Non-profit

Michigan Citizen Action

Website:

www.michcitizenaction.org/

Location:

KALAMAZOO, MI

Tax ID:

52-2113276

Budget (2015):

Revenue: $90,160
Expenses: $96,759
Assets: $341,915

Michigan Citizen Action (MCA) was a Kalamazoo, Michigan-based, left-leaning advocacy nonprofit that supported higher taxes and increased government spending on public schools, roads, and mass transit.  MCA also lobbied to end Michigan’s law prohibiting consumers from re-selling tickets to sports and entertainment events at higher prices than face value (“ticket scalping”). Michigan Citizen Action was closely affiliated with the Michigan Citizens Education Fund, a charitable advocacy group which raised tax-deductible donations and shared the same executive director, deputy director, and building address. [1] [2] [3]

MCA’s tax-exempt status was automatically revoked in 2019 due to MCA ceasing to file annually required disclosures with the Internal Revenue Service. [4]

History

Michigan Citizen Action was formed in 1993[5] The MCA’s tax-exempt status was revoked in 2019 due to MCA ceasing to file annually required disclosures with the Internal Revenue Service. [6] A radio interview of MCA’s executive director from 2017 appears to be the last media activity by the MCA. [7]

Michigan Citizen Action was listed as an affiliate of the aggressively left-wing People’s Action Institute. [8]

People

Linda Teeter

The executive director of Michigan Citizen Action from 1995 through 2017 was Kalamazoo resident Linda Teeter. [9]  Teeter was a staffer for former Michigan State Representative Mary Brown (D–Kalamazoo) and was an elected Kalamazoo City Commissioner. [10] Teeter also served as executive director for Michigan Citizens Education Fund,[11] which raised tax-exempt donations from progressive-left organizations. [12]

Teeter was trained by the organization Midwest Academy, which specializes in seminars and training for left-wing activists. [13] [14] [15] [16]

Teeter was questioned about steering campaign contributions to the MCA when she was chair of the Kalamazoo County Transportation Authority in 2009. A group supporting a local tax increase to fund mass transit paid an MCA staff member to assist on the pro-tax increase campaign, causing some to question the ethics of a Kalamazoo County Transportation Authority official working to advocate passage of a tax proposal and having the MCA financially benefit from the arrangement. [17]

Erin Knott

Erin Knott was Deputy Director of Michigan Citizen Action[18] and is a Kalamazoo City Council member first elected in 2015.  Knott is a political consultant for Democratic Party candidates and an activist for left-leaning causes. Knott works on staff for an LGBT advocacy organization called Equality Michigan, and for America Votes, a left-of-center lobbying and advocacy coalition. [19] [20] [21]

Knott is a donor to the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee, which supports Democratic Party candidates. [22]

Activities

Michigan Citizen Action primarily focused on writing op-eds, blogging, and advocating for higher taxes to fund increased education, welfare services, transportation infrastructure and mass transit spending, and to increase the number of Medicaid recipients. [23] [24] [25] [26] [27]

Michigan Citizen Action also focused on ending Michigan’s law against “ticket scalping.” The law prevented citizens from reselling sporting and entertainment event tickets for more than the original selling price. MCA wrote editorials and testified in legislative committees in favor of ending the ticket scalping ban. [28] [29] [30] [31]

Finances

Michigan Citizen Action raised an average of $224,535 annually between the years 2010 and 2015, inclusive. The MCA spent an average of $95,544 annually on staff salaries during that period, with the majority paying for director Linda Teeter’s salary, which ranged between $82,211 and $122,053 per year. [32]

The MCA’s last available federal filing in 2015 reported revenues of $90,160 with $98,251.43 spent to pay Ms. Teeter’s salary and benefits. [33]

Michigan Citizen Action did not disclose its donors, but the closely-affiliated Michigan Citizens Education Fund listed both Ms. Teeter and Ms. Knott as director and deputy director, respectively. [34] The Michigan Citizens Education Fund received funding from the left-of-center groups The Arcus Foundation[35] and the Tides Foundation. [36]

