June 27, 2019, was an important day – the first anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Janus v. AFSCME that freed government employees from forced union participation.
And someone was going to own the public message that day – either the unions or the right-to-work movement, of which the Freedom Foundation has become the nation’s recognized leader.
Big Labor, meanwhile, could only play defense, downplaying its membership losses in the wake of the court decision and trying to boast (lie, actually) that unions were stronger than ever.
The Freedom Foundation, however, had other ideas and prepared in advance to make sure the correct narrative drowned out the noise.
Ultimately, the advance work really paid off. And what a “Janiversary” it was.
First and foremost, during the anniversary week alone, the Freedom Foundation directly helped more than 1,000 people on the West Coast opt out of their union. These defections cost the unions and the accomplices in elected office more than $1 million – and put a corresponding amount back in the pockets of public-sector employees and their families.
Weeks prior to the “Janiversary,” the Freedom Foundation began laying the groundwork to dominate the conversation and exploit the occasion to reach even more government employees. We cut a new video proclaiming the initial victory last year and the continued success on the West Coast in the first 12 months.
Freedom Foundation staff developed media packets and wrote opinion-editorials to be placed in various outlets, set up Facebook and Twitter campaigns to flood social media and coordinated with coalition partners in Washington, D.C., and around the country to share materials for a shock-and-awe presence around the Internet.
Outreach coordinators even hired airplanes to carry banners advertising our website, OptOutToday.com, above selected government buildings to greet employees on the anniversary, and printed new materials to distribute.
No other single organization in the nation received this much coverage in the days leading up to and following the Janiversary.
On June 27, Freedom Foundation staff, canvassers and volunteers greeted government employees with smiles, informational materials, donuts and coffee. Planes flew over government buildings in Sacramento and Fresno, Calif., and Seattle/Bellevue, Wash.
The Freedom Foundation’s social media campaign reached new targeted audiences, gained many new followers and greatly increased the organization’s online presence.
These efforts proved very costly – to the unions.
Janiversary also kicked off a very busy July, as the Freedom Foundation sent 1.1 million emails, 132,000 mail pieces and 3,300 text messages to inform government workers of their First Amendment rights. Staff and canvassers also visited 119 government office buildings and knocked on more than 6,000 doors.
Since June 27, the Freedom Foundation has reached more than 10,300 government employees face-to-face.
It’s all part of the plan to make sure the second Janiversary is even more successful.