Non-profit

People’s Action

Website:

peoplesaction.org/

Location:

Chicago, IL

Tax ID:

26-2613701

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2020):

Revenue: $4,920,060
Expenses: $4,037,233
Assets: $3,492,601

Formation:

2016

Predecessor Organizations:

USAction

Community Organizations in Action

National People’s Action Campaign

Campaign for America’s Future

People’s Action, the lobbying arm of the left-wing People’s Action Institute, was created when USAction, Community Organizations in Action, National People’s Action Campaign, and Campaign for America’s Future merged in 2016. [1]

The organization, promoted by the left-of-center fundraising network Democracy Alliance (DA), promotes left-of-center policy on issues including environmentalism, housing, government-controlled healthcare, and government-funded college tuition for all. People’s Action advertises on a mailing list called the “Joyous Rebellion” and on its “Our Future” blog, which includes a daily newsletter called “Progressive Breakfast.” [2][3][4]

People’s Action receives most of its income from contributions and grants, including grants from private foundations including George Soros’s Foundation to Promote Open Society (FPOS), ideologically motivated communications provider CREDO Mobile, and actor Mark Ruffalo’s Solutions Project. [5][6][7]

Background

People’s Action is the political advocacy and lobbying arm of People’s Action Institute, one of the most aggressive left-wing advocacy organizations in the United States. Both People’s Action and People’s Action Institute were formed when National People’s Action, the Alliance for a Just Society, and the USAction Education Fund merged in 2016. Other legacy organizations of People’s Action and the People’s Action Institute include the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice; the Institute for America’s Future; the Campaign for America’s Future; Community Organizations in Action; the National People’s Action Campaign; and USAction. [8]

The left-of-center Democracy Alliance (DA) promotes People’s Action and People’s Action Institute on its website. DA is a collective of left-of-center donors that has been active in orchestrating “the activities of a permanent ‘left infrastructure’” since 2004. In its promotion of People’s Action, DA has claimed that the organization develops projects to “fight to reclaim a democracy that works for all and advance racial and economic justice.” People’s Action also states that it uses “race, gender, and class as strategic forces” to pass its long-term agenda of building a “progressive infrastructure.” [9][10]

Political Goals

People’s Action focuses on left-of-center environmentalist issues, left-wing housing policy, government-controlled healthcare, and government-funded college tuition. The organization advertises its “Joyous Rebellion” mailing list, which sends updates on “opportunities to take action,” and its blog “Our Future.” Which includes a daily newsletter called “Progressive Breakfast.” [11][12]

Government-Controlled Health Care

People’s Action calls for an expanded version of Medicare-for-All, (often styled “Medicare for All” or “Medicare for all”), a proposed policy to create a government-controlled, socialized health care system in the United States by expanding the existing Medicare program to cover all citizens and abolishing private health insurance providers. [13]

People’s Action claims to be “fighting to take back control of our health care from corporations and CEOs,” adding that under its proposed government-controlled, taxpayer-funded healthcare system, health care would be “provided to all people at zero cost to patients.” The organization also claims that it is imperative to “directly counter the racialized villainization of public health programs,” such as Medicaid, and to block the repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly known as the ACA, Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare). [14]

Taxpayer-Funded Tuition

People’s Action, through its affiliate Student Action, calls for “free college for all.” The organization classifies education as a “human right” and demands that college be made available through taxpayer funding to everyone, including illegal immigrants and former criminals. The organization also calls for colleges to divest resources “from police and [Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)] presence on campuses.” [15]

Student Action also claims to take part in a “youth resistance,” which consists of fighting “colonialism, imperialism, and racial capitalism.” Student Action has supported other far-left positions, claiming that to be inspired by “the people of Puerto Rico who continue to resist US imperialism” and those in the “Global South” that have “built and led cultural revolutions.” [16]

Funding

People’s Action receives most of its income from contributions and grants, including grants from private foundations. The organization had total revenue of $1.6 million in 2016, approximately $3.2 million in 2017, just over $2.5 million in 2018, and around $2.6 million in 2019. People’s Action received 87.8% of its total revenue from contributions and grants in 2016, 99% of its total revenue from contributions and grants in 2017, 97.5% in 2018, and 97.7% in 2019. [17]

People’s Action had $1.4 million in total functional expenses in 2016, $2.3 million in 2017, $3.1 million in 2018, and $1.8 million in 2019. The organization spent $339,594 on salaries and wages in 2016, $594,108 in 2017, $980,438 in 2018, and $381,300 in 2019. [18]

People’s Action received a recommendation for a two-year grant worth $1,927,640 in 2017 from the Open Philanthropy Project, a center-left funding nonprofit founded in 2016 by Cari Tuna and Dustin Moskovitz affiliated with the Open Philanthropy Action Fund. According to the Open Philanthropy Project, the grant recommendation was accepted by “a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization,” although the name of the organization was not given. [19]

