RegPolicyCollage_wide.JPG
Dec. 2, 2021 by Minor Sinclair, James Goodwin

Strengthening the 4th Branch of Government

This blog post is the second in a series outlining the Center for Progressive Reform’s new strategic direction. We published A Turning Point on Climate in November.

Over the last four decades, small government ideologues have waged a coordinated attack against government. The strategy has paid off: Public approval ratings of all three branches of government are at all-time lows.

Nevertheless, the federal government still manages to get things done on a day-to-day basis, and that is primarily due to the so-called 4th branch of government — the administrative and regulatory state that employs 2 million workers, invests trillions of dollars each year on things like air pollution monitoring and cutting-edge clean energy research, and makes rules that protect us all.

This is not to say that the administrative state hasn’t been the target of conservative attacks, too. These attacks have left federal regulatory system battered, bruised, and starved for resources. Nevertheless, the genius of its design — including such factors as a professional bureaucracy, science-based policymaking, strict transparency measures, and a commitment to public participation — has enabled it to persevere in the face of these challenges.

Simply put, the administrative state makes our lives our better, and we would …

Oct. 28, 2021 by Minor Sinclair
FloatingEarth_wide.jpg

Our society has finally reached a turning point on climate.

I’m not referring to the “point of irreversibility” about which the United Nations warns us: In nine short years, the cascading impacts of climate change will trigger more and greater impacts to the point of no return.

Rather, we have reached the turning point of political will for climate action. There is no going back to climate passivity or denialism. Choosing to electrify and greenify is a progressive agenda, a mainstream agenda, and an industry agenda though all of these agendas differ.

Reconciling these interests, Congress will pass one, if not two, major spending bills this fall, which would invest as much as $750 billion in climate investments to decarbonize, electrify, and build resilient infrastructure. This achievement is not the Green New Deal, nor the full vision of the Sunrise Movement, but it borrows parts from …

Feb. 18, 2021 by Minor Sinclair
minor-blog-banner-no-logo.jpg

As many of you know, I started as the Center for Progressive Reform's new executive director this month. I am thrilled to join CPR in this historic moment, to commit the next stage of my life to fight for the integrity and strength of our democracy, and to establish, as FDR said 90 years ago, "the purpose of government to see that not only the legitimate interests of the few are protected but that the welfare and rights of the many are conserved."

CPR's mission speaks to me personally. My own winding story saw me raised in the American South, defending refugees and human rights in Central America in the '80s, living in Cuba in the '90s, and, for the past 15 years, working at Oxfam to defend workers' rights and socially vulnerable communities in the United States. The fault lines of race and entitlement that …

Jan. 14, 2021 by Michele Janin, Robert Verchick
minor-blog-banner-no-logo.jpg

Over the last six months, we had the honor of leading the search for a visionary new leader to guide our organization. Our search is over, and we're thrilled to announce that Minor Sinclair will be taking CPR's helm next month.

Sinclair is a dynamic leader with a commitment to the progressive values CPR has fought for over the last two decades: justice, equity, public health, safety, and environmental sustainability. He is uniquely qualified to guide our organization through this moment of social and political change.

A tireless advocate for justice, Sinclair has dedicated his career to supporting the rights of low-income and vulnerable communities. He also has management and fundraising experience, an ability to bring people together around progressive change, and an ambitious vision for CPR as it enters its third decade.

After earning a bachelor's degree in international development from Davidson College, Sinclair began his …

Oct. 30, 2020 by Matthew Freeman
Forest_Trail_wide.jpg

Seventeen years ago, I had lunch at a suburban diner with Rena Steinzor, then a stranger to me, now an old friend. She'd found me through a colleague at the Natural Resources Defense Council, who'd suggested to her that I might be able to work with her and the other founding members of what was then the Center for Progressive Regulation as they sought to add some media know-how to their fledgling organization. If you've ever met Rena, you might know that her full-court press is second only to LBJ's. I took the gig, coming on board as a consultant, and have been here ever since.

Today, I take my leave after 17 terrific years. During that time, the organization has grown to be a true player on the issues we care about, producing smart, hard-hitting, idea-rich reports that create powerful intellectual ammunition for the progressive …

Sept. 28, 2020 by Michele Janin
Forest_Trail_wide.jpg

As many of our allies and supporters know, CPR is now in the midst of a nationwide search for our next executive director. Earlier this month, with the start of the school year, Matt Shudtz left us to be a full-time parent of young home-bound children whose schools and daycare are restricted to virtual learning.

So, it's time for us to find new staff leadership. We're looking for a dynamic leader prepared to guide our nearly 20-year-old organization into its next stage of growth and impact. Since the days in the early aughts when you could squeeze all our Member Scholars and staff around a medium-sized conference table, we've grown to have more than 60 Member Scholars across the nation and a permanent staff of eight, all working virtually even before the pandemic. And, importantly, we've had and continue to have real impact on a number of …

Aug. 26, 2020 by Matt Shudtz
Forest_Trail_wide.jpg

Since the very beginning of the pandemic, public health officials have warned of a second wave of COVID infections. With no epidemiological background, I’d say the impact of the virus looks more like a wildfire rolling across a forest seeking fresh fuel. But I fear that I am on the front side of a different sort of second wave.

When the pandemic forced shutdowns across the country in March and April, millions of Americans lost their jobs. Some of us, myself included, were fortunate to work for organizations that have been able to weather the storm in a “virtual office.” But with September approaching, and schools forced to navigate uncharted waters, there are hard choices to be made.

My wife and I had to make one such choice not long ago, and as a result, I'm leaving the best job I've ever had.

I have two …

  • 1 (current)
CPR HOMEPAGE
More on CPR's Work & Scholars.
Dec. 2, 2021

Strengthening the 4th Branch of Government

Oct. 28, 2021

A Turning Point on Climate — and for the Center for Progressive Reform

Feb. 18, 2021

I'm Joining CPR to Help Strengthen Our Democracy and Advance Justice and Equity

Jan. 14, 2021

CPR Welcomes New Executive Director Minor Sinclair

Oct. 30, 2020

Thanks for the Journey!

Sept. 28, 2020

Are You CPR's Next Executive Director?

Aug. 26, 2020

I'm Leaving the Best Job I've Ever Had