President and founder of PCI Consultants, which runs signature drives and helps political candidates
California, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Missouri, Washington, etc.
Paparella got his start in the 1980s as a field organizer for nonprofits associated with consumer advocate Ralph Nader. The first ballot measure he worked on was California’s Proposition 103 in 1988, which required more regulation for auto insurers.
Paparella works on all kinds of issues, but considers his signature topic to be drug reform. His firm helped collect signatures for a medical marijuana measure in Florida for the 2014 ballot. He had only weeks to gather hundreds of thousands of last-minute signatures. He brought in at least 70 out-of-state signature gatherers, he said. “We had a lot of people who had to work through Christmas,” he said.
Paparella’s firm is one of the most prolific in the industry. Data from the Lucy Burns Institute and state records show his firm has been paid at least $28 million since 2010. “There’s no question we do more work than anybody,” he said.