Below is a list of progressive research and advocacy organizations. They are in no particular order. Nor is it a comprehensive list. Fed Up New Yorkers is a work in progress. In the coming months, we’ll add to “Resources” and refine these descriptions, many of which are excerpted from the sites themselves. They vary in length because some seemed to warrant more extensive treatment than others.
We plan to add resources that we think will be helpful beyond research and advocacy organizations. Meanwhile, we’d very much appreciate your pointing out other credible organizations whose work you think should be more widely disseminated in Albany, on college campuses, and to voters in key political districts around the state.
As the cover of each Fed Up New Yorkers newspaper features an editorial cartoon by Keith Seidel, we thought to open this section with Tom Tomorrow’s Modern World, a brilliant comic strip commentary on American politics.
This Modern World
Wall Street on Parade
Wall Street’s corrupt practices laid bare and made accessible.
The Working Families Party
An important political player in New York politics. Fusion voting in New York permits candidates to combine the votes received on more than one ballot line. Thus Democrats want the WFP endorsement and fear its opposition. In addition to endorsing Democrats, the WFP has successfully fielded its own candidates. Financed by organized labor, in recent years the Party has extended its reach beyond New York—an impressive achievement.
“Working Families is New York’s progressive political party. The Working Families Party is focused on tackling the political, economic, and educational inequality that deprive working and middle class families of opportunity. Our vision is to build a New York that is fair for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected.”
Its major challenge? We would sum it up this way: Negotiating the often competing interests of maintaining credibility with, and growing a grass roots progressive voting bloc, while helping labor leaders, who often must hold their noses and compromise with corrupted politicians in order to bring home the bacon for their members. In our view that means helping to elect a state senate Democratic Party majority and then keeping its feet to the fire. WFP has its work cut out.
The full range of organized labor’s policy and political concerns on a national and state level. In-depth research on disparity of wealth and income between corporate executives and workers, corporate tax avoidance strategies, corporate governance, “corporate courts,” trade agreements, and much more.
Center for Responsive Politics
Follow the Money. The data sets provided by the Center for Responsive Politics are a goldmine for academics as well as journalists and interested citizens. Employing CRP data, scholars have investigated every aspect of money in politics -- from campaign contributions to lawmakers' investments to shadow lobbying.
The nation’s original and largest nonprofit environmental law organization. It has more than a hundred attorneys in offices across the country. It represents every one of its clients free of charge. The organization has an impressive list of clients and coalitions with which it works to advances its goals of preserving wildlife and wild places, fighting industrial polluters and manufacturers of toxic products, and strengthening the legal framework for transitioning to a clean energy country.
Natural History Museum
“The Natural History Museum establishes a space for looking at science. Such a space is necessary because science is under attack on multiple fronts. Capitalist enterprises, corporate philanthropists, and mainstream political lobbyists all look at science from the perspective of their particular interests. Capitalist enterprises fund scientific research for the sake of private profit. Scientists are faced with the option of either serving these interests or closing their labs. Corporations fund museums and exhibitions to enhance their own reputations. For them, science is little more than PR. Lobbyists try to reduce some scientific findings to opinions, while elevating other ones as they promote their privatizing agenda. Against all these tendencies, The Natural History Museum looks at science from the perspective of the common, the common knowledge at the core of science as well as the common nature science defends.”
The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law
The Center’s work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from ending mass incarceration to preserving Constitutional protection in the fight against terrorism. Part think tank, part advocacy group, part cutting-edge communications hub, we start with rigorous research. We craft innovative policies. And we fight for them — in Congress and the states, the courts, and in the court of public opinion.
The Fiscal Policy Institute
FPI works to increase public and governmental understanding of issues related to the fairness of New York’s tax system and the stability and adequacy of state and local public services. FPI publishes an annual analysis of the state’s fiscal situation and tax system, a biennial report on the state of working New York, and special reports and articles on a variety of related subjects. In addition, FPI maintains an active program of briefings and other public education activities.
FPI is part of two consortia of state-level organizations throughout the U.S. – the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (SFAI), coordinated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), coordinated by the Economic Policy Institute.
