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Laurie Wallace: Placer County GOP Secretary and the CA GOP Regional Vice Chair

by | Jan 18, 2024 | GOP, Government, Placer County, Political Leaders | 0 comments

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This is another article in an ongoing series whose goal is to review local leaders who serve the Placer County area. Ms. Laurie Wallace has been serving the Placer County area for about 8 years now- and is now also serving the larger Northern California Area. Please take a moment to read about her and her efforts.

Question from Wake Up Placer: Who are you, and what roles do you serve in the Placer and State GOP?

Answer from Laurie Wallace: I am the Placer County GOP Secretary but I also serve as the CA GOP Regional Vice Chair for the North, overseeing 18 counties: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Colusa, El Dorado, Placer, Sutter, Yuba, Modoc, Siskiyou, Shasta, Lassen, Tehama, Glenn, Plumas, Sierra, Nevada, and Calaveras. These counties have 1.58 million residents. Its a beautiful part of the United States.

My role as the CA GOP Regional Vice Chair for the North is unpaid, in contrast to the California Democrats' role. The unpaid status presents challenges due to the large area I cover, requiring me to be on the road to connect with constituents. However, I love the work, and as a bonus, it allows me to explore our beautiful state. In my statewide role, I drive to these counties to collaborate with local leaders, assisting them in organizing and creating local political impact. As I traverse highways 5, 70, and 395, the breathtaking scenery serves as a reminder that about 20% of California's resources are in the mountains. The resilient individuals in these areas inspire me, and I'm thrilled to work with them. As the Placer County GOP Secretary, I serve the members of the Placer County GOP, which encompasses roughly 400,000 residents and about 15 cities. We have revitalized the GOP here, found passionate partners and helped to elect a majority of the school board members county-wide. In my professional, full-time, non-political role, I am part of a community of computer chip engineers from around the world. I find joy in the challenges of my job. I help bring graphics chips to market and the effort is roughly project-based, which allows me to witness the beginning, middle, and end of each effort. Additionally, my 12-hour shift schedule grants me more time each week to contribute to my CA GOP efforts and spend time with my family and friends.

Question from Wake Up Placer: What motivates you to serve?

Answer from Laurie Wallace: I love helping rural folks and their central committees reach their potential.

Having spent 12 years on the central committees of several counties, I've learned the 'lay of the land' and believe that people, once realizing they can make a difference, will. Part of my role involves connecting local individuals who want to contribute with the leaders who can guide them. Often, we find ourselves mentoring and encouraging local leaders helping them recognize the challenges in politics.

My goal is to reclaim our cities, counties, state, and country. We've built a strong team in Placer County, with individuals like Mike Murray and Mark Wright, along with local leaders from the counties I represent. This team has been successful in rallying passionate people. In the last election cycle, we celebrated victories in about 55 of 60 local races, such as city council, school board, or county supervisor.

For those interested in learning more, please reach out to me at pcrccsecretary@gmail.com. I'm eager to speak with anyone wanting to get involved at any level.

Question from Wake Up Placer: What are the biggest challenges you see in Northern California?

Answer from Laurie Wallace: I see four issues: One: Many people in small communities become content with keeping those they disagree with in office. Local elected officials can avoid discussing significant issues, like city budgets, parents' rights, and school budgets. Local elected officials and local leaders need to discuss the issues and, if needed, connect with individuals willing to do the right thing and support those issues publicly. Two: There's a strong local political consultant class in each county. This consultant class tends to favor individuals who can fund raise. Individuals that can pay for campaign mailers many times get chosen over a person that is best suited for the job. This trade-off usually results in less-than-ideal candidates for local offices. Three: Engaging parents with their local school district is crucial. We've found starting open discussions with local papers and service groups like Kiwanis’, Elk’s Clubs and 4 H makes a big difference We have also reached out to churches who are learning how to discuss politics. Local folks need to know that they have to push back against traditional Democrat/liberal groups like teachers AND statewide Democrat efforts. Encouraging parent groups to disseminate information about local school issues resulted in folks contacting their school board and attending board meetings. This led to significant changes in local politics. Local folks need to know that they have to push back against traditional Democrat/liberal groups like teachers AND statewide Democrat efforts. Encouraging parent groups to disseminate information about local school issues resulted in folks contacting their school board and attending board meetings. This led to significant changes in local politics.

