Also see the 501(c)(4) Center for Community Change Action Fund (nonprofit)
The Center for Community Change (CCC) is a left-of-center nonprofit that focuses on issues of poverty, race, housing policy, and the treatment of released prisoners. It also promotes the interests of immigrants, including illegal immigrants. Its affiliated 501(c)(4), Center for Community Change Action, lobbies for progressive policies like the $15 per hour minimum wage proposed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), increasing taxes on the rich, and opposing the most affordable forms of energy.
The Center and its affiliate seek a large expansion of entitlement programs, including those related to welfare, healthcare, childcare, public housing, food stamps, and public transportation. The group has also advocated for liberal immigration policies and has engaged in registration of voters disproportionately likely to support progressives and Democratic candidates.
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 of $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 Senate candidates Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada), and Patrick Murphy (D-Florida). Immigrant Voters Win spent additional funds opposing Republicans, including presidential candidates Donald Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida).
The Center employs about 70 people who work on organizing its political and social campaigns.
History and Activities
The Center for Community Change was founded amidst the turbulence of 1968 to honor the memory of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy (D-N.Y.). It describes 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.”
One of the Center’s most influential projects is the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM). Founded in 2004, FIRM advocates for blanket amnesty for those in the United States illegally and for dramatically increasing already-high legal immigration levels. It opposes border security measures and claims violence by immigration enforcement agents is the larger threat to American security. FIRM rejects the idea that a large amount of low-skilled immigration reduces wages and advocates for “comprehensive immigration reform” that it believes will “[raise] the floor for all workers.” FIRM receives money from George Soros’s Open Society Foundations.
After President Trump’s election, CCC has devoted substantial effort to criticizing American immigration enforcement, just as it did during the tenure of President Barack Obama. The Center also targets states’ immigration enforcement measures, frequently calling them racist and accusing them of hate.
Additionally, The Center founded the Community Voters Project, also founded in 2004, the stated purpose of which is to register new voters. The project’s website particularly references the “Rising American Electorate—unmarried women, young people, and people of color,” which is thought by many left-of-center organizations and scholars to be the key to winning presidential elections. The project, which claims to have as its goal for “everybody” to vote, 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.
The organization receives funding and sponsorships from other groups in the progressive network, including Democracy Alliance, the SEIU, AFL-CIO, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Each fall, the Center hosts a ceremony at which it honors “Change Champions.” Sponsored by deep-pocketed progressive interest groups, the event showcases activists who have fought for left-leaning political causes in their communities.
The Center for Community Change’s list of donors includes many of the most prominent liberal organizations. Top donations to the non-profit included $3,000,000 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, $2,350,000 from the Ford Foundation, and $1,750,000 from the Open Society Foundation.
The California Endowment, which gave $524,500; the Marguerite Casey Foundation, which gave $515,000; Fidelity Charitable Gift, which gave $505,100; and the National Immigration Law Center, which gave $316,000, were among the other organizations who donated to the CCC.
Board of Directors
There are representatives from various influential constituencies serving on the Board of the Center for Community Change and Center for Community Change Action, including Kelly Brown of the D5 Coalition, an organization focused on making philanthropy more “diverse, inclusive, and equitable;” Peter Colavito of the SEIU; Sam Fulwood of the Center for American Progress; Dorian Warren of the Roosevelt Institute; and several more current and former union bosses.