Good Jobs New York
Good Jobs First, the parent organization, is a national policy resource center for grassroots groups and public officials…timely, accurate information on best practices in state and local job subsidies, and on the many ties between smart growth and good jobs. Working with a broad spectrum of organizations, it provides research, training, communications and consulting assistance
New York Civil Liberties Union
One of the nation's foremost defenders of civil liberties and civil rights. The New York affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union has eight chapters and regional offices and nearly 50,000 members across New York State. NYCLU defends and promotes the principles and values embodied in the Bill of Rights, the U.S. Constitution, and the New York Constitution, including freedom of speech and religion, and the right to privacy, equality and due process of law through litigation, advocacy, public education and community organizing. Substantial research reports on various civil liberties issues are downloadable on the site
Community Service Society
A 170-year old social services organization that advocates for more than 3 million low-income New Yorkers. CSS produces in-depth research, policy recommendations, innovative program models, and litigates on issues such as affordable housing, health care, jobs, poverty, imprisonment.
Common Cause New York
Paid professional staff. It produces research and reports, and litigates on issues such as redistricting, ethics, government accountability, money in politics.
Citizen Action of New York
Grassroots membership organization that advances economic, racial and social justice across a broad range of issues. Eight chapters and affiliates in major cities across New York State. Paid professional organizing staff, local and statewide agendas and strategies that include organizing, legislative testimony, memoranda, and lobbying.
Communications Workers of America (CWA District 1)
Includes more than 175,000 members in 327 CWA local unions in New York, New Jersey, New England, and eastern Canada.
United Auto Workers: Region 9 -- western and central New York
Region 9A--eastern New York, including the New York City metropolitan area, the Hudson Valley and the Capital District area
Make the Road New York
Builds the power of Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation/advocacy, and legal services.
Service Employees International Union
With more than 2 million members, SEIU is the largest labor union in North America. Several of its affiliated unions are major players in New York politics
NAACP of New York
Civil rights advocacy in New York State.
New York Public Interest Research Group
New York State's largest student-directed research and advocacy organization with 20 campus chapters. Principal areas of concern are environmental protection, consumer rights, higher education, government reform, voter registration, mass transit and public health.
National Lawyers Guild of New York
Progressive coalition of lawyers and law students with chapters in several law schools in New York City.
A website about New York City politics, and about New York State, national and world politics from a New Yorker’s perspective. Independent bloggers. Links to various news sites and videos on Albany
League of Women Voters of New York State
50 local leagues throughout the state registering New Yorkers to vote and educating voters on local and state issues. We are regular observers at the meetings of the State Board of Elections commissioners in Albany, and at the New York City Board of Elections.
Advocates for equitable participation and transparency in the electoral process. Legislative agendas have consistently included improving election processes to extend, encourage and protect voting, including paperless and Election Day registration, and early voting better ballot design, and a single June primary
New York League of Conservation Voters
The only statewide environmental organization in New York that fights for clean water, clean air, renewable energy and open space through political action. It publishes an annual statewide policy agenda, evaluates and endorses elected officials, and campaigns for passage of legislation.
Vote Smart's mission is to provide free, factual, unbiased information on candidates
and elected officials. It reports on performance evaluations from all special interest groups who provide them.
The Hedge Clippers are working to expose the mechanisms hedge funds and billionaires use to influence government and politics in order to expand their wealth, influence and power. We’re exposing the collateral damage billionaire-driven politics inflicts on our communities, our climate, our economy and our democracy. We’re calling out the politicians that do the dirty work billionaires demand, and we’re calling on all Americans to stand up for a government and an economy that works for all of us, not just the wealthy and well-connected.
The project is supported by the Strong Economy for All Coalition, a coalition of labor unions and community groups working to fight income inequality in New York and around the country.
This short excerpt from the introduction to a recent posting illustrates:
The eleven pension systems studied received absolutely no benefit from their investments in hedge funds, with high fees eating up all of the returns and stated investment strategies failing to pan out.
The report finds that pension investments in hedge funds really turn out to be a transfer of wealth from hard-working public employees to greedy billionaire hedge fund managers.
And here, because we can’t resist, is a pull-no-punches, graphic presentation of the corrupting influence of concentrated wealth in Albany with a particular focus on Governor Andrew Cuomo.
An outstanding media watchdog. In addition to the site, it publishes a newsletter, “Extra.” This brief excerpt, which we selected at random from one of many pieces in a December Extra (Vol.28, N0.10) gives you the idea.
From Hoax to Fox to Trump to NBC
“Fox News’ Sean Hannity (10/19/15) told….Jeb Bush that ‘the president said he’s going to bring in 250,000 refugees into this country.’ The next day Hannity gave the same statistic to Trump: ‘This president has committed to nearly 250,000 coming to America. That tells me we’re---we have a pre-9/11 mindset again.’
