Accelerator for America (AFA)



Azusa, CA

Tax ID:


Tax-Exempt Status:


Budget (2021):

Revenue: $992,409
Expenses: $1,998,037
Assets: $2,490,765


Left-of-center policy think tank

Executive Director:

Mary Ellen Wiederwohl

Budget (2022):

Revenue: $2,101,768
Expenses: $1,761,932
Net Assets: $2,594,764

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Accelerator for America (AFA) is a left-of-center public policy think tank and advocacy group founded in 2017 by then-Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D). The organization acts as a forum of local government officials and works on promoting public private partnerships and research and development regarding infrastructure and workforce development investment.

The organization is led by an advisory council comprised mostly of mayors and includes other individuals from the public, private, philanthropic, labor, non-profit, and academic sectors. The group’s economic development tools have been used to generate more than $40 billion in infrastructure funding and the group was praised by the Biden White House as one of several organizations and initiatives implementing the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Members of the advisory committee of the group include Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego (D), Mike Monroe of the North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU), and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg (D). 1 2


Accelerator for America was founded by then-Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti (D) as a stakeholder forum for mayors to connect with leaders in the private and labor-union sectors in order to bolster partnerships. The group was initially focused on two specific policy verticals: Transit and Infrastructure, and Economic Development. 3

AFA bills itself as the research and development arm of America’s cities and mayors, providing additional support to leaders on infrastructure and economic development issues by providing additional resource capacity, best practices, a network for idea sharing, strategic guidance, and technical assistance. Specific issues important to the organization include “neighborhood revitalization—increasing housing supply and affordability, rebuilding commercial corridors, small business support, access to capital, advising project owners, and identifying funding partners— workforce development initiatives, and ballot campaigns.” 4

AFA reports that from 2017 to 2023, the economic development tools it has created have led to municipalities securing over $40 billion in infrastructure funding independent of federal funds while also helping cities access federal funds including funding from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act/Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Inflation Reduction Act, and the CHIPS and Science Act. 5

AFA founded a lobbying arm, Accelerator for America Action, that proactively lobbies for infrastructure investments in cities, supporting left-of-center transit and other infrastructure-related ballot initiatives in cities including Austin, Phoenix, and Cincinnati. 6

AFA Action founded the United for Infrastructure campaign in 2022 as a project of AFA Action. 7


As of February 2024, programs related to infrastructure, housing, and economic development led by Accelerator for America include the Data for Housing Solutions program, funded by the Clinton Global Initiative; an economic stimulus report authored with the Brookings Institution and National Association of Counties; and the Honeywell Smart City Accelerator program created as a partnership between AFA and Honeywell. 8

AFA also authored an Economic Justice Action Plan for St. Louis to “implement the economic justice vision set forth by Mayor Tishaura Jones and the St. Louis community.” The plan has a $1 billion funding goal. 9

The group has also launched many workforce development programs such as a partnership between Accelerator for America and North America’s Building Trades Unions (NABTU) to expand pre-apprenticeship programs in cities across the country. 10

In 2023 the Biden Administration praised AFA as one of several left-of-center organizations “stepping in” to promote its “Investing in America and Climate Action” agenda, claiming that “Accelerator for America is providing technical assistance and capacity building to help local government and economic development leaders maximize this moment of new investment in infrastructure and climate action.” 11


  1. “Workforce Development.” Accelerator for America. Accessed February 11, 2024.
  2. “Accelerator for America.” Housing Innovation. Accessed February 11, 2024.
  3. “Accelerator for America.” Housing Innovation. Accessed February 11, 2024.
  4. “Accelerator for America.” Housing Innovation. Accessed February 11, 2024.
  5. “Accelerator for America.” Housing Innovation. Accessed February 11, 2024.
  6. “Home.” Accelerator for America Action. Accessed February 11, 2024.
  7. “Home.” Accelerator for America Action. Accessed February 11, 2024.
  8. “Economic Development.” Accelerator for America. Accessed February 11, 2024.
  9. “Economic Development.” Accelerator for America. Accessed February 11, 2024.
  10. “Workforce Development.” Accelerator for America. Accessed February 11, 2024.
  11. “FACT SHEET: White House Releases New Technical Assistance Resources to Help Communities Unlock Opportunities from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda.” The White House. September 13, 2023.
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: June 1, 2018

  • Available Filings

    Period Form Type Total revenue Total functional expenses Total assets (EOY) Total liabilities (EOY) Unrelated business income? Total contributions Program service revenue Investment income Comp. of current officers, directors, etc. Form 990
    2021 Dec Form 990 $992,409 $1,998,037 $2,490,765 $235,837 N $990,765 $0 $1,644 $185,472
    2020 Dec Form 990 $5,073,136 $2,183,488 $3,636,074 $375,518 N $5,067,964 $0 $5,172 $247,616
    2019 Dec Form 990 $1,939,285 $1,950,183 $857,206 $486,298 N $1,938,231 $0 $1,054 $178,487 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $810,309 $1,031,645 $458,819 $77,013 N $810,000 $0 $309 $188,989 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $957,555 $354,413 $634,308 $31,166 N $957,555 $0 $0 $120,000 PDF

    Accelerator for America (AFA)

    1171 E ALOSTA AVE SUITE 111
    Azusa, CA 91702-0000