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Sam Paredes

GUN OWNERS OF CALIFORNIA (GOC)
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

Sam Paredes has been with GOC for over 35 years.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Gun Owners of America and Treasurer of Gun Owners Foundation.

GOC is a non-profit lobbying organization formed to protect and preserve our Second Amendment rights in California. Paredes is a registered lobbyist, has testified in hundreds of legislative committee hearings and has advocated on behalf of the gun community before the California Fish and Game Commission, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Department of Justice.

Paredes has been interviewed by virtually every California news outlet as well as national and international media such as Fox News, ABC World News Tonight, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, the Larry Elder Show, Al Jazeera and the BBC (Britain and Australia) as an expert on gun laws in the Golden State. He is a frequent speaker before conservative groups and has given workshops on “Confrontational Politics” in Missouri, Nevada and throughout California and has served as co-host of Sacramento’s “Just Guns” radio show on Money 105.5 FM.

In addition to his work with GOC, Paredes was appointed by California Governors George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson, serving in both administrations in the Trade and Commerce Agency.
Born in Los Angeles to immigrant parents, Sam is the second of three children. He attended Pepperdine University on scholarship and graduated with a degree in political science; he also studied at the Foundation for Economic Education in New York.

Sam is a certified firearms instructor, an avid outdoorsman and enjoys all shooting sports, hunting, fishing, golfing and traveling. He has served as a volunteer firefighter and as a board member of his local fire protection district in El Dorado County. He is the father of three children and grandfather to an ever growing brood of grandkids. He lives with his wife in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

GOC is the oldest pro-gun political action committee in the United States of America, having been at the forefront of the battle since assaults on the 2nd Amendment began. GOC functions as a 501(c)4 non-profit and operates exclusively from membership contributions and donations, utilizing funds to actively educate on issues and candidates. Employing a strong, three-pronged approach to beating back the assault on the Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, GOC is involved in the following:
• Fighting full-time in the legislative halls, serving as a critical resource to policy makers.
• Fighting in the courts – in California and across the nation, having filed amicus briefs in California and other states as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court.
• Fighting at the ballot box – raising money to elect pro-gun candidates and to defeat the bad guys.

Elizabeth “Betsy” Graves Mahan

Betsy has worked in advocacy and public affairs for a variety of organizations, including major corporations, nonprofits, elected officials, political campaigns, and small businesses. She is presently a Digital Marketing Consultant while volunteering as Chair of the Sacramento County Republican Party.

Political Campaigns & U.S. Senate Staff                             1974 – 1982  

Betsy began her 40+ years in the political arena as a student canvasser for Moraga, California. In the next election, she was the youngest candidate in California to file to run for the State Assembly (East Bay Area) at age the gubernatorial campaign of Houston Flournoy at St. Mary’s College in 18.  She was running against the Democrat Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee, Dan Boatwright, yet amazingly achieved a percentage that exceeded Republican registration in the 1976 General Election.  During that campaign, she came to know another candidate, S.I. Hayakawa, who successfully challenged incumbent U.S. Senator John Tunney and eventually hired her on his staff. During the six-year term, she worked in his Washington, Sacramento, and San Francisco offices, ending with statewide responsibilities for constituent services. She also led teams working on special projects such as freeing Americans wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey and Colombia, and monitoring the work of the Army Corp of Engineers during a major levee break in the Delta. She organized public/media events for the Senator throughout the State and represented him on television and radio on the topic of bilingual education and ballots. From 1976-78, she served on the Contra Costa Central Committee (ex-officio), and ran for Walnut Creek City Council, coming in fourth in a field of ten candidates seeking three seats.

Corporate Government Affairs                                              1982 – 1995

The California Bankers Association hired her in 1982 to run their grassroots program and maintain their federal political action committee.  She was recruited by First Interstate Bank of California in 1984 to manage their Government Affairs Department out of the Los Angeles Headquarters, and at the end of her tenure at First Interstate, she was the Director of State Government Relations for First Interstate Bancorp with responsibilities in our thirteen western states. While at First Interstate, she was a lobbyist, registered with the City of Los Angeles, San Francisco, and the State of California. Betsy had offices in Sacramento and Los Angeles and managed the State Political Action Committee. She organized media events with government officials and their corporate executives and hosted several political fundraisers.

After First Interstate was acquired, Betsy formed The Mahan Group and became a public affairs and government relations consultant to several financial institutions.  This was a transitional time in this industry, and she soon realized that focusing on this sector was not a stable source of income.

Betsy and her husband decided to start a family, and since they had been unable to do this the traditional way, they adopted three sibling children who were Wards of the State in Sacramento – ages 4, 6 and 8.  She decided that full-time political jobs would consume time she needed to spend with her new family, so she transitioned to short-term consulting work.