What was Hannity’s source for the remarkable claim? Poliitifact (10/26/15) could find only one possible source: the joke website Real News Right Now, which featured that story in September along with reports like Vatican City Conducts ‘Successful’ Nuclear Test and Joe the Plumber Caught Trying to Enter North Korea.
The same day Politifact pointed out that Hannity’s claim derived from a hoax website, Trump offered it to NBC’s Matt Lauer at a televised town hall (10/26/15; Media Matters, (10/27/15) as a reason to be fearful of immigrants: ‘We have a president that said 3,000, then it was 5,000, then it was 10,000—now he wants to bring in 250,000 people who nobody even knows who they are…This could be the greatest Trojan horse of all time.’
Lauer raised no questions about Trump’s remarkable made-up statistic.”
The Intercept, launched in 2014 by Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill, is dedicated to producing fearless, adversarial journalism. We believe journalism should bring transparency and accountability to powerful governmental and corporate institutions, and our journalists have the editorial freedom and legal support to pursue this mission. Pierre Omidyar, eBay’s founder, provides the bulk of the financing.
Famed investigative journalist, Amy Goodman and her team spotlight corporate and governmental abuses of power.
Corporate Accountability International
Global corporate malfeasance watchdog.
Editorially independent project of the Center for American Progress. Substantial, progressively-oriented content across a broad range of issues.
New Economic Perspectives
Policy advice and economic analysis from a group of professional economists, legal scholars, and financial market practitioners led by William Black. We started this blog in order to weigh in on the serious challenges facing the global economy following the financial meltdown in 2007. We aim to provide an accurate description of the cause(s) of the current meltdown as well as some fresh ideas about how policymakers — here and abroad — should address the continued weakness in their economies. Our approach, which has been dubbed “Modern Money Theory” or “The Kansas City Approach,” builds on the work of Abba P. Lerner, John Maynard Keynes, Hyman P. Minsky, Wynne Godley and other important figures of the past. Above all, we are careful to provide analyses and policy recommendations that are applicable under a modern, fiat money system.
Center for Economic and Policy Research
Co-directed by economists Dean Baker and Mark Weisbrod, CEPR analyzes and makes accessible the dominant economic trends in the US and world economy, and translates their political and social implications.
The Corporate Research Project
An affiliate of Good Jobs First, this is a useful resource for learning how to search corporate malfeasance generally, and for the misdeeds of particular corporations. Assists community, environmental and labor organizations in researching companies and industries. Our focus is on identifying information that can be used to advance corporate accountability campaigns.
- producing unique research tools
- carrying out research projects, especially corporate and industry dossiers, for activist organizations and
- training activists in corporate research techniques.
Our research tools include:
- Violation Tracker, the first wide-ranging database on corporate misconduct.
- Corporate Rap Sheets, detailed dossiers on some of the worst corporate actors.
- Guide to Strategic Corporate Research, an exhaustive guide to online sources.
- Dirt Diggers Digest, a weekly blog on corporate misconduct and how to research it.
A project of the Center for Media and Democracy, which conducts in-depth investigations into corruption and the undue influence of corporations on media and democracy.
Oil Change International
A research, communication, and advocacy organization focused on exposing the true costs of fossil fuels and facilitating the coming transition towards clean energy. We focus on the fossil fuel industry because we view the production and consumption of oil, gas and coal as sources of global warming, human rights abuses, war, national security concerns, corporate globalization, and increased inequality. We also see fossil fuel industry’s interests behind every major barrier to a clean energy transition.
Focused on corporate malfeasance and profiteering around the world.
Project on Government Oversight (POGO)
Founded in 1981, POGO originally worked to expose outrageously overpriced military spending. In 1990 it expanded its mission, and now investigates waste, fraud, and abuse throughout the federal government. It conducts independent research and works with whistleblowers and other insiders.
Right Wing Watch
A project of People for the American Way, it monitors and reports on the right wing. Our researchers monitor dozens of broadcasts, emails and websites, and use their expertise on right-wing movements to analyze and distill that information for the general public.
Who / What / Why
Investigative journalism. Led by Russ Baker, author of Family of Secrets: The Bush Dynasty, America’s Invisible Government and the Secret History of the Last Fifty Years.
“I started WhoWhatWhy because I was tired of the cynicism, self-interest, and cowardice that I witnessed in the news media. In addition to producing rigorous investigative reporting, we seek to further the long-term survival and betterment of the news industry as a whole….We pair senior reporters who have decades of experience with dedicated young journalists new to the field. We facilitate the transfer of values, methods and culture as our talented and varied investigators shape an improved and adaptive form of journalism to fit our times.”
