California: 2023 was a year of transformation

California: 2023 was a year of transformation

California: 2023 was a year of transformation

In the world of public relations and communication, success is measured not just by the numbers but by the impact you create.

And when it comes to the Freedom Foundation’s mission to empower public employees to exercise their First Amendment rights and opt out of paying union dues, the results in California have been nothing short of extraordinary.

The Freedom Foundation’s record-breaking year in California resulted in 13,000 public employees choosing to opt out – a staggering 30 percent increase from the previous year.

In order to put those numbers in perspective, it’s first necessary to review what the Supreme Court decided in its 2018 ruling in Janus v. AFSCME and its role in the California revolution. In Janus, the court affirmed that public employees not only have the right to opt out of paying union dues, but that they can’t be charged a so-called “agency fee” when they do.

And because of concessions already demanded by unions in return for being recognized as the sole agent for workers in a given bargaining unit, workers who opt out must still be represented by the union as though they were still members.

This landmark decision, which allows public employees to decide for themselves the question of union affiliation, marked a turning point in the fight for workers’ rights and financial freedom.

California, whose unions have long controlled the governing process in Sacramento, is a focal point for the Freedom Foundation’s outreach efforts. In 2022, the organization laid the groundwork for this year’s success with a substantial number of public employees opting out.

Fast forward to 2023, and the results are nothing short of astonishing.

In the past year, California witnessed a surge in public employees choosing to exercise their constitutional right to opt out. More than 13,000 public employees across the state decided to end their monthly tribute to a union more interested in advancing a far-left political agenda than advocating for its members’ workplace concerns.

This number isn’t just a statistic; it represents individuals who’ve taken a step towards financial independence and a voice in their workplace.

What makes this achievement even more remarkable is that it marks a 30 percent increase from the previous year. This significant jump is a testament to the effectiveness of the Freedom Foundation’s communication strategies and outreach efforts.

The organization’s commitment to demystifying the opt-out process and providing accurate information has clearly resonated with public employees in California.

Much of this success can be attributed to our growing audience. With California having an estimated 1.4 million public sector employees, it is extremely difficult to be able to reach all of them.

Rest assured, however, that our goal is to ensure no stone is left unturned in an effort to inform every single one of them about their rights. There is a direct correlation with the number of new people we’re able to reach out to and their likelihood of opting out of paying dues.

The Freedom Foundation’s unprecedented success in California is not just a story of numbers; it’s a story of empowerment, education, and the unwavering commitment to workers’ rights. With more than 13,000 public employees choosing to opt out in 2023, the Freedom Foundation continues to make a profound impact on the lives of individuals across the nation, helping them take control of their financial future and voice in their workplaces.

California Outreach Director
Before joining the Freedom Foundation, Orlando studied and graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles. During his college career he worked and canvassed for various organizations and candidates to bring change to Southern California and his neighborhood of San Bernardino County. As an independent minded student, honored the freedoms and limitation set forth by the Constitution. As a deputy director for Rick Caruso’s bid for mayor in Los Angeles in 2022, Orlando’s role was to recruit, train and manage canvassers fulfilling his passion of engaging with people about politics on the streets of South LA. Despite the hostile environment, he enjoyed being an effective member of Caruso’s team. Orlando enjoys spontaneous trips with friends, the sunny beaches of Orange County and making his newly-wed wife, Mariana, laugh.