When I made San Francisco my home in 1977, little did I know that the California Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown had just made prison guards lords over state politics and policy. That’s the year lawmakers enacted the Dills Act, which extended collective bargaining rights to state employees. Since then, CA lawmakers have worked hard to please them, especially prison employees.
If you pay attention to what lawmakers do and not just what they say, you will discover countless progressive-preaching Democrats and fiscal-hawking Republicans doing the unprogressive and expensive bidding of prison employees. That’s because lawmakers know that prison employee unions target lawmakers who cross them but voters don’t check how lawmakers vote on prison contracts. Turning that around is tough. Lawmakers know that special interests never forget but most general-interest supporters come and go. That’s where GFC is different. We are here to stay.
Since its formation in 2011, GFC has raised $25 million in support of lawmakers who serve the general interest and supplies more direct donations to legislators than any other organization. While prison employee unions had a 34-year head start on us, they and other special interests can be beaten if supporters of the general interest are persistently engaged. It doesn’t take a lot of money (donations of any size are effective because they are bundled alongside donations from other members of our network), just a lot of persistence. Support us here.
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