No. 16: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

16. Lou Paulson

Protecting pensions, ensuring continued healthcare and blocking fire-protection budget cuts have long been the preoccupations of the California Professional Firefighters – and still are. But CPF President Lou Paulson and his team played a major role this year in an area that caught many by surprise – greenhouse gases. The CPF was a lead player in successfully pushing for an extension of California’s cap-and-trade program, Gov. Brown’s highest legislative priority this year. The firefighters drew connections between global warming and fire danger, and mounted a major social media campaign to get the message out. With 30,000 members, CPF is not the largest California labor group, but to have major Capitol clout, they don’t need to be – doesn’t everyone love firefighters? His firefighters’ org has two unusual and profitable sidelines – it runs a large printing shop, serving the union’s needs and outside clients (disclosure: including Capitol Weekly), as well as a video and audio service with union and corporate clients.

Updated Aug. 31, 2o17

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