35. Art Pulaski
The California Labor Federation mobilizes 20,000 union volunteers in each election cycle, and claims that their 2.1 million members turn out to vote at a rate 10% higher than non-union voters. Even in a state with 39 million people, that’s political clout. As the Federation’s executive secretary and treasurer, Art Pulaski wants to make sure decision-makers in Sacramento and across the state are well aware of labor’s power. His organization can turn out foot soldiers by the thousands because it represents members in 1,200 unions across the manufacturing, transportation, construction, service and public sectors. Pulaski and his troops have fought for hikes in the minimum wage, paid family leave and the Affordable Care Act. He has been involved in unions since he was 16, when he joined the meat-cutters union as a supermarket clerk. He works closely with Angie Wei (see No. 9).
Updated Aug. 29, 2017