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City of Stockton's directive prohibits Stockton firefighters' breast cancer awareness campaign

A directive issued by the City of Stockton prohibited Stockton firefighters from carrying out their breast cancer awareness and fund-raising campaign.
The directive also prohibits either selling or giving away "Go Pink" firefighter T-shirts to the public
The City of Stockton issued a directive that prohibits off duty Stockton firefighters from raising awareness and funds for breast cancer research.

In a late night e-mail to firefighters, the City of Stockton issued a directive that prohibits off duty Stockton firefighters from either selling or giving away their "Go Pink" firefighter T-shirts designed to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.  

"The City Manager's pettiness and mean spirited actions do nothing but harm the cause of raising funds to battle breast cancer," said Dustin DeRollo, spokesman for Stockton Professional Firefighters, Local 456.  "Mr. Deis' inability to set aside his political differences with firefighters for a cause as deserving as breast cancer research is just plain sad.  The citizens of Stockton deserve better."

Firefighters publically announced earlier this week that they would be selling the pink firefighter T-shirts while helping bag groceries at Safeway as part of an effort to raise funds for Susan G. Komen—Passionately Pink for the Cure, a non-profit that focuses on raising funds and awareness for breast cancer research and patients.  

The City Manager's directive, e-mailed to firefighters after 9:00 PM last night, also prohibits firefighters from giving the T-shirts away to any members of the public.  Additionally, the City Manager previously forced the Fire Chief to rescind his approval to allow Stockton firefighters to wear the pink T-shirts on duty everyday for a week. The City Manager would only authorize firefighters to wear the T-shirts for one day.

The Stockton Firefighters Benevolent Organization, a non-profit charitable organization, funded the design and production of the pink T-shirts, which do not contain any official City of Stockton logo, emblem or any material copyrighted by the City of Stockton.  Firefighters could face disciplinary action for violating the City Manager's directive.  

The firefighters' initiative to wear pink is similar to other organizations doing the same thing across the country, including most visibly professional athletes in the National Football League and Major League Baseball.  

"Despite the City Manager's attempt to place politics over community, firefighters remain committed to fighting breast cancer," continued DeRollo.  "We will continue our efforts to raise funds and donate towards finding a cure."  

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