It will come as no shock to you that we love numbers. As I look back at 2014, heading into our 27th year in operation, there are some numbers I especially enjoy analyzing. Let me share them with you.
A major highlight of our year was seeing even more opportunities extended to children in the commonwealth. In October, legislation passed that will allow thousands more kids to attend a school of choice. And in Philadelphia, for the first time in seven years, new charter school applications—40 of them!—are under review, giving hope to students languishing on waiting lists.
We also exposed important numbers this year, like $7.6 million—the amount that seven Pennsylvania government union PACs gave to candidates in 2013-14 (an increase of 53 percent in just two years). As you know, taxpayers paid to collect that purely political money, in addition to the millions in dues that government unions spend on politics.
That’s why the fight for paycheck protection was so important this year. This leads me to one of my favorite numbers: 11,049. That’s the number of emails that you sent lawmakers through our website alone, most of them about paycheck protection. Because of your tireless advocacy and the work of bold lawmakers, paycheck protection legislation passed out of two critical committees in the House and Senate and earned the vote of 20 senators when a paycheck protection amendment was introduced this fall.
As the year comes to an end, I’d like to focus on just two more numbers: 16 and 1. The CF team consists of 16 full-time staff members passionate about Pennsylvania’s future. I’m proud to fight for freedom with them every day. And the number one represents you, who fight along with us. Many know that a favorite quote of mine comes from Henry David Thoreau, who said, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.”
Thanks to each one of you striking at the root with us.