Organization Trends

InfluenceWatch Friday

September 1, 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:

  • Semilla Project is an advocacy organization that pushes for increased environmentalist policy at the state and local levels. In January 2023, Josue De Luna Navarro, the group’s Climate Policy Innovator, published an op-ed praising a New Mexico-based initiative that would provide more grants to organizations like the Semilla Project and called for increasing public funding to “outdoor equity” groups.
  • Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) is a labor union representing writing staff for motion pictures, television, and similar agencies. On May 2, 2023, along with the Writers Guild of America, East (WGAE), the WGAW called a strike after failed negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers. Supported by other labor unions including the AFL-CIO, the “pattern of demands” from the strike include increased compensation and limitation of AI in the writing process.
  • RAND Corporation is a public policy think tank developed to foster relations between the private sector and the U.S. government. In March 2023, the RAND Corporation launched their “Social and Economic Policy Advisory Board” as a means of advocating “thought leadership” on specific policy issues such as climate change, equity, health care, and housing.
  • The Marshall Project is a criminal justice policy media outlet based in New York City. In May 2022, the Marshall Project and National Public Radio (NPR) released a report alleging misconduct within a U.S. penitentiary based in Thomson, Illinois. After outcry from Democratic lawmakers including Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) and Sen. Dick Durban (D-IL), a new leader of the prison was appointed in February 2023 and the prison management unit accused of being responsible for the misconduct was shut down.
  • Immigration Research Initiative (IRI) is an immigration policy think tank based in New York City. In 2023, the IRI worked with the Urban Institute (UI) to evaluate the New York’s Excluded Workers Fund, which was created to provide payments to illegal immigrants in NYC during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although IRI praised it, the fund has been criticized for possibly inaccurate reported fiscal use percentages and fraudulent access to funds by those not entitled to participate in the program.

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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