The Freedom Foundation, which opened an Ohio office in October promising to help the state’s public employees exercise their right not to participate in or fund a union, is preparing to introduce its signature outreach program this spring.
As it’s done with great success on the West Coast, the Freedom Foundation is recruiting paid canvassers who will travel from one corner of the Buckeye State to the other informing government workers about Janus v. AFSCME, the 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling affirming that mandatory union membership or dues is a violation of the First Amendment.
Using the same strategy in Washington, Oregon and California, the Freedom Foundation has been directly responsible for helping around 70,000 public employees leave their union while still retaining their job and benefits.
“Unions obviously don’t want government employees to know about Janus because, to them, every one of them is a potential dues-payer,” said Lindsey Queen, the Freedom Foundation’s Ohio director. “But we’re happy to do their job for them.”
Queen said the plan is to divide the state into five geographic sectors, allowing outreach teams to offer tailored education and enable canvassers and regional directors to learn about some of the issues distinctive to each area.
The outreach campaign will also feature various events designed to engage the general public and local elected officials while providing a platform to elevate stories and foster discussions by union members.
“I guarantee we’ll bring a movement to Ohio that’s far more powerful than anything it’s seen before,” Queen said. “For too long public employees had no choice but to stand by as their paychecks were plundered to support the unions’ political agenda rather than their own.
“Our goal is to not only inform workers it no longer has to be this way,” she said, “but also to ensure the decisions made in Columbus and every local jurisdiction in this state represent the will of the voters, not the influence of a powerful special interest.”