State Senator Bill Dodd is one of IBEW 1245’s greatest allies in the California State Legislature. Among Local 1245 members, he is best known as the author of SB 901, the wildfire bill that the union worked aggressively to get signed into law in 2018.
Sen. Dodd took time out of his busy schedule to stop by Local 1245’s January Advisory Council meeting in order to pay homage to the union leaders and activists who flooded the halls of the State Capitol, testifying during committee hearings and lobbying legislators at the 11th hour to ensure passage of the hotly contested bill.
“I’d like to thank all of the brothers and sisters who are here today – I recognize many of your faces,” Sen. Dodd said. “You were there with your blue shirts on in those hearings, and that means a lot to me and my colleagues.”
He also noted the key role that the union’s business manager played in crafting and passing the bill.
“Tom Dalzell was instrumental [in the passage of SB 901], and has been a guiding light for me on a number of issues,” Dodd added, noting that like most lawmakers, he was an inch deep and a mile wide in utility issues prior to the wildfires. “It really helps having someone with skills and expertise in this area … I can’t even believe that I’ve learned as much as I did about IBEW and your jobs.”
Dodd made it abundantly clear that he truly values the working men and women who do the difficult and sometimes dangerous work that most other lawmakers take for granted – and he will never cease to fight for the workers, no matter what the future holds for PG&E.
“I know these are turbulent times, but nothing should diminish the hard-working people who are doing all the work on the ground to make sure we have a safe, reliable and affordable electrical grid — and that’s you,” he said, noting that, thanks to Labor, SB 901 contains several critical worker protections. “I consider it an honor to have my bill directed to get this work done … and I will continue to push for investment and planning, regardless of what happens with the bankruptcy.”
After answering a few questions from members, Sen. Dodd thanked the union once again, and asked if he could go on a ride-along with an IBEW 1245 crew in the near future so he could get an up-close-and-personal look at the work our members do each and every day. The union’s leadership is already working to set that up.
And to demonstrate that the appreciation goes both ways, Local 1245 Business Manager Tom Dalzell gave Dodd a framed photo of an IBEW 1245 line crew working in Napa — where Dodd is from and represents in the State Senate – for him to hang in his Senate office.
“Senator Dodd is a great champion for Local 1245,” said Dalzell. “He’s unafraid of what people think, and he takes on the tough fights. We’re lucky to have him on our side.”
Photos by John Storey