Four: The counties I represent are among the last Republican strongholds in the state. We cannot fear the influx of newcomers, most of them have our values. If we remember our conservative values, and that we have a voice, we easily win elections. However, to win we must discuss issues with our neighbors. Discussing issues within our community is challenging but it's essential to counter how Democrats advertise and communicate. Democrats activate local groups like teachers, bus in leftists from outside your county and use media (national and regional TV, regional and and local papers and internet search engine optimization) to control the communication on issues in small towns. We have seen it in several counties that I represent and that is why public communication, not just on social media, is a prerequisite. General Flynn, and others, have written articles and books on this new style of political 'combat' and we have been able to understand it and overcome it by just talking. Social media can help – but the success we have seen really come from reaching out to individuals. Its important to stress that going door to door, in your community, is the best way to make an impact. Going door to door is hard, and while it's still helpful to contact folks by social media, mail or phone- its still best to have political conversations that start with a smile AND focus on discussing the important issues.

Question from Wake Up Placer: What are the biggest challenges you see outside of Placer County?

Answer from Laurie Wallace: Its important to remember there are challenges faced by local leaders when prioritizing issues beyond their immediate area. Local folks don’t always have the specialized knowledge or a deep understanding of the adjacent issues. However, I think the Federal and State Government has, in the name of the green new deal, destroyed the timber, forest, and farming economies in Northern California. Their efforts drove the decline of small towns that have been integral to the state's well-being. Local, State, and National Green new deal proponents have played a significant role in pushing for the closure of these industries. The consequence of such closures prompts us to question whether the environmental benefits outweigh the drawbacks. While acknowledging the need for sustainable practices, we must consider the repercussions of outsourcing these essential industries. If we cease these operations in California, we must ask ourselves: Who will take up the responsibility to provide lumber? Will the counties that provide lumber uphold any environmental or labor standard – or – will the country act like China and remove all standards? The unfortunate reality is that small towns with rich histories, including those where heroes like the ace Pilot Chuck Yeager live, have disappeared. The green new deal advocates may have intended positive environmental impacts, but it seems evident in 2023, that we've allowed the jobs and associated pollution to be outsourced to other countries. Outsourcing the pollution and the jobs is detrimental to the state, the country and the world. Sadly, our friends and family lost their jobs and the pollution was just created in the country that now harvests lumber that is sent back for our use. It's imperative to re-evaluate our decisions and explore innovative approaches to support the resurgence of these small towns. This will require new thinking that focuses on solving rural – not urbane issues. Lost local jobs and last tax revenues, from the destruction of foresting and related industries, cannot be replace with software programmers and high-tech companies.

We should actively engage in conversations about the environmental and labor standards upheld by foreign countries involved in similar industries. Implementing measures to block foreign entities from undertaking such work without adhering to our standards is crucial. Additionally, restricting the sale of products back to the US if they dont meet our standards and/or preventing any country from accessing US bank financing or the US stock market to raise money must start now. As President Trump demonstrated, the vital path to create responsible and sustainable practices requires the US to block access to our markets if a country does not meet our business standards. It is past time to reopen discussions on these critical issues. We need to take a comprehensive and creative approach that not only benefits the United States, safeguards the environment for future generations and takes care of our friends and families.

Question from Wake Up Placer: Wake Up Placer understands that you are part of a team that recruited people to run for office. What makes a successful candidate?

Answer from Laurie Wallace: Finding people who CARE. If a person cares they can move mountains. If they care we have resources and can teach them the issues, processes, and laws. We need folks that care that our constitutional conservative values must be debated in the public square so they are affirmed locally and remain the basis of the actions of local government. We need folks to care to discuss with their community the moral issues that are the basis of our conservative small town way of life. While we need to remember that we are a community, the basis of a community is the expectation that folks are accountable to be financially and morally responsible to the community. If we have the state or federal government setting the moral standard and providing for folks, if folks are not held accountable to any financial or moral standards, small communities get overwhelmed with costs and die. I think that folks and small communities saw this during covid.

Small communities were given mandates and were told that their common sense stances on issues were not enough I was proud to see that small community folks were, for the most part, not swayed by emotional mandates. Small-town folks did their homework, found the facts and debated the issues in the public square. Sometimes it was hard to watch, but I believe overall it was better to watch the hard small town debates than watch the bad actions and despair that we saw in large cities. (Local businesses stood up to the mandates- often, by themselves) Its clear now that the State / Federal government-generated fear of covid is over, that small communities weathered the challenges far better than the large cities. I watched the small communities like Placer and Shasta make tough decisions that were fact based and served their communities, not the State, or the Federal governments’ goals. City councils, school boards, and county boards were not faint of heart and did a solid job. I am proud to say that our prayer and our discussions gave us the spine to stand up and take care of small communities. I am proud and thankful to report that the small communities of my Northern California district are doing a great job and I am thankful I live here.