California's plastics industry groups will link arms for a $25-per-person legislative reception Feb. 21 near the Capitol in Sacramento.
Sponsors include the American Plastics Council, California Film Extruders & Converters Association, Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., Society of Plastics Engineers and two state-registered political action committees with ties to APC and SPI.
"We are trying, as best as APC can, to bring different plastics organizations together to show one face to the legislature," Roger Bernstein, APC vice president of state government affairs, said by telephone from his office in Arlington, Va.
"We are teaming forces and showing solidarity," said Frank Capolupo, SPI's western regional manager in Irvine, Calif. "The industry demands it, and we owe it to the industry."
The effort involves the "entire plastics industry," said Norma Fox, executive director of CFECA in Newport Beach, Calif.
Superseding their differences, the trade groups want processors and vendors to make direct contact with legislators at their Sacramento offices and personally communicate the industry's economic impact on California.
"To be effective, it takes more than names," Bernstein said. "We want people participating and encouraging legislators to come across the street" to the reception.
Organizers also seek to involve end-user trade groups such as those representing the dairy and grocery industries, said Laurie Hansen, APC's western regional government affairs director in Sacramento.
The two competing PACs come together as event sponsors but continue with independent fund-raising efforts.
In the recent California legislative election cycle, the APC-affiliated state PAC, known as Plastics California, contributed to the campaigns of 17 Democrats and 14 Republicans with individual amounts ranging from $500 to $5,000, Bernstein said.
The SPI-affiliated state PAC contributed to four Democrats and two Republicans with amounts ranging from $500 to $2,500, according to Jill Brandts, SPI's assistant western regional manager.
Democrats in California control 65 percent of the state Senate seats and 63 percent of those in the Assembly.