It's been nearly a year since the Progressive Policy Institute embarked on an exciting new course as an independent, web-based think tank and online home for the progressive center. I'm very proud of the tremendous progress we've made and would like to give you a quick update on how far we've come.
Here are a few highlights:
Launch of ProgressiveFix.com
Last fall we launched a dynamic new web platform, Progressivefix.com. In just a few short months, P-Fix has come alive with timely, incisive commentary on breaking political events, deep analysis of underlying structural trends and a steady stream of creative ideas for tackling big national problems. We've developed innovative proposals for high-speed rail, cybersecurity, economic innovation and competitiveness, clean tech and nuclear energy, smart financial regulation, a redesign of public education, and tax and entitlement reform.
In addition, P-Fix steers readers to smart ideas generated by like-minded thinkers and organizations, such as the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, the Truman National Security Project, Environment Northeast, Third Way, Democracy magazine and Education Sector.
Our aim is to make P-Fix a one-stop shop for pragmatic progressives in American politics. Under the editorial guidance of Elbert Ventura, P-Fix pushes back against the ideologues and ultra-partisans on both the left and the right who have hijacked the national political debate.
Progressive Idea Network
PPI has moved away from the traditional think tank model organized around an in-house "faculty" of scholars. Instead, we are building a progressive idea network. Our small but talented core staff of 10 forms the nucleus for a virtual community of affiliated writers, thinkers, entrepreneurs and civic activists who share our passion for developing practical solutions to the nation's problems.
By leveraging outside talent, PPI is able to expand its creative output while keeping its overhead low. Among the distinguished experts who have written for us include Harvard economist Robert Stavins, Wired's Noah Shachtman, former Business Week chief economist Michael Mandel, Rep. Jared Polis (D-CO), Democracy managing editor Clay Risen, railroad expert Mark Reutter and New York City Coalition Against Hunger director Joel Berg.
The Word is Spreading
Our research has been widely disseminated in the media. Outlets including the New York Times, Associated Press, Time, U.S. News and World Report, Politico, and The Hill have cited our work and quoted our authors. In addition, PPI staffers have been featured on CNN, Fox News Channel, National Public Radio and scores of other radio shows. ProgressiveFix.com blog posts have also been picked up by some of the most popular blogs and websites, including Huffington Post, Marginal Revolution, Economist's View, ThinkProgress, TNR.com, RealClearPolitics and Danger Room.
PPI's policy work focuses on five key areas:
The Progressive Security Project - Directed by Jim Arkedis, formerly of the Naval Criminal Intelligence Service, the project works on military modernization, cybersecurity, counterterrorism and counterinsurgency, civil-military relations and key U.S. foreign policy challenges.
The Innovative Economy Project - This project develops ideas for spurring innovation and entrepreneurship, which PPI believes are essential to expanding opportunity at home and competing successfully abroad. Directed by Mike Derham, a former Wall Street trader, the project tackles such topics as financial regulation, telecommunications and digital infrastructure, corporate tax reform, intellectual property protection and more.
The E3 Initiative-Energy, Environment, Economy - Directed by Mike Signer, this project aims at two goals: restoring U.S. global leadership in clean technology and energy development, and building a new and modern infrastructure including high-speed rail and intelligent transportation systems.
A New Fiscal Framework for Growth - PPI continues to be the leading voice in elevating fiscal responsibility as a progressive value. Our work encompasses policies for controlling health care cost growth, modernizing Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, reforming our tax system, restoring budget discipline, reducing America's enormous national debt and mitigating the destabilizing impact of global financial imbalances. As a member of the Brookings Fiscal Seminar, which includes some of the nation's foremost experts on budgeting and public finance, I've participated in "fiscal wake up tours" and other collaborative efforts to frame new solutions to America's fiscal crisis.
21st-Century Schools Project - PPI has won foundation support to continue its groundbreaking work on redesigning public education. Working with leading education researchers, we are developing a new, high-tech model for public education around the principles of choice, high standards and accountability, and the "mass customization" of learning.
Other members of PPI's team include our Executive Director Beth Kennedy, Director of Special Projects Lindsay Lewis, Public Affairs Director Steven Chlapecka, and my long-time colleague and analyst extraordinaire, Ed Kilgore.
Through outreach and development, PPI has strengthened ties with prominent public officials on Capitol Hill, in the Obama administration and in state capitals. Our "Lawmakers Luncheon" series has featured Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN), as well as Reps. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Adam Smith (D-WA) and Melissa Bean (D-IL).
By hosting public forums, PPI works to shape and inject new ideas into the political debate. Just last week, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) keynoted a conference PPI sponsored on campaign finance reform after the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision.
Finally, we've created new levels of engagement for friends and supporters to participate in our work. Under the direction of Lindsay Lewis, PPI in the coming weeks will organize meetings for our Trustees, Directors, Policy Council and Advisors.
Because of your support, PPI will continue to amplify the voice of pragmatic progressives and challenge the forces that have polarized and paralyzed our politics for too long. We need your help to succeed in this vital mission. And we hope you will join us.
Thanks for making this possible,