to keep).

There’s simply no hidden agenda. Sophie has undertaken—and pledged to continue—to devote time and effort to understanding firsthand the roles that public safety officers play in our community. That’s all: no promises sought or given.

Another dubious claim: that firefighters and police officers shifted their allegiance to Sophie because her opponent champions compensation reform—including raising employee pension contribution rates and cutting salaries.

Please try to sift the fact from fiction when you cast your vote. Unfounded rumors such as these offend not only the candidate but all of us public servants who support her, too.

The truth is that no one in District 5 understands the fiscal challenges Berkeley faces in meeting our community’s needs, better than Sophie Hahn. Her track record in the community and our school system proves her ability to bring together all stakeholders in a shared decision-making process, establishing clear priorities firmly based on strong common values.

We urge you to consider getting to know and voting for Sophie Hahn, District 5 City Councilmember.

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