For-profit

Metropolitan Group

Website:

www.metgroup.com/%20

Location:

Portland, OR

Formation:

1989

Type:

Consulting Firm

Founder:

Eric Friedenwald-Fishman

Metropolitan Group is a public relations firm that services many left-of-center organizations, including Fair Fight, the Kresge Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Earthjustice, Interfaith Power & Light, Trust for America’s Health, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Power to Decide. [1] [2] Metropolitan Group conducts audience research, provides branding advice, and designs digital content and communications campaigns to help its clients spread their messages. [3] Metropolitan Group has also received contracts from multiple federal agencies, notably the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the General Services Administration. [4]

Metropolitan Group’s leaders have years of experience working for left-of-center causes, especially environmentalist causes. Eric Friedenwald-Fishman, the founder of Metropolitan Group, has publicly called for “retrofitting every factory with pollution scrubbers, accelerating the clean and renewable energy transition, and retrofitting buildings to remove toxins and increase energy efficiency.” Friedenwald-Fishman also asserted that the United States has “systemic racism and a long history of using racist ideas to perpetuate power.” [5]

Metropolitan Group also runs a charitable foundation, though the foundation is a small organization that reports less than $50,000 in gross receipts each year. [6]

Founding and Leadership

Eric Friedenwald-Fishman founded Metropolitan Group in 1989. [7] Metropolitan Group is based in Portland, Oregon, and it also has offices in San Francisco, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. [8] The leadership of Metropolitan Group has years of experience working for left-of-center causes, frequently pursuing left-wing environmentalist goals, and the Group has publicly committed itself to left-of-center agendas. In 2020, Friedenwald-Fishman called for “retrofitting every factory with pollution scrubbers, accelerating the clean and renewable energy transition, and retrofitting buildings to remove toxins and increase energy efficiency.” Friedenwald-Fishman also asserted that the United States has “systemic racism and a long history of using racist ideas to perpetuate power.” [9]

Ezra Milchman, a senior executive vice-president at Metropolitan Group, previously worked as the CEO of the River Network, an environmentalist organization that received funding from left-of-center donors. Milchman also worked as the national director of the Land Trust Alliance. Milchman also previously worked for The Nature Conservancy, an environmentalist group that has received funding primarily from left-of-center donors, but also from some right-of-center donors. [10] The Nature Conservancy is a client of Metropolitan Group. [11]

Kevin Kirkpatrick, a senior executive vice president at Metropolitan Group, started his career working in the office of former U.S. Representative Leon E. Panetta (D-CA). [12] [13]

Vernice Miller-Travis, an executive vice president at Metropolitan Group, previously worked as the program officer for environmental justice at the Ford Foundation, a grantmaking organization that provides funding to left-of-center organizations. She also worked as a director for the left-wing Natural Resources Defense Council. Miller-Travis was also a founder of We ACT for Environmental Justice. [14]

Beth Strachan, an executive vice president at Metropolitan Group, previously worked for the Earth Island Institute, a left-of-center environmentalist organization. [15] [16]

Garret Brennan, a vice president at Metropolitan Group, previously worked for the Packard Foundation, a grantmaking organization that primarily gives funding to left-of-center environmentalist causes. [17]

Political Activism

Metropolitan Group provides strategic communications services to multiple left-of-center organizations, including the the Kresge Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, Earthjustice, Interfaith Power & Light, Trust for America’s Health, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and Power to Decide. [18] [19] Metropolitan Group conducts audience research, provides branding advice, and helps design content and communication campaigns to help clients spread their agendas. [20]

Metropolitan Group worked as the communications partner for the launch of the Kresge Foundation’s Climate Change, Health and Equity (CCHE) Initiative. [21] The Kresge Foundation is a left-of-center advocacy and philanthropic nonprofit organization. [22] The CCHE Initiative funded local environmentalist groups across the United States. [23]

When working with Power to Decide, a pro-abortion organization, the Metropolitan Group conducted research about women in African American and Latino communities and their perceptions about access to abortion. Metropolitan Group then guided the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in rebranding itself as Power to Decide. Metropolitan Group helped design digital content, including a website, for the organization’s new brand. [24] [25]

In 2020, Metropolitan Group worked with Fair Fight to design advertisements about voting in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. [26] Founded by Georgia Democratic politician Stacey Abrams, Fair Fight is a left-of-center organization that claims to be opposing voter suppression, though the organization actually funnels millions of dollars to Democratic organizations. [27] [28]

