The Washington Post published a story on October 23 highlighting the work of the Women Effect Fund’s Virginia Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy (CFFE) on paid leave. At the end of the 2020 Virginia state legislative session, the final state budget included language requiring the Governor’s office to conduct an analysis of how a paid leave program would be implemented in Virginia. The study ultimately recommended a system of paid leave that is very similar to and aligned with the VA CFFE’s preferred bill and system.
Mother Jones published a piece on the power and importance of relational organizing featuring many of RFF’s grantees. The article emphasized that the power of grassroots organizing has consistently been overshadowed by technology and data in the post-election narrative both in Obama’s victory in 2008 and Trump’s victory in 2016. Joy Cushman, a consultant with the Democracy and Power Innovation Fund said it best with “It’s not that data doesn’t matter or that technology doesn’t matter. It does but is it in service to building a broad, excited, and motivated base of people? I think many elites on the left see the election as a technocratic exercise in maximizing cost per vote. And it’s killing us.”
To read more about relational organization, read the full Mother Jones piece here: https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/10/relational-organizing/
The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) released a report that found the declining oil and gas industry in New Mexico could drastically affect the state’s budget. The report written by Tom Sanzillo and Suzanne Mattei showed that leases, royalty payments, and taxes from the oil and gas industry have accounted for as much as 30% of New Mexico’s revenue in recent history and that oil prices would need to be $80 a barrel for several years to make up for the declining prices in the last six years. James Jimenez of New Mexico Voices for Children and Oriana Sandoval of the Center for Civic Policy, both grantees of the Funder Collaborative on Oil and Gas, wrote an op-ed for local newspapers saying, “Legislators can’t control demand for oil, but they have many ways to help stabilize the state’s revenue, and they should start by repealing failed tax cuts for the wealthy and out-of-state corporations.”
In August, The New York Times’ Sunday Business section profiled Dr. Heather Boushey, CEO and President of the Washington Center for Equitable Growth (WCEG), a long-time RFF grantee and thought partner. The article describes Dr. Boushey’s unique work:
“For decades, economists have often sought to frame their discipline as being at an arm’s length from politics. But Dr. Boushey and her peers, many of them Generation X, have embraced the field’s social and political roots. Informed by mistakes made during the 2008 recession, members of this cohort…have turned their attention to the structural consequences of deepening inequality.”
You can read the full NYT article here: “A Gen-X Adviser to Biden Argues Equality Is Good for Growth
RFF board member Peter Gill Case and two other Rockefeller family members, Daniel Growald and Valerie Rockefeller, published an op-ed in the New York Times this week announcing BankFWD, a network of individuals, businesses, and foundations using “their banking choices and public standing to persuade major banks to phase out their financing of fossil fuels and lead on climate matters.”
BankFWD is asking individuals, businesses, and foundations to take a pledge to 1) ask banks to phase out financing of fossil fuels to align with he 1.5 degree target of the Paris Agreement while community to measurable progress by 2030; 2) advocate for policies and initiatives to combat climate change; and 3) actively support climate-leader banks and transfer assets away from banks that fail to show sufficient progress.
On July 22, Julie Fernandes, Associate Director for Institutional Accountability and Individual Liberty at RFF, participated in the Harvard Ash Center’s panel on “Protest, Mobilization, and the 2020 Election: The Role of Philanthropy.” She was joined by David Callahan from Inside Philanthropy, Crystal Hayling from the Libra Foundation, and Gara LaMarche from the Democracy Alliance. The panelists discussed why philanthropy tends to be risk-averse, who is seen as a legitimate voice in philanthropy, how grassroots organizations can get more access to funders, how philanthropy can be more involved in communities on the ground, and what philanthropy can do leading up and after the 2020 November election.
To honor the life and continue the remarkable legacy of RFF’s former beloved president, David W. Kaiser, the Rockefeller Family Fund created the David W. Kaiser Memorial Fund for Climate Progress. Throughout his twenty-two years as a trustee and president of the board, David distinguished himself by his relentless effort to imbue the Fund with the urgency and audacity require to confront many of our nation’s most desperate problems. The David Kaiser Fund will support programs designed to overcome institutional barriers that continue to block the necessary climate progress we must rapidly achieve.
Public Citizen, with support from the Funder Collaborative on Oil and Gas, and two Texas landowners sued the Railroad Commission of Texas in state district court in July. The commission was sued for illegally suspending state rules that protect public health and the environment from the oil and gas industry.