Too Much Online
Led by veteran labor journalist Sam Pizzigati, its focus is on Income and wealth inequality. Very good blog content. Project of the Institute for Policy Studies.
Institute for Policy Studies
As Washington’s first progressive multi-issue think tank, the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) has served as a policy and research resource for visionary social justice movements for over four decades — from the anti-war and civil rights movements in the 1960s to the peace and global justice movements of the last decade. Some of the greatest progressive minds of the 20th and 21st centuries have found a home at IPS, starting with the organization’s founders, Richard Barnet and Marcus Raskin. IPS scholars have included such luminaries as Arthur Waskow, Gar Alperovitz, Saul Landau, Bob Moses, Rita Mae Brown, Barbara Ehrenreich, Roger Wilkins and Orlando Letelier.
Brave New Films
Robert Greenwald, founder and president, is an award-winning television, feature film and documentary filmmaker. A premier, progressive documentary filmmaker, making films and videos on a broad range of progressive issues.
Through films and campaigns, Brave New Films will work with partners to educate and mobilize doctors, teachers, students, workers, communities of color, college campuses and many more in the fight for a country where Americans’ lives and safety are not endangered by companies and politicians putting profits over people’s lives.
Crooks and Liars
The Real News
Credible and informative video news and analysis. The Real News Network (TRNN) is a non-profit, view-supported daily video-news and documentary service. We don’t accept advertising, and we don’t accept government or corporate funding. TRNN is sustained by viewer donations and earned revenue.
Since 2007, we have produced more than 7,000 stories that have been viewed more than 100 million times. The next phase of development is the move to television. We will compete with cable news for an audience in the millions.
Launched in May 2004, Media Matters for America put in place, for the first time, the means to systematically monitor a cross section of print, broadcast, cable, radio, and Internet media outlets for conservative misinformation - news or commentary that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda - every day, in real time.
Award-winning news magazine and online community that creates original journalism and amplifies the best of hundreds of other independent media sources. AlterNet’s aim is to inspire action and advocacy on the environment, human rights and civil liberties, social justice, media, health care issues, and more.
Since its inception in 1998, AlterNet.org has grown dramatically to keep pace with the public demand for independent news. We provide free online content to millions of readers, serving as a reliable filter, keeping our vast audience well-informed and engaged, helping them to navigate a culture of information overload and providing an alternative to the commercial media onslaught. Our aim is to stimulate, inform, and instigate.
Founded on May 26, 2002, Daily Kos is the premier online political community with 2.5 million unique visitors per month and a quarter of a million registered users. It is at once a news organization, community, and activist hub. Among luminaries posting diaries on the site are President Jimmy Carter, Senator Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, and dozens of other senators, congressmen, and governors. Even more exciting than that, however, are the hundreds of thousands of regular Americans that have used Daily Kos to shape a political world once the exclusive domain of the rich, connected, and powerful.
Cyber the Vote
Inform, enlighten, and encourage discussion about online voting in the United States.
Online voting systems produce flawless election results. Election returns can be discerned in minutes rather than months, at lower cost to the taxpayer. Elections tallied by digital voting methods rarely result in legal disputes….We must demand elections that can be well-represented. We must demand elections that are convenient and inclusive, as well as reliable.
We must Cyber The Vote.
Founded in late 2012, Occupy Democrats is a political organization and news website that provides a new counterbalance to the Republican Tea Party. The Occupy Movement changed the national conversation around the issue of class and inequality, but unlike the Tea Party, it failed to achieve legislative victories. Our aim is to create a more equal society for all by working with progressives, President Obama & the Democratic Party!
Ballotpedia is the online encyclopedia of American politics and elections. Our goal is to inform people about politics by providing accurate and objective information about politics at all levels of government. Ballotpedia's articles are 100 percent written by our professional staff and a small group of guest editors. All content written by our guest editors is reviewed and fact-checked by our staff.
Our content includes information on government officials and the offices they hold, political issues and public policy, elections, candidates, and the influencers of politics. All Ballotpedia content must be neutral, accurate, and verifiable. Ballotpedia currently has over 210,000 encyclopedic articles.
ThinkProgress is non-partisan, progressive and accurate. We believe the best way to advance progressive values is to accurately and thoroughly report on what is happening in America and the world.