Metropolitan Group also receives contracts from federal agencies to provide research and communication services. These agencies include the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, NASA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the General Services Administration. [29] [30]

References

  1. “A Few Of Our Clients.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/about/. ^
  2. “32 Years of amplifying voices for change: 2020 Annual Letter to Stakeholders.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Metropolitan-Group-32nd-Annual-Letter-to-Stakeholders.pdf. ^
  3. “Services.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/services/. ^
  4. “Metropolitan Group L.L.C.” Govtribe.com. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://govtribe.com/vendors/metropolitan-group-l-dot-l-dot-c-dot-3vfk3. ^
  5. Friedenwald-Fishman, Eric. “The Time Is Now.” July 29, 2020. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TheTimeIsNow.pdf. ^
  6. Metropolitan Group Form 990N. Accessed May 14, 2021.  https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/273768148. ^
  7. Feldman, Mark. “Making Change: Eric Friedenwald-Fishman on building public will.” March 5, 2013. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/sbo/2013/03/making-change-eric-friedenwald-fishman.html. ^
  8. “Metropolitan Group.” LinkedIn.com. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/company/metropolitan-group/about/. ^
  9. Friedenwald-Fishman, Eric. “The Time Is Now.” July 29, 2020. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/TheTimeIsNow.pdf. ^
  10. “Ezra Milchman.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/our-team/ezra-milchman/. ^
  11. “32 Years of amplifying voices for change: 2020 Annual Letter to Stakeholders” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Metropolitan-Group-32nd-Annual-Letter-to-Stakeholders.pdf. ^
  12. “Kevin T. Kirkpatrick.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/our-team/kevin-t-kirkpatrick/. ^
  13. “Kevin T. Kirkpatrick.” LinkedIn.com. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-t-kirkpatrick-6861148/ ^
  14. “Vernice Miller-Travis.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/our-team/vernice-miller-travis/. ^
  15. “Beth Strachan.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/our-team/beth-strachan/. ^
  16. “Earth Island Institute.” Earth Island. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.earthisland.org/. ^
  17. “Garett Brennan.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/our-team/garett-brennan/. ^
  18. “A Few Of Our Clients.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/about/. ^
  19. 32 Years of amplifying voices for change: 2020 Annual Letter to Stakeholders” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Metropolitan-Group-32nd-Annual-Letter-to-Stakeholders.pdf. ^
  20. “Services.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/services/. ^
  21. “32 Years of amplifying voices for change: 2020 Annual Letter to Stakeholders.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Metropolitan-Group-32nd-Annual-Letter-to-Stakeholders.pdf. ^
  22. “About Us.” The Kresge Foundation. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://kresge.org/about-us/. ^
  23. McLaughlin, Katharine. “$8.4 million in new grants to combat climate change, improve health in low-income communities.” The Kresge Foundation. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://kresge.org/news-views/8-4-million-in-new-grants-to-combat-climate-change-improve-health-in-low-income-communities/. ^
  24. “Protecting opportunity for young people by ensuring reproductive freedom.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/our-work/case-studies/protecting-opportunity-for-young-people-by-ensuring-reproductive-freedom/. ^
  25. LeDuc, Maggi. “The State of Abortion Access in America.” Power to Decide. Accessed May 16, 2021.  https://powertodecide.org/news/state-abortion-access-america. ^
  26. “32 Years of amplifying voices for change: 2020 Annual Letter to Stakeholders.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Metropolitan-Group-32nd-Annual-Letter-to-Stakeholders.pdf ^
  27. “Our Story.” Fair Fight. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://fairfight.com/about-fair-fight. ^
  28. Williams, Vanessa. “National LGBTQ group teams up with Stacey Abrams on voting rights initiative.” The Washington Post. September 28, 2019. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/09/28/national-lgbtq-group-teams-up-with-stacey-abrams-voting-rights-initiative/. ^
  29. “Metropolitan Group L.L.C.” Govtribe.com. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://govtribe.com/vendors/metropolitan-group-l-dot-l-dot-c-dot-3vfk3. ^
  30. “32 Years of amplifying voices for change: 2020 Annual Letter to Stakeholders.” Metropolitan Group. Accessed May 14, 2021. https://www.metgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Metropolitan-Group-32nd-Annual-Letter-to-Stakeholders.pdf. ^
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Metropolitan Group


Portland, OR