Partners in Liberty: National Center for Public Policy Research – The Heartland Institute

Founded in 1982, the National Center for Public Policy Research (NCPPR) was created not to be just another think tank but rather a do tank providing the freedom movement with what its founders called missing ingredients for success.

Countering Shareholder Activism

Early on, NCPPR realized if conservatives were to prevail on such important issues as climate change, they would have to dissuade corporations from giving the Left the lobbying and financial support that had often been critical to its success in the past.

Accordingly, NCPPR established and sponsors the Free Enterprise Project (FEP), the movements only full-service shareholder activism and education program, to neutralize corporations advancing the progressive agenda.

FEP files shareholder resolutions to give it leverage to force corporations to the negotiating table. It also publicly grills CEOs at their annual shareholder meetings over their support of radical green policies, commissions polls to show corporate boards how their political activism damages their brands, and runs targeted TV ads to turn up the heat. These efforts have garnered enormous amounts of media attention.

One of FEPs first corporate targets was GE, at that time one of the leading corporate advocates of carbon dioxide restrictions. Just days after FEP sponsored activism at GEs 2011 annual meetingwhich included two shareholder resolutions, multiple questions to the CEO, and protestors outside challenging his support of greenhouse gas regulationsthen-GE CEO Jeff Immelt announced he would no longer push such regulation.

If I had one thing to do over again, I would not have talked so much about green, said Immelt in the aftermath of the meeting.

More recently, in exchange for FEP withdrawing shareholder resolutions, seven major corporations adopted formal policies to seek greater ideological diversity on their boards.

Promoting Minority Conservatives

NCPPR also sponsors Project 21, a network of black conservative and libertarian leaders. With hundreds of members nationwide, Project 21 builds support for freedom among minority communities by putting its members on the air, creating more 45,000 media opportunities for black leaders.

One of Project 21s first efforts was the publication of an op-ed titled Jim Crow Turns Green, which was carried by the Knight Ridder newswire and picked up by more than 50 daily newspapers nationwide. The op-ed detailed how environmental regulations have a disproportionate negative impact on minorities.

In 2019, Project 21 released a Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America, a 57-point, free-market-based plan for improving economic conditions in minority communities.

An innovative proposal in the plan calls for mandatory Minority Impact Assessments (MIAs) for all new regulations before governments may impose them. Because regulations tend to be regressive, falling particularly hard on minorities, MIAs could be a substantial brake on regulation.

Committed to the belief that ideas are important and need to be backed by action. NCPPR provides that action.

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Partners in Liberty: National Center for Public Policy Research - The Heartland Institute

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