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2013 Annual Report

2013 was an inspiring year for the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). Our work had significant impact catalyzing and supporting campaigns to promote dignity and opportunity for our nation’s workers, immigrant communities and people of color.

Download Our 2013 Annual Report

In January 2013, CPD had a staff of 12, working out of our New York office, supporting 45 projects and campaigns in a dozen states nationwide, providing policy, legal, organizing, strategy, technology and communications support. By January 1, 2014 we had grown threefold, to a staff of 40, with offices in New York and Washington and staff based in California, Illinois and Minnesota. We have built a very strong network of 11 national core partner organizations, 26 state core partner organizations and over 50 other partner organizations in 27 states. Together, we are now working on almost 200 projects and campaigns.

Much of this growth came about through CPD’s merger on January 1, 2014 with the Leadership Center for the Common Good. The merger of these two dynamic, innovative and growing organizations has allowed us to aggregate our capacities and build the strength, scale and reach we need to fight for the fair and just society we want to live in.

Importantly, 2013 also represented a major leap forward in our ability to make significant, game changing contributions to critical campaigns to promote a higher minimum wage and access to paid sick days, to end discriminatory stop and frisk policing tactics, to ensure a sound public education system, to challenge cruel immigration laws that separate families, and to expand participation in our democracy. We won new laws and policies that make a powerful difference in the well-being and safety of millions of low-income workers, immigrant families and people of color.

We are also working hard to strengthen the democratic, base-building organizations that are driving innovative campaigns in states and cities across the United States. We have built a dynamic capacity building team that is helping both emerging and established organizations to create the resilient, high-performing infrastructure they need to expand their impact.

While we are proud of the achievements of the past year, we are mindful of the enormity of the task ahead of us. Even as hundreds of thousands are helped by an improved minimum wage in one state, elsewhere tens of millions still struggle to support their families financially. The gap between the richest 1% and the rest of the nation is now greater than it was in 1928. The weak recovery has added more low-paying, irregular jobs, leaving working families desperately insecure, working ever longer hours to make ends meet. Economic inequality is matched by political inequality, as states continue an assault on the voting rights of immigrants and people of color and the federal government fails to reform our broken immigration system.
We can, and we must, do better.

There is plenty of reason for optimism. The growing strength of community organizations across the country and their ability to effect large scale, tangible change is inspiring. On important issues, such as raising the minimum wage or promoting immigrant opportunity, the success of local and state campaigns is changing the national narrative.

Equally, the rise of many of the nation’s largest cities as major drivers for progressive change is a cause for celebration. From Seattle to Pittsburgh, from San Diego to New York, progressives are leading the way, enacting policies the federal government has failed to act on. As cities move forward, they generate the upward pressure needed to refocus the national policy agenda. We are excited to be new and increasingly powerful contributors to this movement. We are inspired by our partners across the nation, and determined to build on the tremendous success of 2013 to win bigger, more powerful campaigns for justice in 2014 and beyond.


Ana María Archila, Andrew Friedman & Brian Kettenring
Co-Executive Directors, Center for Popular Democracy

Download Our 2013 Annual Report