Center for Community Change Action, a progressive 501(c)(4) organization, is the lobbying arm of the Center for Community Change (CCC). It engages in political activity supporting progressive causes and candidates, opposing conservatives.
Describing its mission as “to build the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change their communities and public policies for the better,” which is the same as its sister organization’s mission, Center for Community Change Action seeks a larger government role in the economy, retirement, and housing. It advocates for granting legal presence to current illegal immigrants and expanding legal immigration to the United States; most of its self-described “success stories” listed on CCC Action’s website have to do with immigration-related issues.
CCC Action seeks to register and engage with progressive voters. In particular, the “Rising American Electorate” —a proposed bloc of progressive unmarried women, young people, and people of color believed by many left-of-center organizations and scholars to be the key to winning presidential elections—is a target of CCC Action. CCC Action mostly focuses on registering and turning out ethnic minorities and the poor in swing states each presidential election, and in states with competitive U.S. Senate races in both presidential and midterm years. Ben Hanna, the Electoral Program’s Co-Director, says “If everyone of [low-income people] went to the polls to support candidates and ballot measures that truly served their interests, progressive candidates and policies would win every time.”
In addition to these direct voter registration and engagement efforts, Center for Community Change Action runs a Super PAC, set up in March 2016, called Immigrant Voters Win. The Super PAC raised more than $10 million for the 2016 presidential election, with the largest single donation, for $3 million, coming from George Soros. Hedge fund manager and prominent Democratic donor James Simons kicked in another $500,000.
The Super PAC spent more than $3 million promoting the unsuccessful presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton and hundreds of thousands more to benefit the campaigns of Democratic Senate candidates Michael Bennet, Catherine Cortez Masto, and Patrick Murphy. Immigrant Voters Win spent additional funds opposing Republicans, including presidential candidates Donald Trump and Marco Rubio. Just as its voter registration efforts target swing states, candidates who benefit from or are targeted by CCC Action’s expenditures typically are running in competitive races.
Center for Community Change Action employs 9 people, all of whom also work for the sister organization.
The Center for Community Change Action relies on only a small handful of donors for almost all its funding. Among those donors were organizations such as Every Citizen Counts (since merged with Priorities USA), a nonprofit started by allies of the Hillary Clinton campaign to mobilize African American and Latino voters, which donated $1,750,000 and the Open Society Policy Center, the 501(c)(4) lobbying arm of the Open Society Foundations created by liberal financier George Soros, which contributed $1,475,000.
Other donors included the Sixteen Thirty Fund ($610,000 donation); Center for Community Change ($150,000 contribution); Services Employees International Union (SEIU) ($150,000); Atlantic Philanthropies ($75,000); and the Tides Foundation ($50,000).