Founded in 2005 by Democratic Party operative and strategist Simon Rosenberg, the California-based New Policy Institute (NPI) is a project of the Tides Center. NPI describes itself as a “non-partisan think tank” whose mission is to “imagine and build a 21st century America capable of meeting the challenges of our time.” Toward that end, NPI brings to bear “research, education and activities”—most notably “in the globalization and immigration arenas”—to promote its perspectives to the American people.
In NPI's calculus, political success in present-day America is largely a function of how well candidates and parties can: (a) “master the new media and technology tools that are changing the way people communicate with one another,” and (b) “understand and engage the new and changing demographics of America.”
In 2005, NPI hired the founder of Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, to help the think tank disseminate its message to the broadest possible audience. In an interview with the congressional newspaper The Hill, Zuniga stated that NPI's efforts would be directed toward “building a Democratic Party that is focused on winning.”
* Adelante '08: This project was launched in 2008 to “mobilize” Hispanic citizens, “particularly first-time voters,” to go to the polls and cast their ballots on Election Day. The rationale behind this campaign was NPI's recognition of the fact that Hispanics constitute “the fastest growing community in America” and, as such, are a demographic whose support will be key to any candidate's or party's future political success.
* The Acceleration Agenda: Lauding the Obama administration for its “investments in education and workforce, broadband, clean energy and so forth,” this program calls for “growth, job creation and shared prosperity” to be achieved by “creating opportunities for entrepreneurs and new businesses to find financing, lifting up new clean economy markets, and building new networks to connect innovators, suppliers and customers across traditional geographies.” With regard to “clean economy markets,” for instance, NPI in August 2012 sponsored a series of forums on “zero-emission vehicles.”
* Immigration Reform & The Census: Lamenting that “the debate over immigration has been contaminated with divisive rhetoric of intolerance which has created hostile environments for immigrants around the country,” NPI calls for “comprehensive immigration reform.” The hallmarks of such reform would include “enhance[d] enforcement on the border and in the workplace”; “a practical system to better manage the future flow of legal immigrants”; and “a process to provide legal status and a path to citizenship for the undocumented immigrants currently in the country.”
* 21st Century Border Initiative: “Through a new and better strategy, more resources and greater cooperation with our Mexican partners, the border region is much safer today. Crime is down, illegal migration has slowed, seizures of illegal drugs, guns and bulk cash has soared, all while trade and legal border crossings have increased.”
* Global Mobile: Noting that the world's 4 billion-plus mobile-phone owners are in essence connected within “a single communications network” with ever-expanding Internet capability, NPI seeks to target them with audio and video messages designed to strengthen the progressive movement.