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  • Writer's pictureLocal 685 Executive Board

From the Desk of the Chief Steward, Jonathan Byrd



The past year has been full of challenges and rewards. We would like to say a few words to thank the MEMBERS of this bargaining unit and to the PAST EXECUTIVE BOARD for all their efforts to maintain operational stability in Probation, Pretrial, and DCFS (Department of Children & Family Services).

To the Members, THANK YOU:

  • For your dedication and efforts to maintain stability of operations in your primary job functions. 🙏🏼

  • For the collaboration of Field Officers to work outside their normal functions and support your fellow co-workers in the Institutions to meet the standards of the BSCC. 🙏🏼

  • For your ability to adjust to the changing of the Department's management structure (new Chief) during chaotic times. 🙏🏼

  • For your patience over 18 months as we negotiated through several agencies to acquire one of the BEST collective bargaining agreements in the County during this contract period. (Note: We will start the next negotiation process for both our unit contract as well as our fringe benefit contract with the Coalition of County Unions in September 2024). 🙏🏼

  • For continuing to provide your input, both to management and to your Union's Executive Board. 🙏🏼

  • For being a Union Member. With you comes our strength, and we will continue to grow and fight the battles that come to us. WE are the Union! 🙏🏼

To your past Executive Team, THANK YOU:

  • President Hans Liang – For your seven years as President, for setting the tone of the Executive Board, for your political influence, and for youru dedication to diplomacy. 🙏🏼

  • First Vice President Eddie Chism – For your representation of numerous discipline cases for Local 685 Members, for your adamant advocacy for Members against the impositions of management (voiced opposition to deployment and use of limited duty staff), for attending the many law enforcement agencies meetings on behalf of the Union, for your strong negotiation skills, and for overall dedication. 🙏🏼

  • Treasurer Theodore Cha – For making sure that the financial status of our Union is stable enough to provide the necessary staffing for operational office functions and political and legislative actions, for your oversight of our social media content for the Union, for your willingness to be deployed to assist your Brothers and Sisters in the Institutions, and for the integrity you bring to the entity. 🙏🏼

  • Secretary Maryam Munir – For making sure that our records are factual, for being an advocate for other Unions on our behalf, for your attendance at various events as a representative of AFSCME Local 685, and for your readiness to represent Local 685 Members when needed. 🙏🏼

  • Fields Vice President Dwight Thompson – For your longtime experience as an Executive Board Member (longest tenure), for your tenacious attitude, for your representation of all Members, and for the energy you bring (still participating in Baker to Vegas Run 🤪 ). 🙏🏼

  • Camps Vice President Stacy Ford (now President) – For your representation of the Camps to make sure they were stable, for your case representation of all Members, for advocacy at the Probation Oversight Commission, and for your desire to do more. 🙏🏼

  • Institutions Vice President Marva Lindsey – For your willingness to step in and fill a void (we lost Brother Eric Walton to the Supervisors' Union), for your eagerness to learn, and for your fearless approach to getting it done. 🙏🏼

  • Transportation Vice President Anthony Davis – For bringing your vast knowledge of transportation policies and informing management of the proper procedures necessary to have operational stability, for consistent representation for transportation at the negotiation table, and for never relinquishing your defense of all Members (he even assisted in representing DCFS staff). 🙏🏼

  • Pretrial Vice President Irene Gonzalez – For your vocal (sometimes outspoken 💪🏽 ) approach to getting the best for Pretrial Members, for your insistence that no Pretrial Member lose their job because of changing laws (Zero Bail), and for your undying love for the Union and all Members. 🙏🏼

  • Group Supervisor Nights (GSN) David (Cory) Racusin – For the optimism you bring in representation (no one should be disciplined attitude), for the never-ending desire to get it right, for representing Members of all sectors in the bargaining unit, for your longtime working with the Union, and for your outstanding voice – in particular for the GSN units. 🙏🏼

  • Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Brian Howard – For your preparation to replace Celeste Coleman (former DCFS VP, District Council VP, and mother figure of the Executive Board 😁 ), for your longtime association with the Union as a Steward, for the calm nature you bring to the Team, and for advocating veraciously for DCFS Members. 🙏🏼

  • Stewards Chair Michael Davis (now Secretary) – For your aggressiveness, for your representation of all Members, for you Sergeant-at-Arms skillset, for attending the Federation of Labor meetings, for keeping order at our Union meetings, and for being a vocal mouthpiece when needed. 🙏🏼

  • Lastly, Chief Steward Jonathan Byrd (that will be me 😉 ) – For being allowed to be a part of your journey.

Special Thanks for the following (without whom we would be less effective):

  • Dee Dee Braxton | Office Staff                          

  • Nicole Cline | Office Staff                                 

  • Justine Cordova | Office Staff                           

  • Cookie Lommel | Member Representative        

  • Esteban Lizardo | Attorney                               

  • Celeste Coleman | E-Board Advocate                

  • Donald Washington | Labor Consultant

  • Ralph Miller | Labor Consultant

  • Barbara Maynard | Public Relations     

  • Favel Jens | Public relations      

  • Willie Pelote | Lobbyist

  • Matthew Siverling | Lobbyist

  • All the volunteers for 2023

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