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Open Society Foundations Pledge $20 Million to Support Green Infrastructure, Inclusive Economic Opportunity, and Democracy Reforms

Investments to bolster bold, immediate federal action

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Open Society Foundations will invest $20 million in progressive advocacy organizations advancing reforms to strengthen U.S. democracy, create a care-centered economy, address climate change and racial equity, provide a pathway to citizenship, and create millions of living-wage infrastructure jobs.

Most of this funding, via the Open Society Policy Center, the Foundations’ 501(c)(4) affiliate, will help grassroots organizing in support of policies included in the Biden administration’s American Jobs Plan and forthcoming American Families Plan.

These investments will also help support responses as the world continues to battle the COVID-19 public health crisis and address structural economic weaknesses and income inequality.

“The initiatives in the American Jobs Plan have deep and broad public support. But we’ve too often seen popular reforms get demonized before by partisans and special interests. We are not going to let that happen at this defining moment for our country," said Tom Perriello, the executive director of Open Society-U.S. "Facts don’t always win without real muscle behind making sure those facts get in front of the American people.”

“We want to enable grassroots organizations to engage the public on the need for Congress to go big, go bold, and go right away,” added Perriello, who oversees the Open Society Policy Center. “This is both a jobs agenda and a national unity agenda that delivers urgently needed results to people of all races, regions, and political views to rebuild a more inclusive and secure American dream.”

Open Society will invest across five “tables,” or coalitions of organizations seeking the strongest possible economic jobs package. The tables, mostly funded by the Open Society Policy Center, include:

  • The Care Economy: Care Can’t Wait is a coalition of groups supporting the expansion of paid leave, child care, and home and community-based care services for the aging and people with disabilities, to ensure a caring economy.
  • Infrastructure, Green Jobs and Racial Equity: The THRIVE table of the Green New Deal Network is a coalition of grassroots organizations; and labor, climate, and environmental justice groups. They are working to build a movement to pass local, state, and national policies that create millions of family-sustaining union jobs, ensure racial and gender equity, and take action on climate at the scale and scope the crisis demands.
  • Climate: Climate Power is a partnership with key movement and established environmental powerhouses. 
  • Immigration: We are Home Campaign, a multiracial, multiethnic, multigenerational coalition calling on the Biden administration and Congress to take immediate action to protect millions of immigrants who call this country home and end the cruelty of our interior detention and deportation system.
  • Real Recovery Now will support messaging and communications efforts across the elements of the Build Back Better package. The core partners include: Center for American Progress Action, Community Change Action, MoveOn, Care in Action, SEIU, the Roosevelt Institute, and the Working Families Party.

Open Society is working with other funders and donors to raise and spend over $125 million to demand passage of the boldest possible reforms to advance a more just and inclusive democracy and economy.

“We hope our commitment will encourage others in the donor community to come forward with the kind of large investments needed to seize this once-in-a-generation opportunity to make change as we help the country recover from the pandemic and repair our economy,” said Laleh Ispahani, managing director of Open Society-U.S.

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