Proximity and Power: The Teachers' Union is #1
Of the 25 most influential interest groups, the teachers’ union is the closest to the capitol in 14 of the 50 states. By contrast, the AFL-CIO is the closest in seven states. The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the National Federation of Independent Business are the closest in five states, each. The American Association for Justice (AAJ)—the leading organization of U.S. trial lawyers, formerly known as the Association of Trial Lawyers of America, or ATLA—is the closest in four states.
Why do the headquarters of state teachers’ unions tend to be so close to state capitol buildings?
The teachers’ unions don’t strive to be the closest because of the extra time it takes to walk or drive a few more blocks. They strive to be the closest because it is a visible display of their power and influence. It is a symbol of the connections and resources they can devote to something as trivial as having the closest office, just like the status obtained from having the best seats at a concert or a sporting event.
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