Our Work

The Center for Popular Democracy works to create equity, opportunity and a dynamic democracy in partnership with high-impact base-building organizations, organizing alliances, and progressive unions. CPD strengthens our collective capacity to envision and win an innovative pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda.

  • Strengthening Public Education

    CPD is committed to ensuring that all children have access to strong public schools that provide high-quality education, address the full-range of student needs, engage parents, teachers and community members in decision-making and are both transparent and accountable to the communities they serve. To this end, CPD is provides support to grassroots organizations in cities across the country that are fighting for stronger, more effective public schools.

  • Advancing Immigrant Rights

    Immigrants face persistent and deep challenges, ranging from punitive federal immigration enforcement measures that tear apart families to systematic inequalities in the provision of services and legal protections at a state and local level.

    By working in partnership with innovative community-based organizations, local and state networks, and progressive unions across the country, CPD is confronting these inequities by:

    • pursuing a robust immigrant integration agenda at the local and state level by to protecting the rights of immigrant residents , at the state and local level, in the areas of labor, civil rights, language access and access to legal services and educational opportunities;.
    • supporting the national campaign for comprehensive federal immigration reform;
    • advancing state and local campaigns to challenge destructive federal immigration enforcement policies; and
    • exploring new strategies for expanding access to legal services for immigrants and connecting service-delivery to community organizing.

  • Building the Capacity of the Field

    It is essential that we build the strength and capacity of democratic, base-building organizations working for equity, opportunity and racial justice. But, sustaining community-led organizing, winning ever more ambitious victories and “scaling up” work to maximize its impact requires sophisticated management, fundraising, technology, work-planning and evaluation, communications strategies and infrastructure. In addition to strengthening organizations on the ground, it is also essential to build new alliances, coalitions and organizations collaborations to fill gaps in the social justice landscape. CPD works directly with community organizations to increase their capacity, and to coordinate and anchor cross-organizational infrastructure development.

  • Promoting Racial Justice

    Changes in the racial and ethnic makeup of the nation's population demand policies that account for the needs of communities of color as well as the increasingly central role such communities will play in driving economic growth in coming years. A “new majority” of people of color are displaying electoral and political power, and reinvigorating the movement to advance a proactive racial justice agenda at the local, state and federal levels.  The Center for Popular Democracy provides critical policy and organizing support to base-building organizations across the country to ensure that the growing strength of this new majority is solidified, expanded, and harnessed to achieve tangible improvements in working people’s lives. We believe the theory behind our approach is that full equity for communities of color can only be achieved if, as a progressive movement, we replicate our success aggressively in order to effectively bring them to scale and generate new, cutting-edge policy ideas that expand the scope of our demands for change and equity.

  • We have seen growing challenges facing our democracy—restrictive voting laws, criminalization of third party registration, increased barriers to the ballot box, and corporations exerting an ever-larger influence on who wins elections. In this political context, our work to strengthen democracy and develop an electoral system that is open and accessible requires we use all available tools to drive impact—including innovative policy research and development, grassroots mobilization, and coalition-building.

Our Campaigns

Across the country, a growing number of municipalities have begun to issue “municipal ID cards” to their residents. These municipal identification cards typically feature the photo and address of...

Nationwide there is an unprecedented opportunity to move a pro-worker, pro-immigrant and pro-racial justice agenda.  Doing so, however, will require deep and sustained partnerships among people of...

The Obama administration detained and deported more than 400,000 people in 2012, separating countless families, funneling thousands of children into the foster care system, and hurting local...

CPD is supporting the national movement for comprehensive immigration reform through targeted campaigns in two important states: New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Our staff have been focused on...

Over the past 40 years, the U.S. economy has failed too many workers. Millions of middle-class jobs have been replaced by jobs that offer too few hours, too low pay, and no benefits. Public policy...

Great public schools that prepare young people for long-term success and active citizenship are at the heart of our democracy. But underinvestment, attacks on teaching professionals, high-stakes...

Every day in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York, thousands of vehicles roll into car washes. These are the livery cars that shuttle Wall Street executives between meetings, the taxis that take...

In November 2012, CPD helped to create Local Progress, a national municipal policy network for progressive elected officials from cities around the country. Local Progress now has over 300 members...

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