Non-profit

Progress North Carolina Action (Progress NC Action)

Website:

progressncaction.org

Location:

RALEIGH, NC

Tax ID:

45-2862217

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Budget (2017):

Revenue: $271,364
Expenses: $238,570
Assets: $72,585

Type:

Left-Wing State Advocacy Group

Formation:

2011

President:

Gerrick Brenner

Progress North Carolina Action (Progress NC Action) is a left-of-center policy advocacy, lobbying, and activism organization that aims to push public policy in North Carolina to the left. It is the lobbying and electoral branch of Progress North Carolina (Progress NC) and organizes petitions, lobbies, and submits press releases in support of left-progressive advocacy in the state.

Through Progress North Carolina, it is connected to left-of-center advocacy coalition Blueprint NC. It is also connected to the ProgressNow Education Fund. [1] [2]

Leadership

Dean Debnam, the chairman of the board, is founder and CEO of Public Policy Polling, a Democratic-leaning polling firm criticized for its questionable methodology, alleged suppression of undesirable results, and manipulation of the polling process. [3]

Board member Jessica Laurenz is the North Carolina director of America Votes, the left-leaning lobbying and advocacy coalition. In 2013 a political strategy memo was leaked to the Charlotte Observer outlining a plan of attack against conservative leadership in North Carolina, highlighting Governor Pat McCrory (R-NC) and then-State House Speaker (and later U.S. Senator) Thom Tillis (R-NC). The memo called for a plan to “eviscerate the leadership and weaken their plan to govern” including:[4]

  • “staff of video trackers to follow their every move”
  • “private investigators and investigative reporting, especially in the executive branch”
  • “pressur[ing] McCrory at every public event”
  • “fill[ing] mock committee rooms with people and crowd build at earned media events.”

The accompanying email stated the memo Is confidential to Blueprint, which originally took responsibility for the memo. [5] Republicans called for an investigation into whether the contents showed a violation of disclosure of campaigning activity. At this point, Laurenz took responsibility for the drafting of the document to avoid further controversy. [6] [7]

Gerrick Brenner was the executive director of PNC from June 2011 to February 2020. [8]

Eleanore Wood is the digital director of PNC and the founder of activism coalition RISE Together NC. Prior to her work at PNC she co-founded an internet provider in Grand Rapids, Michigan. [9]

Alanna Joyner provides digital content for PNC’s website. She is a graduate from East Carolina University with degrees in Communications and International Studies. [10]

Activism and Advocacy

Following his sale of stock valued at $1.5 million following the 2020 outbreak of COVID-19, PNCAction launched a petition to force the resignation of Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) as head of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The petition garnered over 1,900 signatures, falling short of its goal of 3,000. [11] Nevertheless, Burr resigned under public pressure in May 2020. [12]

Progress NC Action was a supporter, along with Planned Parenthood and the North Carolina Association of Educators (the state’s National Education Association-affiliated teachers’ union), of “Pledge to Sustain.” This initiative was sparked by Governor Roy Cooper’s (D-NC) June 2019 decision to veto the two-year budget proposal on the grounds that it lacked Medicaid expansion and that the 3.9 percent teacher pay raise was insufficient. Pledge to Sustain was launched to oppose an override of this veto, and it succeeded in January 2020 with an unintended side effect. Because the legislators and the governor could not agree on a new budget, funding remained essentially static to the previous budget, with no pay raise for teachers or expansion of Medicaid. [13]

In a June 2018 press release, Progres NC Action spoke out against a proposal to lower the income tax cap in North Carolina from 10 percent to 7 percent on the grounds that in the future it could hurt the education system’s funding. [14]