The Open Society Foundations (OSF), a private grantmaking foundation created and funded by billionaire financier and liberal philanthropist George Soros, referred a grant of $400,000 to National People’s Action, one of the legacy organizations of People’s Action. The grant had a term of four months and was paid by the Foundation to Promote Open Society (FPOS), another major grantmaking foundation funded by Soros. The grant was made in 2016, the same year that National People’s Action merged with the Alliance for a Just Society and USAction Education Fund to create People’s Action. [20]

People’s Action also received a $41,715 grant from CREDO Mobile (formerly Working Assets), a cell-phone company that explicitly uses its profits to support left-wing causes and ensures its customers that their participation in its cell phone programs “fund[s] progressive causes and power social activism.” People’s Action used the grant from CREDO to “oppose the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.” [21][22]

People’s Action also received a $30,000 grant in 2020 from the Hidden Leaf Foundation, a left-of-center private foundation that gives grants to left-of-center organizations focusing on social issues.

Solutions Project, an environmentalist advocacy group that began by promoting a full transition away from conventional energy to environmentalist energy sources but has since repositioned its focus to promoting diversity and female leadership in the environmentalist movement, lists People’s Action on its grantee map but does not disclose how much money it has provided the organization. [23]

People’s Action is also listed on the 2020 grantee list of the Amalgamated Charitable Foundation, a donor-advised fund that provides grants for several left-progressive advocacy organizations. People’s Action was also listed as a member of the Green New Deal Network,  a coalition of far-left special interest and agitation groups aligned to support so-called Green New Deal legislation. According to the Amalgamated Charitable Foundation, members of the Green New Deal Network Coordinating Team include People’s Action, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), MoveOn Civic Action, Greenpeace, and the Sierra Club, among others. [24]

Political Activities

People’s Action, alongside several left-of-center organizations including MoveOn and CREDO, protested Disney locations across the United States as the organizations called for Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger to step down from his position on former President Donald Trump’s Business Advisory Council. [25]

The coalition of organizations, headed by the left-of-center Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), collected approximately 390,000 petitions to Disney calling for Iger to step down. Jennifer Epps-Addison, network president and co-executive director for the Center for Popular Democracy said, “Disney has the power to take a stand against Trump and support a happy ending for all families,” adding that the Trump administration was an “authoritarian, hateful, anti-immigrant regime.” [26]

In August 2022, Homes Guarantee, a left-of-center policy project of People’s Action, called for the Biden Administration to declare a state of emergency on housing as well as increase government intervention towards reducing rental costs. [27] [28] In addition, the Homes Guarantee coalition asked for the Biden Administration to create a cabinet-level task force that would seek to reduce and regulate rental pricing as well as provide legal assistance for those facing eviction. The group also called for the Treasury Department to pass measures that would prevent landlords from raising the rent of tenants beyond a certain point. [29] According to Tara Raghuveer, the campaign director of Homes Guarantee campaign director with People’s Action, “If the president intends to take meaningful action to curb inflation, he must be serious about using every available authority to regulate the rent.” [30]

