Just in time for the holidays comes this story of a former Californian who wanted to show his appreciation to the Golden State for helping get him through a hard time. We here at California Forward wanted to share this with you, in hopes that it will inspire you to do your part to help fix our state by having your voice heard and supporting reforms that will truly make a difference. Let us know how you’ve helped fix the state or what ideas you have to repair our government in the comments section.
“Dennis Ferguson wanted to repay California for the unemployment he collected back in 1964. So last month, the retired computer programmer shipped the deficit-plagued state a $10,000 check with the note “REPAYMENT FOR WHAT CALIF. DID FOR ME!” inscribed on the bottom.
The check won’t solve the state’s $25-billion-and-growing budget deficit. But it will help the state’s school children, because of an arcane section of state code that requires any donations that are not designated for a specific purpose to go to education.
Ferguson, now 74, collected about $1,100 in unemployment benefits for about four months in 1964, after he was laid off from an aircraft company where he worked as an engineer. He came up with the $10,000 figure because he wanted to add interest and thought $10k was a “nice round figure,” according to state treasurer spokesman Tom Dresslar.”
Marisa Lagos is a political reporter with the San Francisco Chronicle.