Non-profit

Advance Native Political Leadership

Website:

advancenativepl.org/

Founder:

Chrissie Castro

Advance Native Political Leadership (ANPL) is a nonprofit organization which advocates for increased representation of Native Americans in public offices.

In July 2020, the Sandler Foundation announced that it would be donating $200 million to “racial justice groups” in response to the 2020 Black Lives Matter protests, and ANPL was one of the eight grantees named. The grantees were selected based on their ability to use the funding to advocate for policies aligned with Democratic ideals in battleground states and create a long-term constituency to support left-of-center policy goals. [1]

Background

Chrissie Castro founded ANLP in 2016 to promote Native American representation in elected and appointed offices throughout the United States. [2] Castro is a Navajo activist who co-led the movement to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples’ Day in Los Angeles. [3]

In October of 2016, ANPL released a 28-page report entitled “Addressing the Strengths, Structural Barriers and Opportunities to Getting Native Americans Into Elected Leadership” which evaluated the impact of the Native American population on American politics and explored strategies to help Native Americans reach public office. [4]

Despite the fact that Native Americans make up less than 2% of the U.S. population, ANPL has argued that the population has heavily influenced the outcomes of many local, state, and national elections. [5]

ANPL has also conducted population surveying among Native Americans, noting that there are 567 federally recognized and 460 unrecognized tribes who have “nation-to-nation relationships” with the United States federal government. ANPL also argues that from 2000 to 2010, the American Indian/Alaska Native population in the United States has increased from 4 million to 5.2 million citizens, an increase of roughly 30 percent. [6] ANPL has asserted that Native Americans are part of an emerging “minority majority” in the United States. [7]

Political Activity

ANPL uses mapping and interview methods to identify alleged structural barriers that lead to the underrepresentation of Native Americans in political office. [8] After identifying these barriers, ANPL seeks to create pathways to public office for the next generation of Native Americans. [9]

In 2020, ANPL partnered with the far-left blog Daily Kos to support what it called a “historic leap” to place Native Americans into political leadership positions as Democratic operatives and elected leaders as part of the Daily Kos “Connect! Unite! Act! initiative. [10]

Leadership

Chrissie Castro is the founder and project director for ANPL and a citizen of the Navajo Nation. [11] [12]

Castro has been involved in left-of-center organizing for years, especially in Los Angeles. Castro previously sat as vice chair of the Los Angeles City/County Native American Indian Commission. Castro also helped to lead a movement to redesignate Columbus Day as Indigenous Peoples Day in Los Angeles and advocated for the removal of the Columbus statue from the Los Angeles Grand Park. [13] Outside of Los Angeles, Castro launched the California Native Vote Project. [14]

Castro has also been involved in national left-of-center organizing work, cofounding Indigenous Women Rise and leading the indigenous women’s contingent at the Washington D.C. Women’s March in 2017. Castro also works with the Native Voice Network, a national network of Native American-led organizations, and was active in protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline. [15]

Prior to her work in organizing, Castro was a senior consultant for the Center for the Study of Social Policy and a member of the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Results Counts faculty. [16]

References

  1. Herndon, Astead W. “Progressive Donor Susan Sandler to Give $200 Million to Racial Justice Groups,” September 14, 2020. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/14/us/politics/Susan-Sandler-donation-racial-justice.html. ^
  2. Advanced Native Political Leadership. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://advancenativepl.org/ ^
  3. Who Are We. Emergent Fund. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://www.emergentfund.net/who-we-are ^
  4. Castro, Chrissi; Chino, Anathea; and Harris, Laura. “Addressing the Strengths, Structural Barriers and Opportunities to Getting Native Americans Into Elected Leadership.” Advancing Native Political Leadership. October 2016. Accessed October 11, 2020. https://advancenativepl.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/ANPL-Political-Power-09-22-16.pdf ^
  5. Advanced Native Political Leadership. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://advancenativepl.org/ ^
  6. Advanced Native Political Leadership. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://advancenativepl.org/ ^
  7. Advanced Native Political Leadership. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://advancenativepl.org/ ^
  8. “Reflective Democracy Innovators 2015-2017 Report.” Who Leads. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://wholeads.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/RD_innovators_report.pdf ^
  9. Kiernan, Kathleen. “6 Organizations Lifting Up Underrepresented Women.” She Should Run. May 29, 2020. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://www.sheshouldrun.org/blog/6-organizations-lifting-up-underrepresented-women/ ^
  10. Reeves, Christopher. “Connect! Unite! Act! Committed to Building the Party of the Future.” Daily Kos. September 9, 2018. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/9/9/1794238/-Connect-Unite-Act-Committed-to-building-the-party-of-the-future ^
  11. Advanced Native Political Leadership. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://advancenativepl.org/ ^
  12. “Reflective Democracy Innovators 2015-2017 Report.” Who Leads. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://wholeads.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/RD_innovators_report.pdf ^
  13. Who Are We. Emergent Fund. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://www.emergentfund.net/who-we-are ^
  14. Who Are We. Emergent Fund. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://www.emergentfund.net/who-we-are ^
  15. “Reflective Democracy Innovators 2015-2017 Report.” Who Leads. Accessed October 10, 2020. https://wholeads.us/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/RD_innovators_report.pdf ^
  16. Chrissie Castro. Leadership That Works. Accessed October 10, 2020. http://www.leadershipthatworks.com/article/5970/ ^
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