Political Campaigns & Fundraising                                       1996 – 2010  

Betsy worked as Outreach Director on the No on Prop 211 initiative, relating to corporate governance, where they activated millions of employees in the high tech industry as well as other business sectors;  staged two major events for the Commission on the Status of Women; managed a grassroots campaign for a coalition of medical associations to defeat legislation sponsored by the Trial Lawyers; managed the first four months of Dan Lungren’s Sacramento-area congressional campaign; and worked with Halcomb Associates as a fundraiser for clients including Supervisor Susan Peters, Kevin Johnson for Mayor, Tom Campbell for U.S. Senate and several nonprofits.

Nonprofits                                                                           2002 - Present

Over the years, Betsy developed a great respect for those who work in the nonprofit sector, even though this was not a lucrative path to seek! She was elected to the Board of the Central Valley Rails to Trails Foundation (CVRTF) and served as President for 10 years. The mission of CVRTF was to convert a 27-mile portion of an unused rail corridor into a trail, linking Sacramento with Lodi. She led a team that raised funds (10 TrailFest events attracting over 600 attendees), built coalitions, and worked with the Sacramento Board of Supervisors and surrounding cities to incorporate the project into their transportation master plans. The project was cut short when High Speed Rail selected the corridor as their back-up for the Sacramento to Stockton segment. Union Pacific pulled out of negotiations with us at that time. The project is now on hold and I resigned from the Board in 2014.

Betsy has held other nonprofit board positions over the years and now serve as Vice Chair of The Chester Foundation, providing emergency medical care to disadvantaged animal companions.

Capitol Social Digital Strategies                                     2010 - Present

Using skills she developed in website design, email fundraising, and database management, she opened a boutique digital marketing firm, run from her home office. Her clients include small businesses, trade associations, nonprofits, and political groups, such as BayAreaGOP.com and the CA Congress of Republicans. We provide communications strategies, social media management, web design/maintenance, event management, and internet advocacy. 

Betsy serves as a Delegate for the California Republican Party and a member of the Initiatives and Executive Committees. She was appointed to the Sacramento County Republican Central Committee in 2016 to fill an open position, and was elected to a four-year term in November of 2016. In 2020 she was selected as a Delegate from the 7th Congressional District to the RNC Convention for President Trump.Betsy is a 29-year resident of Wilton, where she lives with her husband, adult daughter, and 2 year old grandson, along with an assortment of mostly rescued animals. For fun, she gardens, rides horses, and tastes wines from the L

odi and Amador regions.

********************************

 

 

 

Sam Paredes has been with GOC for over 35 years.  He is also a member of the Board of Directors of Gun Owners of America and Treasurer of Gun Owners Foundation.

GOC is a non-profit lobbying organization formed to protect and preserve our Second Amendment rights in California. Paredes is a registered lobbyist, has testified in hundreds of legislative committee hearings and has advocated on behalf of the gun community before the California Fish and Game Commission, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Department of Justice.

Paredes has been interviewed by virtually every California news outlet as well as national and international media such as Fox News, ABC World News Tonight, the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, the Larry Elder Show, Al Jazeera and the BBC (Britain and Australia) as an expert on gun laws in the Golden State. He is a frequent speaker before conservative groups and has given workshops on “Confrontational Politics” in Missouri, Nevada and throughout California and has served as co-host of Sacramento’s “Just Guns” radio show on Money 105.5 FM.

In addition to his work with GOC, Paredes was appointed by California Governors George Deukmejian and Pete Wilson, serving in both administrations in the Trade and Commerce Agency.
Born in Los Angeles to immigrant parents, Sam is the second of three children. He attended Pepperdine University on scholarship and graduated with a degree in political science; he also studied at the Foundation for Economic Education in New York.

Sam is a certified firearms instructor, an avid outdoorsman and enjoys all shooting sports, hunting, fishing, golfing and traveling. He has served as a volunteer firefighter and as a board member of his local fire protection district in El Dorado County. He is the father of three children and grandfather to an ever growing brood of grandkids. He lives with his wife in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

GOC is the oldest pro-gun political action committee in the United States of America, having been at the forefront of the battle since assaults on the 2nd Amendment began. GOC functions as a 501(c)4 non-profit and operates exclusively from membership contributions and donations, utilizing funds to actively educate on issues and candidates. Employing a strong, three-pronged approach to beating back the assault on the Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms, GOC is involved in the following:
• Fighting full-time in the legislative halls, serving as a critical resource to policy makers.
• Fighting in the courts – in California and across the nation, having filed amicus briefs in California and other states as well as before the U.S. Supreme Court.
• Fighting at the ballot box – raising money to elect pro-gun candidates and to defeat the bad guys.

 

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