Center for American Progress: Wikis

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Center for American Progress
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Founders John Podesta
Type Public policy think tank
Founded 2003
Headquarters Washington, D.C.
Motto Progressive ideas for a strong, just, and free America.
Website www.americanprogress.org

The Center for American Progress is a liberal[1][2][3][4] public policy research and advocacy organization. Its website describes it as "... a nonpartisan research and educational institute dedicated to promoting a strong, just and free America that ensures opportunity for all."[5] It has its headquarters in Washington D.C.[6]

Its President and Chief Executive Officer is John Podesta, who served as chief of staff to then U.S. President Bill Clinton. Located in Washington, D.C., the Center for American Progress has a campus outreach group, Campus Progress, and a sister advocacy organization, the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Citing Podesta's influence in the formation of the Obama Administration, a November 2008 article in Time stated that "not since the Heritage Foundation helped guide Ronald Reagan's transition in 1981 has a single outside group held so much sway."[7]

Contents

History and mission

The Center for American Progress was created in 2003 as a left-wing alternative to think tanks such as the Heritage Foundation and the American Enterprise Institute.[8]

Since its inception, the Center has gathered a group of high-profile senior fellows, including Lawrence Korb, Assistant Secretary of Defense under President Ronald Reagan; Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council under President Bill Clinton; Ruy Teixeira, political scientist and author of The Emerging Democratic Majority; and, most recently, former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle and Elizabeth Edwards, wife of former Presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards.

The Center manages a radio studio, and offers the studio for use to shows across the ideological spectrum. It is used daily by the Bill Press Show, a syndicated talk radio program broadcast from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. Eastern Time weekday mornings. Jones Radio Networks is the syndicator.

The Center was often featured prominently on the Al Franken Show on the now defunct Air America Radio network, where Christy Harvey and Al Franken criticized the Bush administration at length, accusing it of dishonesty and incompetence.

The Center has no information on its website about its funding, but the Washington Post reported that "seed money pledged by such deep-pocketed Democrats as financier George Soros (and mortgage billionaires Herbert and Marion Sandler)" assisted its formation.[9] The authors of Her Way, a biography of Hillary Clinton, also assert that the Democracy Alliance, a progressive donors collective, has funded the Center. They also assert that the Sandlers and Soros provided seed money.[10]

The Center helped Congressman John Murtha (D-PA) develop "strategic redeployment",[11] a comprehensive plan for the Iraq War that includes a timetable and troop withdrawals.

Media outlets

The Center for American Progress publishes a daily email newsletter entitled The Progress Report, which is a recap and analysis of major political news in the United States, providing a progressive perspective on the day's stories. The authors are Faiz Shakir, Amanda Terkel, Satyam Khanna, Matthew Corley, Ali Frick, and Benjamin Armbruster.

The newsletter has four main sections:

  1. in-depth item on a major topic of the day, such as the economy or foreign policy;
  2. "Under the Radar," less prominent stories of the day including links to op-eds and news;
  3. "Think Fast," links to new stories; and
  4. the sidebar, entitled the "Daily Grill," which compares major right wing figures' current remarks with their past remarks.

In addition, the Center for American Progress publishes a daily global warming blog called Climate Progress. Edited by climate and energy expert Joseph J. Romm, the blog discusses climate science, climate technology solutions and political news related to climate change. It is a project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. In April 2008, TIME magazine named this blog one of the "Top 15 Green Websites", writing that it "counters bad science and inane rhetoric with original analysis delivered sharply.... Romm occupies the intersection of climate science, economics and policy.... On his blog and in his most recent book, Hell and High Water, you can find some of the most cogent, memorable, and deployable arguments for immediate and overwhelming action to confront global warming."[12] In March 2009, Thomas L. Friedman, in his column in The New York Times, called the blog "indispensable".[13]

The Center for American Progress began experimenting with video delivered over the internet to complement their policy work in early 2006. This video strategy, currently known as SEEPROGRESS, is distributed through the Center's website as well as YouTube and other video distributors, such as Google video, Blip.tv and Yahoo! video.

Think Progress

Think Progress is an English language blog edited by Shakir that "provide[s] a forum that advances progressive ideas and policies."

Campus Progress

Campus Progress, launched in February 2005, is the Center for American Progress’s comprehensive effort to help young people make their voices heard on issues and to empower new generations of progressive leaders. Campus Progress is active on over 500 U.S. campuses and in communities across the United States.

Campus Progress has five main components:

