Non-profit

National Redistricting Foundation (NRF)

Website:

redistrictingfoundation.org

Location:

Washington, DC

Tax ID:

82-0757693

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(3)

Formation:

February 2017 [18]

Type:

Redistricting Litigation Nonprofit

President and CEO:

Kelly Ward

For more information, see National Democratic Redistricting Committee (PAC)

The National Redistricting Foundation (NRF) is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit affiliate of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a Democratic Party-aligned PAC chaired by former Attorney General Eric Holder, and the 501(c)(4) advocacy group National Redistricting Action Fund. The nonprofit was created to litigate against Republican state elected officials for alleged Voting Rights Act infractions and what it deems illegal “gerrymandering” of state legislative and congressional districts ahead of the 2020 U.S. Census.

Background

The National Democratic Redistricting Foundation describes its mission as “initiating litigation that will have a nationwide impact in creating more just and representative electoral districts,” a goal it pursues through engaging in “work that affects the redistricting process, including monitoring the national census activity.”[1]

Affiliated Groups

The NRF’s targeted litigation and national census efforts are coordinated with its two “sister” affiliates: the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, a Democratic Party PAC chaired by Eric Holder, and the National Redistricting Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) advocacy nonprofit. The organizations share the same Washington, D.C. office space. [2]

Targeted Litigation

Wisconsin

On February 26, 2018, the group filed a lawsuit against then-Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker (R) “for his refusal to hold two special elections for seats in the Wisconsin General Assembly.” [3] The lawsuit arose after two Wisconsin state officials, Rep. Keith Ripp and Sen. Frank Lasee, resigned their offices in December 2017 to accept positions in Gov. Walker’s administration.

Three days after former Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed into law Republican-backed legislation restricting early voting in December 2018, One Wisconsin Institute (OWI), a self-described “non-partisan research & education organization,” filed a lawsuit challenging the legislation. NRF backed OWI in filing the lawsuits.[4] Eric Holder said: “Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature and their defeated governor are using their gerrymandered majorities to—once again—attempt to suppress the votes of people of color in the state.”[5]

Georgia

On October 3, 2017, the nonprofit was reported by the New York Times as filing a racial gerrymandering lawsuit against Georgia Republicans. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants violated the Voting Rights Act and the Fourteenth Amendment in 2015 by “adjusting the state’s 105th and 111th legislative districts to minimize the influence of black voters and failing to draw a majority-minority district in the Atlanta area.” [6]

North Carolina

Common Cause, a left-leaning nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., sued the state of North Carolina after the 2018 midterm elections on the grounds that its current congressional districts violate the state constitution’s Equal Protection Clause in that they are based off of voter data rather than population.[7] Bob Phillips, executive director for Common Cause North Carolina, claimed: “We don’t have fair and legal maps in North Carolina. And we certainly have not had them at any time in this decade.”[8] NRF will cover the legal fees for Common Cause.[9]

Funding

In 2017, the National Redistricting Foundation reported revenues of $2,857,380 and expenses of $6,530. [10] The NRF also reported holding $1,015,250 in publicly traded securities in 2017. [11]

Leadership

President and CEO

Kelly Ward serves as president and chief executive officer of the National Redistricting Foundation and the National Redistricting Action Fund, and she also serves as executive director of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC), the nonprofit’s PAC affiliate. [12] [13] Ward is a Democratic Party operative and campaign strategist. From 2010 to 2017, she served first as political director and then as executive director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), a primary PAC utilized by House Democrats. Prior to that, Ward served in various positions for a number of left-leaning nonprofits in Arizona, campaign manager for Democratic congressional candidates, and in the office of Democratic Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano.

