Non-profit

Redistricting Reform Project

Type:

Left-Wing Redistricting Advocacy Group

Project of:

New Venture Fund

The Redistricting Reform Project (RRP) is an initiative that advocates for states to advantage left-of-center interests in drawing state legislative and congressional districts in the 2021 redistricting process. [1]

While the Project claims to be nonpartisan, both its leadership and its parent organization have an extensive track record of backing left-of-center causes. RRP is a project of the New Venture Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that is part of a multi-million-dollar “dark money” network managed by the left-of-center consulting firm Arabella Advisors. [2]

Fiscal Sponsor

The New Venture Fund is a grantmaking and fiscal sponsorship organization that supports left-of-center advocacy efforts, such as Redistricting Reform Project. Fiscal sponsorship is an arrangement in which an established nonprofit provides a smaller organization with services such as financial management and administrative support. [3]

Policy Activism

In 2018, left-wing activist and Redistricting Reform Project managing consultant Cathy Duvall noted that left-of-center redistricting plans for 2021 were “much farther along” than she “would have imagined two years ago.” [4]

In August of that year, the Project organized an online conference on redistricting efforts leading up to the 2020 Census. The conference presented strategies for assisting non-citizens, who are typically left-of-center voters, in completing the Census and opposed efforts to include a citizenship question. [5] In January 2020, Duvall made a similar presentation at another conference, though she was listed as representing a different advocacy group called the Fair Representation in Redistricting Initiative. [6]

Leadership

Redistricting Reform Project is led by Cathy Duvall, a professional activist who currently works as a consultant on environmentalist projects and redistricting. Duvall is also a board member of the left-of-center State Innovation Exchange. Duvall has an extensive history of left-of-center political involvement, working as former director of strategic partnerships and national political director for the Sierra Club, national campaign director for America Votes, national field director for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and as an organizer for the Public Interest Network. [7]

Financials

As a project of the New Venture Fund, Redistricting Reform Project does not file its own tax returns with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and all grants to RRP go through the New Venture Fund. Some contributors identify contributions to NVF intended for RRP: RRP received grants from the left-of-center Bauman Family Foundation totaling more than $1.1 million between 2013 and 2021. [8] The Project also received $105,000 from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund between 2016 and 2018, and $100,000 from the Joyce Foundation between 2016 and 2017. [9][10]

References

  1.       Miles Rapoport. “Prospects Brightening for Redistricting Reform.” The American Prospect. Dec. 7, 2017. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://prospect.org/power/prospects-brightening-redistricting-reform/ ^
  2.             Miles Rapoport. “Prospects Brightening for Redistricting Reform.” The American Prospect. Dec. 7, 2017. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://prospect.org/power/prospects-brightening-redistricting-reform/ ^
  3.   “Fiscal Sponsorship for Nonprofits.” National Council of Nonprofits. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/tools-resources/fiscal-sponsorship-nonprofits ^
  4.             Miles Rapoport and Cecily Hines, “A New Playing Field for Democracy Reform.” Common Dreams. December 27, 2018. Accessed March 3, 2021. https://www.commondreams.org/views/2018/12/27/new-playing-field-democracy-reform ^
  5. “Erasing Representation: the Implications of the Census Citizenship Question on Reapportionment & Redistricting.” Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://www.gcir.org/programs/erasing-representation-implications-census-citizenship-question-reapportionment ^
  6.        “Citizenship Data & Redistricting: New Opinion Research.” Funders for LGBTQ Issues. Accessed March 4, 2021.

    Citizenship Data & Redistricting: New Opinion Research

    ^

  7.          Cathy Duvall. LinkedIn. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://www.linkedin.com/in/cathyduvall/ ^
  8. “New Venture Fund.” Bauman Foundation. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://www.baumanfoundation.org/grantee/119 ^
  9. “New Venture Fund.” Rockefeller Brothers Fund. Accessed March 4, 2021. https://www.rbf.org/grantees/new-venture-fund ^
  10.        “Joyce Foundation Awards $13.7 Million in Grants.” Joyce Foundation. July 27, 2016. Accessed March 3, 2021. http://www.joycefdn.org/news/joyce-foundation-awards-13-7-million-in-grants ^
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