References

  1. Michigan Citizens Education Fund. michigancitizeneducationfund.weebly.com. “Staff”. “Contact”. Accessed October 9, 2020. http://michigancitizeneducationfund.weebly.com/contact.html ^
  2. Michigan Citizen Action. Michigancitizenaction.org. “Home”. “Contact”. “Blog”. Accessed October 9, 2020. http://www.michcitizenaction.org/contact.html ^
  3. Green, Alisha. “Michigan House panel OKs bill to legalize ticket scalping”. The Associated Press. Printed in The Oakland Press. May 17, 2015. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.theoaklandpress.com/news/nation-world-news/michigan-house-panel-oks-bill-to-legalize-ticket-scalping/article_a5a66907-1423-5007-bc7d-6b682a938ede.html ^
  4. Internal Revenue Service. Irs.gov. “Tax Exempt Organization Search”. “Michigan Citizen Action”. “Auto-Revocation List”. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/displayAll.do?dispatchMethod=displayAllInfo&Id=883238&ein=522113276&country=US&deductibility=all&dispatchMethod=searchAll&isDescending=false&city=&ein1=522113276&postDateFrom=&exemptTypeCode=al&submitName=Search&sortColumn=orgName&totalResults=1&names=&resultsPerPage=25&indexOfFirstRow=0&postDateTo=&state=All+States ^
  5. Michigan Citizen Action. Return Of Organization Exempt From Income Tax (IRS Form 990).  2015. Accessed October 9, 2020.  https://pp-990.s3.amazonaws.com/2016_08_EO/52-2113276_990O_201512.pdf?response-content-disposition=inline&X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Credential=AKIA266MJEJYTM5WAG5Y%2F20201009%2Fus-east-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20201009T183643Z&X-Amz-Expires=1800&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Signature=f03d55d04a92f7d34999e0ac00c79870abfbf374c1d3ecfa940aa23cd8b0c55b ^
  6. Internal Revenue Service. Irs.gov. “Tax Exempt Organization Search”. “Michigan Citizen Action”. “Auto-Revocation List”. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://apps.irs.gov/app/eos/displayAll.do?dispatchMethod=displayAllInfo&Id=883238&ein=522113276&country=US&deductibility=all&dispatchMethod=searchAll&isDescending=false&city=&ein1=522113276&postDateFrom=&exemptTypeCode=al&submitName=Search&sortColumn=orgName&totalResults=1&names=&resultsPerPage=25&indexOfFirstRow=0&postDateTo=&state=All+States ^
  7. 93.3 WBCK. “City Manager Rebecca Fleury And Linda Teeter Discuss The Effects Of City Budgets | Richard Piet Show”. YouTube. Posted February 13, 2017. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8–vcwMpqRY ^
  8. Peoplesaction.org. “Rise Up! The Founding Convention Of People’s Action” program book. April 23 – 25, 2017. Page 10, “Local & State Affiliates”.  Accessed October 9, 2020. https://peoplesaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Rise-Up-Program-Book-online.pdf ^
  9. Michigan Citizen Action. Michigancitizenaction.org. “Meet The Staff”. Accessed October 9, 2020. http://www.michcitizenaction.org/staff.html ^
  10. Michigan Citizen Action. Michigancitizenaction.org. “Meet The Staff”. Accessed October 9, 2020. http://www.michcitizenaction.org/staff.html ^
  11. Michigan Citizens Education Fund. michigancitizeneducationfund.weebly.com. “Staff”. Accessed October 9, 2020. http://michigancitizeneducationfund.weebly.com/staff.html ^
  12. ProPublica. Propublica.org. “Search”. “Michigan Citizens Education Fund Inc.”. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2015. Accessed October 12, 2020. https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/display_990/522113282/2016_08_EO%2F52-2113282_990_201512 ^
  13. Michigan Citizen Action. Michigancitizenaction.org. “Meet The Staff”. Accessed October 9, 2020. http://www.michcitizenaction.org/staff.html ^
  14. Midwest Academy. Midwestacademy.org. “About”. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.midwestacademy.com/about/mission-history/ ^
  15. Kurtz, Stanley. “Obama’s Radical Past”. National Review. October 12, 2010. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.nationalreview.com/2010/10/obamas-radical-past-stanley-kurtz/ ^
  16. Plesch, Dan. “The Alinsky legacy”. The Guardian – US Edition. November 6, 2008. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2008/nov/06/barackobama-uselections20082 ^
  17. Jessup, Kathy. “Payment in Metro Transit tax campaign raises questions”. MLive. December 3, 2009. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2009/12/payment_in_metro_transit_tax_c.html ^
  18. Barrett, Malachi. “Kalamazoo city election 2017: Commission candidate Erin Knott”. MLive. October 16, 2017. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.mlive.com/news/kalamazoo/2017/10/2017_kalamazoo_city_commission_1.html ^
  19. City of Kalamazoo. Kalamazoocity.org. “Kalamazoo City Commission”. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.kalamazoocity.org/citycommission ^
  20. LinkedIn. “Erin Nott”. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/erin-knott-7294437 ^
  21. ^
  22. Center for Responsive Politics. Opensecrets,org. ”Politicians & Elections”. “Donor Lookup”. “Erin Knott”. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/donor-lookup/results?name=erin+knott ^
