What you are able to do in your practice, how you get reimbursed and how optometry will be utilized in the future all depend on the decisions made by state and federal lawmakers. COA’s and AOA’s political action committees (PACs) give the optometric profession the ability to identify and help elect lawmakers who will understand, value, and fight to protect the optometric profession. Making contributions to COA and AOA PACs is a way to ensure that your voice is heard in electing optometry-friendly lawmakers.
How It Works
The PACs were formed to allow individual optometrists to pool their resources in order to make a stronger impact on candidate campaigns. COA collects small amounts of money from optometrists through their dues statement via a voluntary check-off. Contribution decisions are made by independent boards of politically savvy optometrists with assistance from expert political advisors. Your political team at COA interviews candidates, educates potential elected officials about optometric issues and makes targeted contributions in support of pro-optometry candidates.
COA has two PACs and one Independent Expenditure Committee that can accept donations:
- California Optometric Political Action Committee (Cal-OPAC) was formed to support candidates, ballot measures, and circulate petition drives in the State of California for the advancement, promotion, and protection of optometry as a profession and high-quality vision care provider. Cal-OPAC is governed by an independent board appointed by COA’s President.
- Local Societies of the California Optometric Association (LSCOA-PAC) was formed to help COA local societies support aspiring and existing California elected officials who are optometry friendly. LSCOA-PAC is governed by an independent board of society representatives.
- COA’s Independent Expenditure Committee (IE) was formed to independently support candidates who are optometrists or who have a close optometric connection. Independent expenditures are communications in support or opposed to specific candidates and are not subject to contribution limits if they are made independent of the candidate’s campaign. COA’s IE committee is governed by a COA board subcommittee.
Cal-OPAC & LSCOA contributions can be added to your monthly dues statement. Contact COA’s Membership Department at 916-441-3990 to make sure you are contributing. Use the forms below to make a “one-time” contribution.
Involvement in the political process is more important now than it has ever been. Your personal political involvement can make a real difference. Please make sure you are making a contribution to both of optometry’s PAC’s and COA’s IE today.