February CEO Update

When you think about it, standing up for our principles is exactly what ALEC does.

February is here, and we’re celebrating Black History Month to honor African American achievements and contributions to our nation. My good friend, Virginia Lieutenant Governor Winsome Earle-Sears said it best: “As we begin Black History Month, we aim to highlight those who have gone before us, that have helped make the country we are today.”

February also means the legislative season is off and running! We hit the road at a fast and furious pace in January, sharing our trusted policy solutions in Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Mississippi, Maryland, Nevada, and Virginia – with many more to come. After all, if we’re going to continue our educational efforts to achieve the goal of 25 universal education freedom states by 2025, then there’s no time to wait!

Iowa was first out of the gate this year to pass our model resolution supporting Israel while condemning the brutal, horrific October 7th attacks by Hamas. Ushered through the state house by ALEC Board Member and State Chair, Iowa Speaker Pro Tem John Wills and ALEC State Chair, Rep. Phil Thompson, the resolution was adopted as protestors heckled from the gallery above. It’s still stunning to see our fellow Americans stand in the public square and make such blatantly anti-Semitic gestures in full and open view.

I’m proud to say that last month, 140 ALEC members across 38 states took a public stand for Israel, signing our letter urging President Biden to strongly support Israel’s inherent right to defend its citizens and land. Having traveled to Israel to meet with her lawmakers, I can attest that the enduring partnership between the United States and Israel is vital to the security of both the region and the world. There can be no offers of compromise or solutions of any kind until the complete and utter safety of Israel and her people has been secured.

Further across the globe, celebration rang through the air as frequent ALEC attendee and speaker Hsiao Bi-khim was part of Taiwan’s winning 2024 presidential election team. As running mate for president-elect Lai Ching-te, former ambassador Hsiao often spoke eloquently on the US-Taiwan partnership and defending Taiwan’s democracy. You can read our letter of congratulations here.

At a time when the world struggles with corruption, turmoil, and the ravages of war, it’s encouraging to see the people of Taiwan come together and embrace the spirit of democracy. The people of Taiwan are in safe hands with Lai and Hsiao at the helm.

Closer to home, we were proud to announce the launch of the Education Freedom Alliance – a coalition of like-minded organizations supporting the rights of parents to choose the option that best fits their child’s unique educational needs. Rather than using the traditional one-size-fits-all approach, we’re embracing the same creative spark that produced smartphones and reusable rockets to reach and teach every child.

It’s incredibly important for our young people to have a voice in the decisions that will shape their future. That’s why I was thrilled that our sister organization ALEC Action announced a new strategic partnership with Run GenZ. Since 2020, Run GenZ’s mission has been to “Empower, Recruit, and Mentor” the next generation of elected officials. This exciting new partnership will help equip young leaders who share our principles and vision for America.

For those of you down in the Sunshine State, you might have come across an op-ed in the South Florida Sentinel lambasting ALEC and Florida lawmakers for daring to discuss the U.S. Constitution’s Article V state-initiated amendment process. We immediately contacted the paper and demanded the opportunity to reply – which we did right here. I’ll give you a few minutes to read my op-ed in full. 😉

There’s an old adage about not picking fights with people who buy ink by the barrel, but there’s another one about standing up to bullies – especially when the facts are on your side. And, as you can see in my rebuttal, the facts reside well within the ALEC area code.

When you think about it, standing up for our principles is exactly what ALEC does. We push back against the officials trying to take a bigger cut out of your paycheck, against the bureaucrat blocking your progress through red tape and burdensome regulations, and against the federal government when they try to impose their will upon the states. Yes, we might emerge from the fight a touch battered and bruised, but we will emerge – ready to fight again.