Television networks are bombarding audiences with their “Year in Review” montages, reminding us of the highs and lows of 2021. If California had its own highlight reel, it might look more like disaster footage, but there’s hope on the horizon.
Of course, it has been a historically challenging year. Americans are struggling with the ongoing pandemic, a supply-chain crisis, soaring gas prices, and inflation at a nearly 40-year high. A whopping three-quarters of Americans reported last month that they were personally affected by inflation as they headed into the holiday season and worried that they wouldn’t be able to get what they need due to shortages.
Here in California, massive job losses owing to the governor’s pandemic response, devastating fires, drought declarations that owe less to climate change than government incompetence, the shipping container bottleneck off our coast, the exodus of businesses from our state, and the chaos in our schools – all of these have left many Californians fatigued and anxious about the future.
But from our perspective at California Policy Center, we see real signs of hope.
For starters, more and more people – from Eureka to Palm Springs – are telling us they are fed up with government overreach and ineptitude, and they are not going to take it anymore.
And it’s not partisan. We’re hearing from Californians of all political parties — and no political party at all — who are feeling the real-world impact of failed state and local policies. They are speaking out, often for the first time, at school board meetings and public hearings, protesting in Sacramento, organizing school board recalls, leaving public unions, filing lawsuits, and more.
We are inspired by their courage. We’re also grateful that we’ve been able to support so many Californians with the tools, resources and training they need to make their case – to stand up to save our state.
We’re inspired by the parents we work with every day through CPC’s Parent Union, people who are pushing back against school boards and teachers unions that have ignored parent concerns over extended school lockdowns, mask and vaccine mandates, and curricula that pushes political indoctrination over education basics. CPC is proud to be leading, through our Parent Union Ambassadors and members, a bona fide parent movement that is defending students and families by demanding school accountability and school choice.
We are also impressed by the many California public employees we have worked with this year through CPC’s Janus Project who are opting out of their unions under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Janus v. AFSCME decision. Government unions and the politicians they support don’t want employees to know that the Janus ruling prohibits government employers from deducting union dues or fees from employee paychecks without their permission. CPC is providing California public employees with the resources they need to better understand and exercise their workplace rights – through education, litigation and public protest. The result: government union membership has dropped by 20 percent statewide.
And, we are very heartened by the success of CPC’s California Local Elected Officials Project (CLEO), through which we are training and supporting Californians elected to local office who are committed to the principles of financial sustainability, government transparency and personal liberty. It’s not always an easy path in California, so we’re expanding our program in 2022 to help more local leaders fight for the people of California and resist political temptations to increase taxes and regulation.
And finally, we are thankful for our many generous and dedicated supporters who make our work at CPC possible. Together, we are helping to empower a true grassroots movement of Californians who are standing up and speaking out for a better future for all of us.
Wishing you joy as you ring in the New Year!
Your friends at California Policy Center