Non-profit

Michigan Families for Opportunity

Website:

mifamiliesforopportunity.com/

Formation:

September 2018

Type:

Economic Policy Advocacy Group

Project of:

Sixteen Thirty Fund

Michigan Families for Opportunity is a left-leaning economic policy advocacy group that aims to increase the minimum wage and advocate for a government mandate for paid sick leave within the state of Michigan. It is a fiscal project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a “social welfare” nonprofit criticized as “dark money”[1] that is managed by left-progressive philanthropic consulting firm Arabella Advisors. [2]

Background

Michigan Families for Opportunity is a liberal organization and a branch of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a “dark money” advocacy group that sponsors a national network of projects focused on specific issues or specific elections. The Washington-based parent organization is managed by the for-profit consulting firm Arabella Advisors. [3]

Michigan Families for Opportunity advocates for a high minimum wage in the state of Michigan. It also advocates for government-mandated paid sick leave for all employees in the state. [4]

The Sixteen Thirty Fund has registered almost 50 trade names. It registered Michigan Families for Opportunity on March 22, 2018 with the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. As of January 2020, the registration is set to expire on March 21, 2020. [5]

Advocacy

The Michigan Families for Opportunity website contains clickable options to encourage voters to call or write their state legislators. It’s unclear how active Michigan Families for Opportunity is as of January 2020. As of January 2020, the project website contained press releases beginning in mid-November 2018, after the midterm elections, and ending in early December 2018. In its most recent press release, from December 2018, the organization denounced Republicans in the state legislature for making changes to the measures on the minimum wage and paid sick leave. Republican amendments moved the state’s minimum wage increase of $12 per hour to 2030, rather than the original proposal of 2022. Meanwhile, paid sick leave was scaled back from a maximum of 72 hours accrued annually down to 36 hours. [6]

Arabella Advisors

The parent organization of Michigan Families for Opportunity, Sixteen Thirty Fund, is a left-wing lobbying and advocacy organization founded in 2008. It falls under the Arabella Advisors umbrella, alongside the New Venture Fund, the Hopewell Fund, and the Windward Fund. [7]

The Sixteen Thirty Fund was created with seed funding from Americans United for Change (AUFC), ACORN, USAction, the Sierra Club, and Working America. [8]

Politico called the Sixteen Thirty Fund a “massive ‘dark money’ network” responsible for “boost[ing] Democrats” in the 2018 midterm elections. Politico reported, “The money contributed to efforts ranging from fighting Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh and other Trump judicial nominees to boosting ballot measures raising the minimum wage and changing laws on voting and redistricting in numerous states.” [9]

References

  1. Markay, Lachan. “Over 100 Left-Wing Groups Sourced to DC Dark Money Outfit.” Washington Free Beacon. October 22, 2015. Accessed February 18, 2017. http://freebeacon.com/issues/over-100-left-wing-groups-sourced-to-d-c-dark-money-outfit/ ^
  2. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. Schedule O. ^
  3. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. Schedule O. ^
  4. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). Sixteen Thirty Fund. Schedule O. ^
  5. Sixteen Thirty Fund. District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Accessed January 18, 2020. https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6555491-Sixteen-Thirty-Fund-Incorporation-Records.html ^
  6. Press Release. “Representatives Gut Michigander Supported Laws.” Michigan Families for Opportunity.  https://mifamiliesforopportunity.com/news/2018/12/5/representatives-gut-michigander-supported-laws ^
  7. Ludwig, Hayden. “Big Money in Dark Shadows.” Capital Research Center. Capital Research Center. Accessed January 27, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/CRC_BigMoneyInDarkShadows_v15_FINAL-1.pdf. ^
  8. Form 1024 Application for Recognition of Exemption Under Section 501(a). Sixteen Thirty Fund. Archived here: https://www.influencewatch.org/app/uploads/2019/11/Sixteen-Thirty-Fund-Form-1024-Applicaton-for-Recognition-of-Exemption-Under-501a.pdf ^
  9. Scott Bland and Maggie Severns. “Documents reveal massive ‘dark-money’ group boosted Democrats in 2018.” Politico. November 19, 2019. Accessed November 21, 2019. https://www.politico.com/news/2019/11/19/dark-money-democrats-midterm-071725 ^ ^
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