No. 18: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Brian Rice. Illustration by Chris Shary

18. Brian Rice

The California Professional Firefighters represent 30,000 local firefighters, who are a potent political force. Democratic governors – Jerry Brown, for example – have turned to them for help – and they’ve delivered. The head of the CPF is Brian Rice, an outspoken labor leader who spent 12 years as president of the firefighters’ Local 522 in Sacramento. A political ally of the governor, the CPF noted last year that “all CPF priority and sponsored bills had been signed by the governor,” a fact due in part to Christy Bouma, CPF’s veteran lobbyist. As we’ve noted before, firefighters do a lot 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 drew national attention when he called former President Donald Trump’s comments about California’s forestry management “disgraceful,” adding that Trump didn’t “even realize how much of the (California) forest is actually owned by the federal government.”

Updated Aug. 25, 2021

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