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INSTITUTE FOR AMERICA`S FUTURE (IAF) Printer Friendly Page

Left-Wing Radicalism In the Church: The Catholic Campaign for Human Development (pdf)
By Matthew Vadum
September 2009

 


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  • Think tank
  • Sister organization of Campaign for America's Future



The Institute for America’s Future (IAF) was co-founded in 1999 by: (a) Robert Borosage, who previously served as Director of the Institute for Policy Studies and founded the Progressive Majority Political Action Committee; and (b) Roger Hickey, who co-founded the Economic Policy Institute and was the Media Director for the National Center for Economic Alternatives.

IAF participates in all the initiatives of its sister organization, Campaign for America’s Future (CAF). These include:

(a) Healthcare for All, an effort to establish a system of socialized medicine for all residents of the United States

(b) Revitalizing Education: This campaign supports increased government funding for: universal pre-school care; health and nutritional programs for young children; Head Start programs; federal school construction and maintenance; hiring more teachers and paying them higher salaries; universal access to after-school programs; and grants and loans for college students. 

(c) Accountable Congress: This initiative consists of "unapologetic and sustained campaigns to expose [Republicans'] corruption and make them accountable to their constituents."

(d) Energy Independence: The centerpiece of this campaign is the CAF-created Apollo Alliance, a coalition of labor, environmental, and social justice groups professing a commitment to the development of “good jobs and energy independence.” United by their belief that America is a chief source of worldwide “environmental disruption, rising social inequity, and … fundamentalist anger,” Apollo Alliance’s endorsing organizations and partners include ACORN, Greenpeace, the League of Conservation Voters, the National Wildlife Federation, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Rainforest Action Network, the Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists. Apollo Alliance’s National Steering Committee and National Advisory Board include, among others, Julian Bond of the NAACP, Robert Borosage, Gerry Hudson of the Service Employees International Union, former U.S. Representative (D-Illinois) Jesse Jackson Jr., and Carl Pope of the Sierra Club. Apollo Alliance has also received strong support from former New York Democrat Hillary Clinton, and from the socialist Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders

(e) Straight Talk: IAF and CAF produce online and print media “designed to serve up ammunition to progressives who have the opportunity to challenge the grip that the right has had on our imaginations and our policies over the past quarter century.” 

(f) Each year, IAF and CAF hold a conference titled “Take Back America,” which the sister organizations describe as “a catalyst for building the infrastructure to ensure that the voice of the progressive majority is heard.” In 2005, prominent speakers at this conference included Howard Dean, John Edwards, Arianna Huffington, Jesse Jackson, Bill Moyers, and Antonio Villaraigosa. IAF and CAF credit “Take Back America 2006” with helping to secure Democratic victories in that year's midterm congressional elections. Participants in the 2006 event included Hillary Clinton, Barbara Ehrenreich, Russ Feingold, John Kerry, Barbara Lee, Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Bernie Sanders, Jan SchakowskyJohn Sweeney, and Maxine Waters. Topping the agenda for CAF’s “Take Back America 2007” event were the issues of “affordable education and health care for all”; “the right to join a union”; and “pushing for a vote to get U.S. troops out of the middle of the civil war in Iraq.”

(g) Protecting Social Security: By "educat[ing] the public" about Republicans' alleged desire to deprive senior citizens of their Social Security benefits, this IAF program seeks to discredit President Bush's push for the partial privatization of Social Security -- where workers could invest part of their taxes into stocks and bonds to help their retirement funds grow. In IAF's calculus, privatization would be “the real Social Security crisis.” 

In 1998 IAF served as the principal organizer of the now-defunct New Century Alliance for Social Security (NCASS), an umbrella of leftist groups that collaborated to “to protect Social Security from schemes that ‘privatize’ America’s retirement system by reducing guaranteed benefits to fund private investment accounts.” Signers of the NCASS Statement of Principles included Julian Bond, Heather Booth, Kenneth Cook, Marian Wright Edelman, Peter Edelman, Mike Farrell, Heidi Hartmann, Patricia Ireland, Jesse Jackson, Steven Kest, Norman Lear, Kweisi Mfume, Robert Reich, Susan Shaer, Eleanor Smeal, Andrew Stern, and John Sweeney.

In 2005, IAF helped to launch Americans United to Protect Social Security (AUPSS), an initiative of labor, business, and social justice groups working to derail privatization efforts. In the aftermath of President Bush’s 2005 State of the Union address (where he discussed his privatization proposal), AUPSS staged 249 events in 45 states characterizing the President’s plan as dangerous to the financial well-being of senior citizens. Assisting IAF in founding AUPSS were the AFL-CIO, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Moveon.org, and USAction.

Unlike its sister organization (CAF), the Institute for America's Future is technically a “non-political” think tank, and thus the contributions it receives are tax-deductible for its private donors. Among the foundations that support IAF are the Arca Foundation and the Streisand Foundation.

 

 

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