Although CFA had a mailing list and phone numbers for most members, no contact information other than the location of state worksites was available for the vast majority of state employees. Lincoln Crow developed a direct mail campaign to CFA members that supported campus outreach efforts. For the independent expenditure campaign Lincoln Crow developed a series of weekly newspaper ads to raise issues that field organizers were discussing in state buildings.
Both the CFA member education campaign and the independent expenditure campaign focused on bringing together small meetings of voters at their worksites. Working together, state employees found ways to talk to their co-workers about the critical pension issues they confronted. By creating opportunities for state workers to learn about and get excited about the importance of a voice at CalPERS both campaigns built momentum for George Diehr.
The results speak for themselves. George Diehr garnered 22,744 votes or 46 percent of the votes cast. Through a rigorous CFA member campaign that clearly identified more than 13,000 supporters on the CSUS campuses and a targeted campaign in the 50 largest state employment centers in California, the two campaigns were able to create a strong motivation for voters to exercise their right to win pension power.
In January 2003 Professor George Diehr joined the Board of Administration of the California Public Employees Retirement System with a clear mandate to effectively represent the interests of all state employees. He is vice chair of the health benefits committee which will confront increasing costs for state employees and he is part of a strong block of votes on the board committed making things better for working families.