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SBPEA

POLITICAL ACTION -

THE BEST INVESTMENT

The Association was an early leader in the recognition of the fact that politics is a key factor in achieving success for the members. While there are some members who may question the need for our involvement in political action, the fact is that public employees have a greater stake than most people when it comes to choosing our elected leaders.

Public employees are in the unique position to "elect their own bosses." Whether it’s a member of the County Board of Supervisors, a City Council member, or a member of the State Assembly or Senate, politicians are the ones who ultimately decide our fate. From the handful of votes on a City Council necessary to approve a negotiated contract to the 41 votes needed to pass a bill in the State Assembly, simple arithmetic shows how important our involvement can be through political action.

Voters who get to the ballot box on Election Day map out how the employer is going to treat a member as an employee. Voters also make a difference in members’ jobs when they cast votes on important ballot measures. With so much at stake, it simply does not make sense for public employees to sit on the sidelines and let others make decisions for us.

Instead, our own members must be committed to help make the changes needed to provide and enhance quality public services, and provide fair and equitable wages and benefits.

That’s why SBPEA has its own political action committee - SBPEA/PAC - to help educate our members and assist in the election of leaders who are in tune with the needs and interests of public employees.

Over the years, SBPEA/PAC has interviewed hundreds of candidates for all sorts of elected races. The PAC has endorsed candidates at the local and regional level, made campaign contributions, walked precincts, distributed literature and mailers and actively involved members at every step. Our involvement in the political arena, funded by a small portion of member dues, has made a big difference on many occasions. A high voter turnout among public employees on Election Day is a great investment in job security and fair treatment for you and your co-workers.

SBPEA/PAC endorsements are made for the purpose of recommending those candidates to members whose views on labor relations issues are most sympathetic toward public employees. These decisions are not taken lightly, and the Association uses a highly structured process to ensure that candidates opinions and views are known before any recommendation is made. Our various chapters also get involved in the endorsement process, interviewing candidates and grilling them on the issues important at the local level.

On ballot measures, the various proposals go through an exhaustive analysis to determine their impact on members (if any) before any decisions are made.

As an independent labor union, we are not beholden to the political marching orders of a state or national organization; we’re only beholden to the members whose livelihood is affected by the political process every day.