Personnel Profile: Martyn Hopper

NAME: Martyn Hopper
POSITION: California State Director for the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB)

Capitol Weekly: How did you wind up in Sacramento from across the pond?
Martyn Hopper: Before I first came to this country I was a barrister with a
wig and a gown in Rumpole. I went to law school in England. During law
school, I taught sailing and tennis at a camp in Maine and loved it over
here. I loved the way business was done [in the United States]–the freedom,
the people, and this was thirty-seven years ago. Then I went down to London
and became a member of the inner court. … I decided not to practice over
there immediately. I worked for a law firm in New York and did that for a
year. I met people out west. The East Coast seemed too much like Europe and
I loved out west. My first job around the Capitol was working for Bob
Monagan, the past speaker of the Assembly, who was then the president of
what was then called the California Manufacturer’s Association. I worked for
them for four years, lobbying mostly tax and other government relations-type
duties. I’ve been with NFIB for twenty-six years. When I started with NFIB,
the state-lobbying operation was brand new. We were given a couple-hundred
dollars to get a typewriter and a filing cabinet to use at home. We worked
out of our home and we have progressed and have 35,000 members in California
and have become more comprehensive in our lobbying. I think nowadays the
true worth of an organization is the way and ability that it has in
organizing its members and getting its message across. We pride ourselves
because we do not have a board of directors that takes our positions. Our
members vote on our lobbying positions.

CW: What legislation are you currently keeping a close eye on?
MH: There are really three issues that are always on the top of the mind of
the small business owner: one is worker’s comp, one is health care and one
is taxes.

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