Organization Trends

InfluenceWatch Friday

December 8, 2023

InfluenceWatch, a project of Capital Research Center, is a comprehensive and ever-evolving compilation of our research into the numerous advocacy groups, foundations, and donors working to influence the public policy process. The website offers transparency into these influencers’ funding, motives, and connections while providing insight often neglected by other watchdog groups.

The information compiled in InfluenceWatch gives news outlets and other interested parties research to use in reporting on significant topics that are often overlooked by the American public.

CRC is pleased to present some of the most significant additions to InfluenceWatch in the past week:

  • Democrats for Education Reform (DER) is a left-of-center political action committee (PAC) that supports Democratic Party candidates and Democrat-aligned education policy. In 2023, DER announced its opposition to the Oklahoma Statewide Virtual Charter School Board’s approval of a public Catholic charter school, calling it a “sectarian charter school” and urging Democrats to oppose public dollars being used to support religious instruction.
  • RefugeeOne is an advocacy organization that provides resettlement services for refugees primarily originating from the Middle East. In 2023, the organization released a Facebook “advocacy alert” calling on Congress to fund support for refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine. The alert also called for a reduction in deportations, refugee detentions, and border-enforcement efforts.
  • Alliance for the Great Lakes is an environmentalist organization that advocates for conservation efforts within the Great Lakes region. In May 2023, the group called for a total ban on single-use plastics such as grocery bags, foam containers, and straws by claiming that they harmed waterways. The group is part of the left-of-center legal policy coalition Alliance for Justice (AFJ) and has received grants from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • Education Reform Now (ERN) is a left-of-center education advocacy group that supports the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and is in favor of education policy becoming more influenced by far-left concepts such as “anti-racism.” The group has received funding from left-of-center grant makers that include the Walton Family Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
  • Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung NYC (RLS-NYC) is the New York City branch of the German socialist–aligned Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, named after early 20th century radical leftist Rosa Luxemburg. RLS-NYC calls for a “progressive” Democratic Party that more closely aligns with the ideology of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) following his 2016 presidential campaign. In addition, RLS-NYC supports a shift from traditional forms of energy toward a critical race theory–influenced form of “climate justice.”

Jonathan Harsh

Jonathan Harsh holds a master’s degree in political science from James Madison University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from  Beloit College. He is a content editor at the…
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