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The Little Progressive Think Tank that Could

by Eric S. Peterson
- Posted // 2010-01-28 -

Look out Sutherland Institute, there may be a new think tank in town. The Citizen’s Education Project, a local progressive nonprofit plans to become a full fledged foundation by the end of 2010.

CEP has long fought many a good progressive fight-- from keeping privatized prisons out of Utah, to raising alarm bells on the Snake Valley Water deal—and now they plan on stepping up their involvement.

In a recent letter, former Democratic State Party director and now current CEP Director, Craig Axford explains:

“Too often progressives have been forced to react to legislation they disapprove of instead of going on the offensive with ideas of their own. Those days are coming to an end.”

Axford admits raising money for a foundation won’t be easy, especially since a progressive think tank can’t rely as easily upon corporate donations.

“For one thing, the CEP won't have much corporate support because we don't intend to muddy the waters on climate change or other issues, we intend to inform and educate the public and policy makers about problems facing Utah and the West and offer real solutions.”

To that end CEP is reaching out to the people with a goal to gain 1,000 monthly supporters by the end of 2010 to get the foundation up and running. Definitely a noble goal, and in a political world where think tanks can actually study policy (as opposed to some legislators just pulling policy ideas out their ass) it couldn’t hurt to have a bipartisan pair of think tanks advising Utah’s leaders on the most important red meat issues facing Utahns.

(Hat tip to the World According to Me blog.)

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