Crush The Bill, Not The Legislator

In 2016 we helped Bill Dodd win election to the California State Senate. In 2019 he introduced a terrible bill to require a public transit worker on autonomous public transportation vehicles. We successfully led the opposition to the bill . . . and we continue to support Dodd, who is better than alternatives from his district, has supported important reforms, and we expect to support reforms to education, retirement spending and more down the road.

That’s how things work in the real political world. Legislators often use bill introductions to signal virtue to select audiences. Last session a bill to levy a wealth tax was co-sponsored by legislators in left-leaning districts signaling virtue in order to stave off challenges from Bernie Sanders acolytes. We led the effort to stop the bill . . . and continue to support some of those co-sponsors who help us with reforms and are better than alternatives from their districts.

Ironically, introduction of the wealth tax bill boosted our membership as more Californians discovered that if they’re not at the legislature’s table, they’re on the menu. New members should take note that sometimes we will support legislators who sponsor bills we don’t like.

Written by

Lecturer at Stanford University and president of Govern For California

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