Board of Directors

According to the NRF’s 2017 tax filing, the nonprofit’s board of directors is composed on president Kelly Ward, Elisabeth Pearson, and Mitch Stewart. [14]

Elisabeth Pearson is president of the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC). From 2013 to December 2018, Pearson served as executive director of the Democratic Governors Association; she has also served as political director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC).[15]

Mitch Stewart is a Democratic Party consultant and campaign strategist. Stewart is a founding partner at 270 Strategies, a Democratic consulting firm whose clients include Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, the U.S. Senate campaign for Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Organizing for America, and Planned Parenthood. [16] He served as battleground states director for President Barack Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and prior to that as national director for Organizing for America, a left-wing advocacy group. [17]

References

  1. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). National Redistricting Foundation (2017). Schedule O (Supplemental Information for Part 1, Line 1). Accessed January 21, 2019.
  2. “Statement of Organization: National Democratic Redistricting PAC.” Federal Election Commission (FEC), Filing FEC-1137745. January 9, 2017. http://docquery.fec.gov/cgi-bin/forms/C00630707/1137745/
  3. National Democratic Redistricting Committee. “National Redistricting Foundation Files Lawsuit Against Governor Scott Walker.” News release, February 26, 2018. The Wheeler Report. Accessed April 17, 2018. http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/0226nrf.pdf.
  4. “Judge wastes no time blocking voting restrictions passed by GOP.” Kenosha News. January 21, 2019. Accessed January 22, 2019. http://www.kenoshanews.com/opinion/judge-wastes-no-time-blocking-voting-restrictions-passed-by-gop/article_5b92d7fe-fc19-5eae-8e32-a9a0a3dcaa6e.html#/questions/
  5. “Press Release: One Wisconsin Institute Files Request for Court to Enforce Rulings Striking Down Republican Lame Duck Restrictions on Voting.” One Wisconsin Now. December 17, 2018. Accessed January 23, 2019. https://onewisconsinnow.org/institute/press/one-wisconsin-institute-files-request-for-court-to-enforce-rulings-striking-down-republican-lame-duck-restrictions-on-voting/
  6. “Holder-Led Group Challenges Georgia Redistricting, Claiming Racial Bias.” The New York Times. October 3, 2017. Accessed April 18, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/03/us/eric-holder-georgia-redistricting-racial-bias.html
  7. Michael Perchick. “NC Democrats sue state over voting district maps.” ABC 11 News. November 13, 2018. Accessed January 22, 2019. https://abc11.com/politics/nc-democrats-sue-state-over-voting-district-maps-/4682491/
  8. Michael Perchick. “NC Democrats sue state over voting district maps.” ABC 11 News. November 13, 2018. Accessed January 22, 2019. https://abc11.com/politics/nc-democrats-sue-state-over-voting-district-maps-/4682491/
  9. Michael Perchick. “NC Democrats sue state over voting district maps.” ABC 11 News. November 13, 2018. Accessed January 22, 2019. https://abc11.com/politics/nc-democrats-sue-state-over-voting-district-maps-/4682491/
  10. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). National Redistricting Foundation (2017). Schedule A, Part I, Lines 12 and 18. Accessed January 21, 2019.
  11. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). National Redistricting Foundation (2017). Schedule M, Part I, Line 9 (Securities – Publicly traded). Accessed January 21, 2019.
  12. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). National Redistricting Foundation (2017). Part VII. Accessed January 21, 2019.
  13. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). National Redistricting Action Fund (2017). Part VII. Accessed January 21, 2019.
  14. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). National Redistricting Foundation (2017). Part VII. Accessed January 21, 2019.
  15. “Press Release: DGA Announces New Executive Director.” Democratic Governors Association. December 3, 2018. Accessed January 21, 2019. https://democraticgovernors.org/news/dga-announces-new-executive-director/
  16. “What We Do.” 270 Strategies. Accessed January 21, 2019. https://www.270strategies.com/what-we-do/
  17. “Mitch Stewart.” 270 Strategies. Accessed January 21, 2019. https://www.270strategies.com/our-team/mitch-stewart/
  18. Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990). National Redistricting Foundation (2017). Part VI (Supplemental Information). Accessed January 21, 2019.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Kelly Ward
    President and Chief Executive Officer
  2. Elisabeth Pearson
    Board Member
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: June - May
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 2017

  • Available Filings

    No filings available.

    National Redistricting Foundation (NRF)

    700 13th St NW
    Suite 600
    Washington, DC 20005