Non-profit

Pew Center for the States

This is a logo for The Pew Charitable Trusts. (link)
Founded:

2007 (until 2012)

Director:

Susan Urahn

The Pew Center on the States was a research program of the left-of-center Pew Charitable Trusts. It was in place from 2007 until 2012 and was headed by Pew Charitable Trusts’ current CEO Susan Urahn. [1]

Research performed by the Pew Center on the States has been used to advocate for policy that encourages continued or increased government spending as the solution to various problems. Its research did not criticize or evaluate the impact of overspending; instead, it advocated for changes in government programs and services as to change failing programs. [2]

Background

The Pew Center on the States was a research program of Pew Charitable Trusts from 2007 until 2012. It was headed by Susan Urahn, who as of 2021 heads the Trusts. [3] The Pew Center on the States worked with state and local governments to perform research to evaluate the cost effectiveness of government programs and services and subsequently advocate for corresponding policy changes. Its research topics included healthcare costs, the relationship between the state and federal government, and challenges unique to larger cities. [4]

Based on its research, the Pew Center on the States’ advocated in support of social programs; government spending in response to economic issues; and continued government spending on what it considered failed programs, accompanied by programmatic changes. [5]

Pew Charitable Trusts was founded by the Pew family in the 1940s, using money from its ownership of the Sun Oil Company. [6] An analysis of Pew spending done by Robert Lerner and Althea K. Nagai for the Capital Research Center (CRC) in 1995 found that in 1981, the Pew Trusts gave $2.4 million to conservative organizations. By 1986, liberal groups were receiving three times as much money as conservative ones from the trusts, and by 1994, left-of-center organizations received 40 times as much funding from Pew as right-of-center groups. [7] Howard Pew drove Pew Charitable Trusts conservative philanthropic spending as a proponent of free-market values and right-of-center policy. After his death in 1977, his influence on spending towards right-of-center causes faded out, and the trusts eventually lost nearly all interest in funding conservative causes. [8]

Research

The Pew Center on the States performed research to evaluate government programs and services that addresses issues pertinent at the state level.

Fiscal Policy

The Pew Center on the States performed research on what it claims to be failed tax incentives and other forms of economic stimulus. Its conclusion argued that government should continue to spend on what it had deemed to be failed programs, recommended some changes for more effective spending. The center’s research argues that economic stimulus is necessary to solve economic problems and essential to economic growth. The center advocates for continuing and increasing government spending until economic issues are resolved, but it does not question the consequences of excessive or ineffective spending. [9]

Voter Registration

In 2012, the Pew Center on the States researched the effectiveness of America’s voter registration systems to analyze their cost-effectiveness and integrity. The report found that some voter registration systems reflected 200-year-old processes which were severely out of date. The research demonstrated that 24 million active voter registrations were invalid, 1.8 million deceased individuals were listed as voters, and 2.75 million individuals were registered to vote in multiple states. The center argued that these inefficiencies threatened the integrity of elections and advocated for using commonly-available technologies to solve these issues. [10]

Leadership

Susan Urahn has worked for Pew Charitable Trusts since 1994 and previously worked as director of the Pew Center on the States. She currently works as president and CEO of the trusts, having previously worked as chief program officer, executive vice president, and head of a number of research projects. [11]

References

  1. “Susan Urahn.” Susan K Urahn | The Pew Charitable Trusts. Accessed July 19, 2021. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/about/leadership/susan-k-urahn?utm_campaign=communities_inst___googlegrant__cpc___&utm_source=adwords_nohandle&utm_medium=paid&utm_content=article_general_lay_none__text_&utm_term=bio_1a__&gclid=Cj0KCQjw_8mHBhClARIsABfFgpgQI1CWh_u9D23PS92_niTy4MoZt7iEHXmB9BzQVHD3TlC2gVpMhJ8aAn1sEALw_wcB. ^
  2. “Results First: Helping States Apply Objective Data and Independent Analysis to Policy Decisions to Get the Best Return on Investment.” The Pew Center on the States, n.d. https://policyintegrity.org/documents/Watson.pdf ^
  3. “Susan Urahn.” Susan K Urahn | The Pew Charitable Trusts. Accessed July 19, 2021. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/about/leadership/susan-k-urahn?utm_campaign=communities_inst___googlegrant__cpc___&utm_source=adwords_nohandle&utm_medium=paid&utm_content=article_general_lay_none__text_&utm_term=bio_1a__&gclid=Cj0KCQjw_8mHBhClARIsABfFgpgQI1CWh_u9D23PS92_niTy4MoZt7iEHXmB9BzQVHD3TlC2gVpMhJ8aAn1sEALw_wcB. ^
  4. “Pew Center on the States: About Us.” Pew Center on the States About Us | The Pew Charitable Trusts. Accessed July 19, 2021. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/video/2012/pew-center-on-the-states-about-us. ^
  5. “Results First: Helping States Apply Objective Data and Independent Analysis to Policy Decisions to Get the Best Return on Investment.” The Pew Center on the States, n.d. https://policyintegrity.org/documents/Watson.pdf ^
  6. “History.” The Pew Charitable Trusts. Accessed July 19, 2021. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/about/history. ^
  7. Robert Lerner and Althea K. Nagai, “The Pew Charitable Trusts:  Revitalizing ‘the Spirit of the ‘60s,’ Alternatives in Philanthropy, November 1995. ^
  8. “J. Howard Pew.” Philanthropy Roundtable. Accessed July 19, 2021. https://www.philanthropyroundtable.org/almanac/people/hall-of-fame/detail/j.-howard-pew. ^
  9. “Evidence Counts Evaluating State Tax Incentives for Jobs and Growth.” Pew Center on the States, April 2012. https://www.pewtrusts.org/~/media/assets/2012/04/12/pew_evaluating_state_tax_incentives_report.pdf ^
  10. “Pew: One in Eight Voter Registrations Inaccurate; 51 Million Citizens Unregistered.” Pew One in Eight Voter Registrations Inaccurate 51 Million Citizens Unregistered | The Pew Charitable Trusts. Accessed July 19, 2021. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/about/news-room/press-releases-and-statements/2012/02/14/pew-one-in-eight-voter-registrations-inaccurate-51-million-citizens-unregistered. ^
  11. “Susan Urahn.” Susan K Urahn. Pew Charitable Trusts. Accessed July 19, 2021. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/about/leadership/susan-k-urahn?utm_campaign=communities_inst___googlegrant__cpc___&utm_source=adwords_nohandle&utm_medium=paid&utm_content=article_general_lay_none__text_&utm_term=bio_1a__&gclid=Cj0KCQjw_8mHBhClARIsABfFgpgQI1CWh_u9D23PS92_niTy4MoZt7iEHXmB9BzQVHD3TlC2gVpMhJ8aAn1sEALw_wcB. ^
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