  1. a daily web magazine, offering journalism, analysis, opinions, cartoons, video and organizing tools. CampusProgress.org has attracted millions of readers and has published more than 1000 pieces including interviews with Barack Obama, Helen Thomas, Stephen Colbert, Margaret Cho, Larry David and Seymour Hersh. Print editions of the web magazine are distributed on campuses across the nation. The site also features an active blog with hundreds of contributors.
  2. support for student publications on more than fifty campuses including The Claremont Port Side at Claremont McKenna College, Songhai News: The Black Collegiate Voice at the University of Houston, The Big Green at Michigan State University, The Fine Print at the University of Florida, Vanderbilt Orbis at Vanderbilt University, and The Dartmouth Free Press at Dartmouth College.
  3. an events team that has worked with students and other partners to hold over 500 speaking programs, film screenings, debates and training programs.
  4. national campaigns, as well as action grants that support student issue campaigns on individual campuses. Current Campus Progress campaigns focus on issues including student debt and access to higher education, the Iraq war, global warming and academic freedom. Action grants cover student campaigns on issues from Sudan to living wages, affirmative action to the death penalty.
  5. the National Student Conference. The first annual conference was held on July 13, 2005, in Washington, D.C. and featured President Bill Clinton.
From The Nation: “For the first time ever, campus progressives convened, conversed and organized at their own national conference ― something right-wing groups have done annually since the 1970s.... The conference left students, from Young Democrats to radical activists, energized and teeming with hope. Almost everyone I spoke with left the conference believing that a real, thriving and broad-based progressive student movement was overdue, necessary and most importantly, possible.”
The second annual conference, held on July 12, 2006, in Washington, featured Senator Barack Obama, and was attended by over 1000 students from 48 states. The third annual conference was held in Washington on June 26, 2007, and featured Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. Other speakers at these and other Campus Progress events have included Cornel West; Rev. James Forbes; Majora Carter; John Passacantando; Adrienne Maree Brown; Ralph Nader; music artists Talib Kweli, M1, Fat Joe, Yo-Yo, and Ted Leo; Members of Congress Russ Feingold, John Lewis, Keith Ellison, and Tammy Baldwin; and journalists Helen Thomas, Samantha Power, Seymour Hersh, E.J. Dionne, Katrina vanden Heuvel and Barbara Ehrenreich. The fourth annual conference was held July 8, 2008.

David Halperin, former speechwriter to President Bill Clinton and to 2004 presidential candidate Howard Dean, has served as the Director of Campus Progress since its inception.

Center for American Progress Action Fund

Formerly known simply as the American Progress Action Fund, the Center for American Progress Action Fund is a "sister advocacy organization" and is organizationally and financially separate from the Center for American Progress, although they share many staff and a physical address. Whereas the Center for American Progress is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, the fund is a 501(c)(4), allowing it to devote more funds to lobbying.[14] In 2003, George Soros promised to financially support the organization by donating up to three million dollars.[15]

Criticism

The Center for American Progress was criticized by conservative commentators for its 2007 report titled "The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio."[16] The report states: "out of 257 news/talk stations owned by the top five commercial station owners reveals that 91 percent of the total weekday talk radio programming is conservative, and 9 percent is progressive." The report did not include analysis of the content of other radio providers, such as universities and public radio. The report suggests three steps to increase progressive radio voices in talk radio: restoring local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations; ensuring greater local accountability over radio licensing; and require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting.

Some open government groups, such as the Sunlight Foundation and the Campaign Legal Center, criticize the Center's failure to disclose its contributors, particularly since it is so influential in appointments to the Obama administration.[17][18]

Green jobs

A report from the Center for American Progress concludes that a $100 billion federal investment in clean energy technologies over 2009 and 2010 would yield 2 million new U.S. jobs, cutting the unemployment rate by 1.3% and put the nation on a path toward a low-carbon economy. The report, prepared by the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, proposes $50 billion in tax credits for energy efficiency retrofits and renewable energy systems; $46 billion in direct government spending for public building retrofits, mass transit, freight rail, smart electrical grid systems, and renewable energy systems; and $4 billion for federal loan guarantees to help finance building retrofits and renewable energy projects. The Center believes that clean energy investments would yield about 300,000 more jobs than if the same funds were distributed among U.S. taxpayers. The clean energy investments would also have the added benefits of lower home energy bills and reduced prices for non-renewable energy sources, due to the reduced consumption of those energy sources.[19]

Staff and fellows

Funding

The Center for American Progress is classified as a 501(c)(3) organization under U.S. Internal Revenue Code. The institute receives approximately $25 million per year in funding from a variety of sources, including individuals, foundations, and corporations. From 2003 to 2007, the center received about $15 million in grants from 58 foundations. Major individual donors include George Soros, Peter Lewis, Steve Bing, and Herb and Marion Sandler. The Center receives undisclosed sums from corporate donors.[20]

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2009/06/15/15greenwire-big-oil-is-biggest-investor-in-greenhouse-gas-60521.html
  2. ^ http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CE0DD1F3CF936A25752C0A96F9C8B63
  3. ^ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/06/AR2009030601063_pf.html
  4. ^ http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123853805152575391.html
  5. ^ Center for American Progress mission statement Accessed June 19, 2006
  6. ^ "Contact Us." Center for American Progress. Retrieved on December 15, 2009.
  7. ^ Michael Scherer, Inside Obama's Idea Factory in Washington, Time magazine, November 21, 2008, retrieved 2009-12-02
  8. ^ Robert Dreyfuss, "An Idea Factory for the Democrats", The Nation March 1, 2004
  9. ^ Washington Post article, CAP seed money source Accessed June 19, 2006
  10. ^ Her Way: The Hopes and Ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton, by Jeff Gerth and Don Van Natta Jr., p. 313 (hardcover)
  11. ^ CAP article, strategic redeployment Accessed November 15, 2006
  12. ^ Time.com feature on "Top 15 Green Websites"
  13. ^ Friedman, Thomas L. "The Inflection Is Near?", The New York Times, March 7, 2009
  14. ^ "Add to the Collective Genius," Accessed 27 December 2006.
  15. ^ "Soros' Deep Pockets vs. Bush". http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A24179-2003Nov10?language=printer. Retrieved 2007-10-04. 
  16. ^ http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2007/06/talk_radio.html The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio
  17. ^ Where's transparency of Podesta group? By Ben Smith and Chris Frates, Politico.com, December 9, 2008
  18. ^ Krugman, Paul (January 28, 2010). "March of the Peacocks". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/29/opinion/29krugman.html?em. Retrieved 30 January 2010. 
  19. ^ http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/news/enn.cfm#id_11979
  20. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/07/us/politics/07podesta.html?_r=1&ref=politics

External links

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