A partner organization of the Center for American Progress, the Moving Ideas Network (MIN) is a coalition of more than 250 leftwing activist organizations working in unison to develop and disseminate progressive policy and advocacy recommendations. The Network serves as an Internet clearinghouse of information, where member organizations can post policy reports, news of upcoming events, and strategy proposals for grassroots change. MIN’s goal is to become a “one-stop home for nonprofits and progressives alike.”
MIN was established in 1995 as an Internet project of the liberal magazine The American Prospect, whose mission is to foster the creation of “a just society” by countering the “fear-mongering” of “contemporary conservatism.” MIN initially served as an extension of the magazine, providing a vehicle through which its members could instantly publicize their views and activities without having to wait for the print magazine’s quarterly publication.
Members of MIN include a wide range of liberal, progressive, and radical groups, among which are: ACORN; The American Prospect; the Annie E. Casey Foundation; the Brennan Center for Justice; the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; the Center for Economic and Policy Research; the Children’s Defense Fund; Citizen Action (Iowa, New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and Michigan); the Coalition on Human Needs; Code Pink for Peace; Democracy Rising; the Feminist Majority Foundation; Free Press; Greenpeace USA; the Institute for Policy Studies; the Institute for Women’s Policy Research; Media Matters for America; the Midwest Academy; the Migration Policy Institute; NARAL Pro-Choice America; the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty; the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; the National Council of La Raza; the National Organization for Women (New Jersey); the New Organizing Institute; Nonviolent Peaceforce; Peace Action; Peace Majority; People For the American Way; Planned Parenthood; Political Research Associates; the Progressive States Network; Public Citizen; the Sentencing Project; USAction; and Women’s Action for New Directions.
In addition to providing a Web-based platform for its member organizations, MIN also publishes its own special reports on a wide array of topics. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, for instance, MIN released a report citing global warming as the cause of powerful hurricanes, and using the tragedy in New Orleans as a rallying cry for environmental activism. MIN has also produced reports condemning President Bush’s nomination of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court and denouncing the USA Patriot Act, in both instances citing threats to civil liberties.
Other notable MIN reports include the following:
AIDS in the United States (Feb. 2, 2007): “In the US … more than half of all new [AIDS] cases reported each year are among African American individuals. … This [is] a disturbing commentary on the social realities of racial politics and racism in the US. Called ‘the disease that doesn’t discriminate,’ AIDS is becoming emblematic of a society that, whether institutionally or irrationally, intentionally or inadvertently, does. The prevalence of AIDS in the black community in the US speaks to widely acknowledged deficiencies in the black population’s access to basic resources like education, health care, and sufficient employment. It has also been branded as a piercing reflection of political disenfranchisement and marginalization by mainstream society of poor blacks especially.”
Gay Rights Following the Midterm Election (December 18, 2006): “… 45 states in total now have amendments or laws against gay marriages. Three states, Vermont, Connecticut, and just recently New Jersey, instated civil unions, and domestic partnerships are available in California, Maine, and Hawaii. The Human Rights Campaign [HRC] … tallied the election of over two hundred ‘pro-equality’ candidates. HRC President Joe Solmonese observed that conservatives seemed to gain less headway in the polls by opposing gay initiatives than they’ve been able to before. Solmonese and colleagues have characterized this as a signal for [them] to take the gay agenda from defensive to proactive.”
Living Wage vs. Minimum Wage (November 1, 2006): “With all of the debate recently over raising the minimum wage, more needs to be said about requiring employers to pay a ‘living wage.’ … A living wage is considered to be a rate of pay for a 40-hour week that allows the wage earner to afford ‘housing, food, utilities, transport, health care and a certain amount of recreation.’”
The Editor-in-Chief of the MIN website is Alan Rosenblatt, who also serves as Executive Director of the Internet Advocacy Center and works with the New Organizing Institute (an initiative of MoveOn.org). Attesting to MIN’s role as a campaign tool for the political Left, Rosenblatt states: “[T]he Moving Ideas Network … allows any organization’s activists, as well as staff, to connect with many organizations and activists with related and reinforcing agendas. … [T]he deeper our cross-organizational connections, the more likely our collective of organizations and activists can transform into a social movement, which we must do if we want to elect progressive officials who implement progressive policies that can effect real social change.”
As a project of The American Prospect, MIN initially received indirect funding from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Ford Foundation, the JEHT Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, George Soros‘s Open Society Institute, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Schumann Center for Media and Democracy, and the Surdna Foundation. In early 2006, The American Prospect relinquished control of MIN, and the Network is now being maintained by Care2.com, a “green living, health, and human rights website.” Like Moving Ideas, Care2.com provides a virtual area where individuals and organizations can collaborate on progressive projects. Care2.com claims to be the largest “online community for people who want to make a difference,” boasting a membership of more than 5 million online affiliates.