A big part of ACSA’s political clout comes from our PAC – but don’t worry, getting caught up to speed is as easy as 1, 2, 3!
Before we get to the “Who,” there are some preliminary “What” questions we should answer.
What is a PAC?
A Political Action Committee (PAC) is a popular term for a political committee organized for the purpose of raising and spending money to elect and defeat candidates. The first PAC was formed in 1944, by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), in order to raise money for the re-election of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since then PACs have become the political vehicle that allows millions of Americans to be involved in the political process and in supplying needed resources for increasingly expensive modern campaigns.
What can we do with our PAC?
Most PACs represent business, associations, labor or ideological interests. PACs are a way for employees and association members to aggregate their small individual donations to compete with the larger interests, and do so in ways that are transparent and appropriately limited. ACSA has two PACs – a Candidate PAC and an Issues PAC. Our Candidate PAC is specifically used to support candidates running for state legislative offices and constitutional offices (i.e. governor or state superintendent of public instruction). The Issues PAC is used to give civic donations, participate in legislative caucus activities, pay our political and campaign consultations and when supporting and/or opposing ballot initiatives. ACSA does not have a federal PAC.
What does having a PAC mean for ACSA members?
Having a political action fund is important for ACSA members for a multitude of reasons, the foremost being that the voices of California students and school leaders have an avenue that leads directly to the state Legislature. ACSA’s PACs are assets that, when used in coordination with policy advocacy, can be extremely effective. In a political atmosphere where the squeakiest wheel gets the grease, the strategic use of PAC dollars can be an effective way of getting your voice heard. (see info graphic above)
Who else has a PAC?
Some other notable organizations with very effective PACs are: California School Employees Association (CSEA), Police Officers Research Association of California (PORAC), California Hospital Association (CHA), California Teachers Association (CTA), CA Association of Realtors, and many others. Each organization uses their political dollars to enhance their advocacy efforts and advance the goals of their organization.
Where is our PAC headed in the future?
Since its inception, ACSA’s political accounts have been modestly funded when compared to similarly sized associations and unions. As ACSA strive to be “the authoritative advocates for all matters pertaining to education and its leaders,” ACSA must continue to strategically position itself to become more politically influential. ACSA members can help by electing to make a contribution to ACSA’s PAC. This enables the ACSA PAC to become more robust and politically powerful.