References

  1. “Our History,” People’s Action, accessed July 19, 2021, https://peoplesaction.org/about/history/. ^
  2. “People’s Action,” Democracy Alliance, September 11, 2018, http://democracyalliance.org/organization/peoples-action/. ^
  3. “Join Our Joyous Rebellion.,” People’s Action, accessed July 19, 2021, https://peoplesaction.org/. ^
  4. “OurFuture.org by People’s Action,” OurFuture.org by People’s Action, accessed July 19, 2021, https://ourfuture.org/. ^
  5. “Open Society Foundations – Awarded Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships,” Open Society Foundations – Awarded Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships – Open Society Foundations, accessed July 19, 2021, https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants/past?filter_keyword=people%27s%2Baction&grant_id=OR2016-26804. ^
  6. Stephanie Lavallato, “An Update on the Amazing Work CREDO Members Are Helping to Fund,” CREDO Mobile Blog, November 9, 2018, https://blog.credo.com/2018/10/how-planned-parenthood-free-press-action-fund-and-peoples-action-are-using-credo-funding/. ^
  7. “Grantees,” The Solutions Project, accessed July 19, 2021, https://thesolutionsproject.org/our-impact/grantees/. ^
  8. “Our History,” People’s Action, accessed July 19, 2021, https://peoplesaction.org/about/history/. ^
  9. “People’s Action,” Democracy Alliance, September 11, 2018, http://democracyalliance.org/organization/peoples-action/. ^
  10. Thomas, “Are Liberals Fund-Raising Hypocrites?,” The New York Times (The New York Times, October 1, 2014), https://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/01/opinion/are-liberals-fundraising-hypocrites.html?_r=0. ^
  11. “Join Our Joyous Rebellion.,” People’s Action, accessed July 19, 2021, https://peoplesaction.org/. ^
  12. “OurFuture.org by People’s Action,” OurFuture.org by People’s Action, accessed July 19, 2021, https://ourfuture.org/. ^
  13. “Health Care For All,” People’s Action, accessed July 19, 2021, https://peoplesaction.org/campaigns/health-care-for-all/. ^
  14. “Health Care For All,” People’s Action, accessed July 19, 2021, https://peoplesaction.org/campaigns/health-care-for-all/. ^
  15. “Campaign Principles,” Student Action, June 12, 2018, https://studentaction.us/our-story-and-principles/campaign-principles/. ^
  16. “Campaign Principles,” Student Action, June 12, 2018, https://studentaction.us/our-story-and-principles/campaign-principles/. ^
  17. Mike Tigas Ken Schwencke, “Peoples Action – Nonprofit Explorer,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/262613701. ^
  18. Mike Tigas Ken Schwencke, “Peoples Action – Nonprofit Explorer,” ProPublica, May 9, 2013, https://projects.propublica.org/nonprofits/organizations/262613701. ^
  19. “People’s Action – Prosecutor Accountability,” Open Philanthropy, April 18, 2018, https://www.openphilanthropy.org/focus/us-policy/criminal-justice-reform/peoples-action-prosecutor-accountability#footnote1_2m137x6. ^
  20. “Open Society Foundations – Awarded Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships,” Open Society Foundations – Awarded Grants, Scholarships, and Fellowships – Open Society Foundations, accessed July 19, 2021, https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/grants/past?filter_keyword=people%27s%2Baction&grant_id=OR2016-26804. ^
  21. Stephanie Lavallato, “An Update on the Amazing Work CREDO Members Are Helping to Fund,” CREDO Mobile Blog, November 9, 2018, https://blog.credo.com/2018/10/how-planned-parenthood-free-press-action-fund-and-peoples-action-are-using-credo-funding/. ^
  22. “Our Mission,” CREDO Mobile, accessed July 19, 2021, https://www.credomobile.com/mission. ^
  23. “Grantees,” The Solutions Project, accessed July 19, 2021, https://thesolutionsproject.org/our-impact/grantees/. ^
  24. Author Amalgamated Foundation, “Spring 2020 Grantees,” Spring 2020 Grantees | Amalgamated Foundation, accessed July 19, 2021, https://www.amalgamatedfoundation.org/news/spring-2020-grantees. ^
  25. “Nationwide #DisneyLetHimGo Protests Call on Disney CEO to Leave Trump Council,” The Center for Popular Democracy, February 22, 2017, https://www.populardemocracy.org/news-and-publications/nationwide-disneylethimgo-protests-call-disney-ceo-leave-trump-council. ^
  26. “Nationwide #DisneyLetHimGo Protests Call on Disney CEO to Leave Trump Council,” The Center for Popular Democracy, February 22, 2017, https://www.populardemocracy.org/news-and-publications/nationwide-disneylethimgo-protests-call-disney-ceo-leave-trump-council. ^
  27. Siegel, Rachel. “Soaring rent prices have advocates calling on White House to intervene.” Washington Post. August 9, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/08/09/rent-inflation-biden/ ^
  28. “Homes Guarantee 2022: Federal Actions to Regulate Rents.” People’s Action. Accessed August 10, 2022. https://peoplesaction.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Federal-Actions-to-Regulate-Rents_V3a.pdf ^
  29. Siegel, Rachel. “Soaring rent prices have advocates calling on White House to intervene.” Washington Post. August 9, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/08/09/rent-inflation-biden/ ^
  30. Siegel, Rachel. “Soaring rent prices have advocates calling on White House to intervene.” Washington Post. August 9, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2022/08/09/rent-inflation-biden/ ^

Supported Movements

  1. Green New Deal (GND)
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: March 1, 2009

  • 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
    2020 Dec Form 990 $4,920,060 $4,037,233 $3,492,601 $801,410 N $4,691,541 $228,497 $22 $0
    2019 Dec Form 990 $2,623,650 $1,815,324 $2,028,725 $220,361 N $2,562,885 $60,739 $26 $0 PDF
    2018 Dec Form 990 $2,569,259 $3,108,671 $1,414,939 $414,901 N $2,504,929 $64,314 $16 $0 PDF
    2017 Dec Form 990 $3,196,198 $2,299,878 $2,010,113 $470,663 N $3,164,918 $31,261 $19 $0 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $1,606,015 $1,417,374 $954,892 $311,762 N $1,410,697 $194,850 $468 $0 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $246,519 $139,043 $511,396 $56,907 N $177,765 $68,000 $754 $15,812 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990EZ $70,378 $307,786 $378,994 $31,981 $0 $0 $0 $0
    2013 Dec Form 990 $546,823 $630,572 $630,262 $45,841 N $544,850 $0 $1,973 $25,153 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $249,504 $298,348 $706,509 $38,339 N $247,867 $0 $1,637 $18,129 PDF
    2011 Dec Form 990 $300,456 $378,925 $747,273 $30,259 N $290,185 $7,500 $2,771 $17,860 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    People’s Action

    1130 N Milwaukee Ave
    Chicago, IL