References

  1. WRAL. “Progress North Carolina.” WRAL.com Website. January 12, 2015. Accessed May 26, 2020. https://www.wral.com/progress-north-carolina/12159808/ WRAL. “Progress North Carolina.” WRAL.com Website. January 12, 2015. Accessed May 26, 2020. https://www.wral.com/progress-north-carolina/12159808/ ^
  2. Mapping the Left. “Progress NC.” Mappingtheleft.com Website. Undated. Accessed May 26, 2020. https://www.mappingtheleft.com/group/progress-nc/ ^
  3. Cohn, Nate. “There’s Something Wrong with America’s Premiere Liberal Pollster.” The New Republic. September 12, 2013. Accessed May 28, 2020. https://newrepublic.com/article/114682/ppp-polling-methodology-opaque-flawed ^
  4. Laurenz, Jessica. “North Carolina 2013 Legislative Strategy: Draft” PDF. Undated. Accessed May 27, 2020. http://1ttd918ylvt17775r1u6ng1adc-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/packet1.pdf ^
  5. Laurenz, Jessica. “North Carolina 2013 Legislative Strategy: Draft” PDF. Undated. Accessed May 27, 2020. http://1ttd918ylvt17775r1u6ng1adc-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/packet1.pdf ^
  6.   Binker, Mark. “Liberal Groups Lay Out Blueprint for Attack on State Leaders.” WRAL.com Website. February 23, 2013. Accessed May 27, 2020. https://www.wral.com/liberal-group-lays-out-blueprint-for-attack-on-state-leaders/12136669/ ^
  7. Binker, Mark. “America Votes Takes Responsibility for Controversial Memo.” WRAL.com Website. February 23, 2013. Accessed May 27, 2020. https://www.wral.com/america-votes-takes-responsibility-for-controversial-memo/12161902/ ^
  8. . Linkedin. “Gerrick Brenner.” Linkedin Website. Undated. Accessed May 26, 2020. https://www.linkedin.com/in/gerrickbrenner ^
  9. Progress NC. “Who We Are.” Progress NC.org Website. Undated. Accessed May 13, 2020. https://progressnc.org/index.php/about/ ^
  10. Progress NC. “Who We Are.” Progress NC.org Website. Undated. Accessed May 13, 2020. https://progressnc.org/index.php/about/ ^
  11. Progress North Carolina Action. “Senator Burr Must Resign for Withholding Crucial Information About the Coronavirus Pandemic.” PNC Action Website. Undated. Accessed May 24, 2020. https://progressncaction.org/burr-petition/ ^
  12. Voytko, Lisette. “Senator Burr Steps Down as Intel Committee Chairman Amid Escalating Stock Probe.” Forbes. May 14, 2020. Accessed May 24, 2020. https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisettevoytko/2020/05/14/senator-burr-resigns-as-intel-committee-chairman-amid-escalating-stock-sale-probe/#6aa9f9fc1568 ^
  13. Bergquist, Garrett. “NC Senate Fails to Override Governor Cooper’s Teacher Pay Veto.” Spectrum News Website. January 14, 2020. Accessed May 24, 2020. https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nc/charlotte/news/2020/01/14/nc-senate-fails-to-override-governor-cooper-s–teacher-pay–veto ^
  14. Wood, Eleanore. “ICYMI Could Keeping the Income Tax Rate from Going Higher Hurt Schools?” PNC Action Website. June 27, 2018. Accessed May 27, 2020. https://progressncaction.org/2018/06/icymi-could-keeping-the-income-tax-rate-from-going-higher-hurt-ncs-public-schools/ ^
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Nonprofit Information

  • Accounting Period: December - November
  • Tax Exemption Received: May 1, 2013

  • 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
    2017 Dec Form 990 $271,364 $238,570 $72,585 $9,341 N $271,364 $0 $0 $38,733 PDF
    2016 Dec Form 990 $336,002 $414,118 $41,521 $11,071 N $336,002 $0 $0 $40,248 PDF
    2015 Dec Form 990 $185,480 $139,609 $117,544 $8,978 N $185,480 $0 $0 $30,942 PDF
    2014 Dec Form 990 $249,119 $191,170 $71,924 $9,229 N $249,119 $0 $0 $40,854 PDF
    2013 Dec Form 990 $140,063 $204,979 $14,196 $9,450 N $140,063 $0 $0 $25,466 PDF
    2012 Dec Form 990 $208,737 $216,031 $77,151 $7,489 N $208,737 $0 $0 $0 PDF

    Additional Filings (PDFs)

    Progress North Carolina Action (Progress NC Action)

    PO BOX 945
    RALEIGH, NC 27602-0945