Political Party/527

Black Progressive Action Coalition (BPAC)

Website:

www.blackprogressiveaction.org

Type:

527 Political Action Committee

Executive Director:

Adrianne Shropshire

The Black Progressive Action Coalition (BPAC) is a left-leaning political action committee and advocacy group that supports Democratic Party candidates and left-leaning issues. The organization is affiliated with the Super PAC BlackPAC, sharing staff and the same executive director.

The organization mobilizes African American voters to turn out and vote for Democratic candidates. In addition to supporting Democratic politicians, the organization works as an advocacy arm for left-of-center policies on criminal justice, voting eligibility and policy, and economics. The organization focuses on forming long-standing relationships between African-American communities, left-leaning policy priorities, and Democratic campaigns by interacting with African-American voters on a year-round basis. [1]

The organization is said to be a “dark money” group and is funded by many notable left-leaning funding organizations and labor unions such as the Service Employees International Union, which “incubated” BPAC as one of its many projects and was BPAC’s largest funder as of early 2018. [2]

Background

BlackPAC and BPAC were both founded by Adrianne Shropshire, a Los Angeles-based community organizer and activist who founded the organizations to start a long-term infrastructure for political engagement within the black community. [3]

BPAC, along with sister organization BlackPAC, is largely funded by left leaning labor union the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is among the largest funders of Democratic campaigns in the nation. [4] BPAC and BlackPAC were incubated by SEIU, which also paid Shropshire a mid-six-figure annual salary as a consultant, before being spun off as separate organizations. Of the $5.4 million raised by BlackPAC from 2016 to 2018, over $1.7 million came from the SEIU. [5]

“Dark Money”

Critics and left-progressives skeptical of the financing of political campaigns have called BPAC and sister organization BlackPAC “dark money” groups due to their raising money that cannot be traced back to a human source. Paul S. Ryan, a vice president for the liberal advocacy group Common Cause, said that “Voter turnout among underrepresented groups is a really important thing for democracy [. . .] the ends don’t justify the means.” Ryan continued by saying that while he personally agrees with the mission of BPAC, the organization “is now effectively serving as a conduit of ‘dark money.’” Other criticisms of the group include that the largest financial supporters of the movement are “wealthy, white donors.” [6]

Activity

The Black Progressive Action Coalition provides grassroots advocacy to Democratic candidates across the nation by knocking on doors to educate voters on left leaning policy issues. The wide array of campaign work it has done in recent years in states such as Virginia, Alabama, and Georgia, includes supporting candidates such as Stacey Abrams, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL), and Virginia Governor Ralph Northam (D). The organization promotes policy priorities on many race-related left-leaning policy issues to include income disparity, higher taxes, and left-leaning criminal law changes, including restoring voting rights to convicted felons. [7]

References

  1. “Home”. Black Progressive Action Coalition. Accessed July 10, 2020. https://www.blackprogressiveaction.org/ ^
  2. Beachum, Lateshia “A Super Pac Has Raised Millions to Mobilize Black Voters. Does It Matter That Its Funders Are White?”. Center for Public Integrity. March 12, 2018. Accessed July 10, 2020. https://publicintegrity.org/politics/a-super-pac-has-raised-millions-to-mobilize-black-voters-does-it-matter-that-its-funders-are-white/ ^
  3. “Leadership”. BlackPAC. Accessed July 10, 2020. https://blackpac.com/leadership/ ^
  4. Center for Responsive Politics. “Top Organization Contributors.” Opensecrets. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/top-donors. ^
  5. Beachum, Lateshia “A Super Pac Has Raised Millions to Mobilize Black Voters. Does It Matter That Its Funders Are White?”. Center for Public Integrity. March 12, 2018. Accessed July 10, 2020. https://publicintegrity.org/politics/a-super-pac-has-raised-millions-to-mobilize-black-voters-does-it-matter-that-its-funders-are-white/ ^
  6. Beachum, Lateshia “A Super Pac Has Raised Millions to Mobilize Black Voters. Does It Matter That Its Funders Are White?”. Center for Public Integrity. March 12, 2018. Accessed July 10, 2020. https://publicintegrity.org/politics/a-super-pac-has-raised-millions-to-mobilize-black-voters-does-it-matter-that-its-funders-are-white/ ^
  7. Williams, Vanessa. “Groups work to energize black voters in key midterm contests”. The Washington Post. October 19, 2018. Accessed July 10, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2018/10/19/groups-work-energize-black-voters-key-midterm-contests/ ^
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