No. 27: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Brian Rice. Illustration by Chris Shary

27. Brian Rice

Brian Rice heads the California Professional Firefighters, which represents some 30,000 local firefighters across California and has been an important political power in California for years. It still is. Firefighters do more than put out fires: They rescue people, provide emergency medical treatment, mitigate disasters, clean up toxic spills and rescue cats from roofs. Even those who may have mixed views about organized labor have a fondness for the firefighters. Rice, who was elected CPF president last year, began as a reserve firefighter with the Sacramento’s Metropolitan Fire Department 37 years ago and retired as deputy chief of operations in 2011. He’s no stranger to union politics –  he was on the board of the Sacramento Firefighters Local 522, including 12 years as president – and he’s happy to get in fights, as when President Trump said California’s wildfires were caused by faulty forest management. Rice called Trump’s comments “disgraceful,” noting that Trump “doesn’t even realize how much of the forest is actually owned by the federal government.”

Updated Aug. 11, 2020

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