Reclaim New York is a right-leaning watchdog group that seeks to inform and engage citizens and policy makers on challenges facing the state of New York. 1 Reclaim New York focuses on issues like government reform, affordability, and education. 2
As of 2022, Reclaim New York sought to encourage more parents to become involved with their local school boards in order to ensure quality education and influence issues like budgets, mandates, and services. Following a webinar in November 2021, Reclaim New York offers guidance to those running for school board, including links to national support groups like Moms for Liberty, FreedomWorks, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. 4
Reclaim New York aims to educate citizens about corruption in New York and the affordability crisis. Reclaim New York provides cost-of-living and government benefits data to advocate for more effective, transparent governance, with a special focus on raising awareness about illegal fees in many localities and corporate cronyism. Reclaim New York claims that more equitable and effective policies would allow New York to sustainably grow its economy. 5
Reclaim New York is funded by donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations. While Reclaim New York does not disclose its donors, tax filings confirm donations from the Mercer Family Foundation ($1.76 million in 2017), 6 Donors Trust ($1.45 million in 2019), 7 and the Randolph Foundation ($5,000 in 2017). 8
Jacquelyn James-Varga is the chair of the board of Reclaim New York. James-Varga formerly worked as the director of Emerdata, the account manager of the Mercer Family Foundation, and the treasurer of both the Make America Number 1 PAC and the Making America Great PAC. 10
Rebekah Mercer is the treasurer of the board, the director of the Mercer Family Foundation, and a trustee of the Heritage Foundation. Mercer sits on the boards of the Media Research Center, the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation, and the Moving Picture Institute. 11
Leonard Leo is the co-chair and former executive vice president of the Federalist Society, a former chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom, and a former U.S. Delegate to both the UN Council and UN Commission on Human Rights. 13
- Reclaim New York Inc, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Part I, Line 1.
- Reclaim New York Inc, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Part III, Line 1.
- Gold, Matea. “The Mercers and Stephen Bannon: How a populist power base was funded and built.” Washington Post, March 17, 2017. Accessed April 13, 2022. https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/mercer-bannon/.
- “Home.” Reclaim New York, 2022. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://reclaimnewyork.com/.
- Reclaim New York Inc, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2018, Part III, Line 4a.
- Mercer Family Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part XV, Line 3a.
- Donors Trust, Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax (Form 990), 2019, Schedule I, Part II.
- Randolph Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2017, Part XV, Line 3a.
- Segers, Grace. “After mistaken announcement, HUD official out of a job.” CBS News, October 19, 2018. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/suzanne-israel-tufts-proposed-inspector-general-for-interior-department-resigns/.
- Witt, Jesse and Pasternack, Alex. “The strange afterlife of Cambridge Analytica and the mysterious fate of its data.” Fast Company, July 26, 2019. Accessed April 18, 2022. https://www.fastcompany.com/90381366/the-mysterious-afterlife-of-cambridge-analytica-and-its-trove-of-data.
- “Rebekah A. Mercer.” The Heritage Foundation, 2022. Accessed April 13, 2022. https://www.heritage.org/staff/rebekah-mercer.
- Mercer Family Foundation, Return of Private Foundation (Form 990-PF), 2020, Part VII, Section A, Line 1a.
-  “Leonard A. Leo.” The Federalist Society, 2022. Accessed April 14, 2022. https://fedsoc.org/contributors/leonard-leo.