  23. Evans, Gordon. “Michigan Citizen Action Director calls for ‘balanced approach’ to deficit reduction”. WMUK Public Radio. March 4, 2013.   Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.wmuk.org/post/michigan-citizen-action-director-calls-balanced-approach-deficit-reduction#stream/0 ^
  24. Michigan Citizen Action. Michigancitizenaction.org. “Media”. “Blog”. “Let’s stop the scary soundbites about Medicare expansion”. August 24, 2012. Accessed October 9, 2020. http://www.michcitizenaction.org/medicaid-expansion.html ^
  25. Austin, John. “Reform Michigan’s tax code, invest more in education”. Michigan Citizen Action. Michigancitizenaction.org. “Media”. “Blog”. August 15, 2013. Accessed October 9, 2020. http://www.michcitizenaction.org/blog/reform-michigans-tax-code-invest-more-in-education ^
  26. Flora, Tony. “Guest commentary: Help working families rather than ship jobs overseas”. Michigan Citizen Action. Michigancitizenaction.org. “Media”. “Blog”. September 6, 2013. Accessed October 9, 2020. http://www.michcitizenaction.org/blog/archives/09-2013 ^
  27. Michigan Citizen Action. Michigancitizenaction.org. “Media”. “Press Releases” December 18, 2012 – September 18, 2013.. August 15, 2013. Accessed October 9, 2020.  http://www.michcitizenaction.org/press-releases.html ^
  28. Teeter, Linda. “Opinion: It’s time to decriminalize ticket scalping in Michigan”. MLive. March 17, 2015. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.mlive.com/opinion/2015/03/its_time_to_decriminalize_tick.html ^
  29. Carmody, Steve. “Michigan lawmakers considering dumping the state’s ticket scalping law”. Michigan Public Radio. January 14, 2014.  Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-lawmakers-considering-dumping-states-ticket-scalping-law ^
  30. CBS Detroit/Associated Press. “Michigan House Committee Moves Bill To Legalize Ticket Scalping”. March 17, 2015. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://detroit.cbslocal.com/2015/03/17/michigan-house-committee-moves-bill-to-legalize-ticket-scalping/ ^
  31. Michigan House of Representatives. House.mi.gov. Session documents. Testimony before the House Criminal Justice Committee submitted by Linda Teeter, Executive Director of Michigan Citizen Action. March 10, 2015. Accessed October 9, 2020. https://www.house.mi.gov/sessiondocs/2015-2016/testimony/Committee327-3-10-2015-3.pdf ^
  32. Michigan Citizen Action. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2010 – 2015.  Accessed October 9, 2020. https://pp-990.s3.amazonaws.com/2016_08_EO/52-2113276_990O_201512.pdf?response-content-disposition=inline&X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Credential=AKIA266MJEJYTM5WAG5Y%2F20201007%2Fus-east-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20201007T144054Z&X-Amz-Expires=1800&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Signature=e5c1664a616caad4437ac66c67153c11a8beeaebca4842a09984b426ceb35b08 ^
  33. Michigan Citizen Action. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990) 2015.  Accessed October 9, 2020.  https://pp-990.s3.amazonaws.com/2016_08_EO/52-2113276_990O_201512.pdf?response-content-disposition=inline&X-Amz-Algorithm=AWS4-HMAC-SHA256&X-Amz-Credential=AKIA266MJEJYTM5WAG5Y%2F20201007%2Fus-east-1%2Fs3%2Faws4_request&X-Amz-Date=20201007T144054Z&X-Amz-Expires=1800&X-Amz-SignedHeaders=host&X-Amz-Signature=e5c1664a616caad4437ac66c67153c11a8beeaebca4842a09984b426ceb35b08 ^
  34. Michigan Citizens Education Fund. michigancitizeneducationfund.weebly.com. “Staff”. Accessed October 9, 2020. http://michigancitizeneducationfund.weebly.com/staff.html ^
  35. The Foundation Center. Foundationcenter.org. 990s. Arcus Foundation. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2012. Accessed October 9, 2020. http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990pf_pdf_archive/383/383332791/383332791_201212_990PF.pdf ^
  36. The Tides Foundation. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2000.  Accessed October 9, 2020. http://www.foundationsearch.com/990/ARCHIVE/5/TIDES%20FOUNDATION%202000%20510198509.PDF ^

Coalition Memberships

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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: February 1, 1999

  • 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
    2015 Dec Form 990 $90,160 $96,759 $341,915 $344,998 N $160 $90,000 $0 $82,692 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $230,077 $182,030 $313,601 $310,085 N $0 $230,065 $12 $122,053 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $195,740 $159,318 $217,451 $277,423 N $75,717 $120,000 $5 $106,308 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $232,861 $190,559 $153,934 $232,769 N $112,782 $120,000 $4 $82,211 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $252,540 $286,329 $114,126 $235,264 N $132,440 $120,000 $0 $90,000 PDF
    2010 Dec Form 990 $345,832 $390,359 $86,033 $173,454 N $225,523 $120,000 $308 $90,000 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Michigan Citizen Action

    350 E MICHIGAN AVE STE 14
    KALAMAZOO, MI 49007-3848