Washington, D.C. — Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) released the story of Patrick Turnbull, a retired landscape contractor from Sunland, California, who has worked independently as Santa Claus for the past 20 years, on Thursday.

This video is part of Chasing Work, a campaign launched by IWF to highlight job-killing regulations like AB5 and the impact they have on American workers.

Santa and other holiday performers, like Turnbull, won’t be coming to town this holiday season due to California’s Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which took effect on Jan. 1, 2020; instead, they’re in the unemployment line. The effects of AB5 have only been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic, which begs the question: Is Christmas canceled? 

Patrice Onwuka, senior policy analyst at IWF, said, “Americans want to work, and the government shouldn’t needlessly stand in their way. Policies that kill opportunities for enterprising individuals under the guise of worker protections don’t benefit Americans. Christmas is supposed to be the happiest time of the year, but without Santa, it’s a little less bright.”  

Carrie Lukas, president of IWF, said: “This video reminds us of the harms of bad policies like AB5. It hurts people like Patrick, who want and need opportunities to make money. But it also hurts everyone who wants these services. What about California families? What about parents with little kids who look forward to taking that yearly picture on Santa’s lap? This is a stage of life that doesn’t last very long. It’s unconscionable that policymakers have imposed such counterproductive regulations that they destroy moments like this—the very best parts of life and civil society.”  

“Chasing Work” brings to life the need to reduce government-imposed barriers to work, including anti-independent contracting laws like AB5 and overly-burdensome occupational licensing laws. 

To learn more about “Chasing Work” and watch Santa’s video, visit www.iwf.org/AB5.



Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.