Other Group

In the Public Interest




Oakland, CA


Government Spending Advocacy Group

Executive Director:

Donald Cohen

Parent Organization:

PowerSwitch Action (Partnership for Working Families)

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In the Public Interest (ITPI) is left-of-center research and policy group that opposes privatization and defends government-provided goods and services. It publishes research, blogs, and other forms of communication to help other left-leaning policy organizations and elected officials.

It is a project of the PowerSwitch Action (formerly Partnership for Working Families), a national coalition of left-of-center nonprofits that support wealth redistribution and organized labor. 1


In the Public Interest is a research and policy advocacy organization that supports continued government provision of government-provided “public goods and services.” ITPI asserts that the privatization harms service quality, government budgets, democracy, and left-wing equity principles. ITPI advocates for an adequate government budget and greater popular support for a government that benefits everyone. 2


To advance its desired left-of-center economic policies, In the Public Interest produces research reports that traces trends in public services as well as the alleged efficacy of administrative mechanisms like direct service provision, government contracting, and public-private partnerships. ITPI also produces reports into the effects of “privatization on the democratic process and the common good.” 3

It also creates resources for government officials and advocates to ensure that government-provided goods and services are accessible and managed by personnel who are accountable to the public. 4

ITPI publishes a blog which features writings largely from ITPI staff members on issues such as public budgets, infrastructure, privatization, charter schools, social services, health care, criminal justice, and racial justice. In August 2021, ITPI writing fellow Jeremy Mohler wrote a post claiming that the term “taxpayer” had a “racist history” and told readers to stop saying it. 5

In January 2022, Mohler published a post on ITPI’s blog entitled “When the rich don’t pay enough taxes, the rest of us pay more.” The post cites an Oxfam report that billionaires made a disproportionate amount of money during the COVID-19 pandemic compared to previous years and alleged its cause was due to the “increasing unfairness of the U.S. tax system.” It attempted to link rising costs of living to what he perceived as tax policies that benefit businesses. 6

In February 2023, executive director Donald Cohen published a post on ITPI’s blog praising the Biden administration for advancing left-wing equity policies, such as its Equity Actions Plan. 7

Opposition to Nuclear Energy

In May of 2021, In the Public Interest was one of 715 groups and businesses listed as a co-signer on a letter to the leadership of the U.S. House and Senate that referred to nuclear energy as a “dirty” form of energy production and a “significant” source of pollution. The letter asked federal lawmakers to reduce carbon emissions by creating a “renewable electricity standard” that promoted production of weather dependent power sources such as wind turbines and solar panels, but did not promote low carbon natural gas and zero carbon nuclear energy. 8

Nuclear power plants produce no carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gas emissions, and as of 2021 accounted for 19 percent of American electricity production—the largest source of zero carbon electricity in the United States. 9 An October 2018 proposal from The Nature Conservancy noted that zero-carbon nuclear plants produced 7.8 percent of total world energy output and recommended reducing carbon emissions by increasing nuclear capacity to 33 percent of total world energy output. 10


As of 2023, the executive director of In the Public Interest is Donald Cohen. He was a founding board member of PowerSwitch Action. He co-authored The Privatization of Everything with Allen Mikaelian. 11


  1. “About.” In The Public Interest. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://inthepublicinterest.org/about/.
  2. “About.” In The Public Interest. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://inthepublicinterest.org/about/.
  3. “About.” In The Public Interest. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://inthepublicinterest.org/about/.
  4. “About.” In The Public Interest. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://inthepublicinterest.org/about/.
  5. Mohler, Jeremy. “The racist history of the word ‘taxpayer’—and why you should stop saying it.” In the Public Interest, August 12, 2021. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://inthepublicinterest.org/the-racist-history-of-the-word-taxpayer-and-why-you-should-stop-saying-it/.
  6. Mohler, Jeremy. “When the rich don’t pay enough in taxes, the rest of us pay more.” In the Public Interest. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://inthepublicinterest.org/when-the-rich-dont-pay-enough-in-taxes-the-rest-of-us-pay-more/.
  7. Cohen, Donald. “Implementing Equity.” In the Public Interest, February 17, 2023. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://inthepublicinterest.org/implementing-equity/.
  8. Letter from Center for Biological Diversity et. al. to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Joe Manchin, and Rep. Frank Pallone. “RE: CONGRESS SHOULD ENACT A FEDERAL RENEWABLE ELECTRICITY STANDARD AND REJECT GAS AND FALSE SOLUTIONS.” May 12, 2021. Accessed July 25, 2023. https://www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/energy-justice/pdfs/2021-5-12_600-Group-Letter-for-RES.pdf?_gl=1*1c9h3t8*_gcl_au*MTc3NjM3MTM1Mi4xNjg5OTU1MzAz
  9. “Nuclear explained.” U.S. Energy Information Administration. Accessed July 25, 2023. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/nuclear/us-nuclear-industry.php
  10. “The Science of Sustainability.” The Nature Conservancy. October 13, 2018. Accessed July 25, 2023. https://www.nature.org/en-us/what-we-do/our-insights/perspectives/the-science-of-sustainability/
  11. “Our Staff.” In The Public Interest. Accessed May 7, 2023. https://inthepublicinterest.org/about/#ourstaff.

Directors, Employees & Supporters

  1. Blaine Rummel
    Former Chief Strategist
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In the Public Interest

1305 Franklin St., Suite 501
Oakland, CA 94612