WHAT: Low income people and people of color are key to building a national movement of racial and urban justice, human rights and democracy.
HOW: We invest in grassroots organizing to promote safe, equitable, and affordable neighborhoods.
- Focus on resident empowerment. Residents know what their communities need to prevent displacement and protect low-cost housing. Community land trusts remove land from private ownership to create a shared, common asset to promote long-term affordability. Our grants to Right to the City and Community Solutions supported the creation of community land trusts along with the resident leadership to make them true community assets.
- Fund “trans-local” campaigns. The magnitude of the US housing crisis demands bold, visionary action. Grassroots campaigns grounded in lived experience must be resourced and coordinated to force action at the state and national levels. Our grants to Right to the City and the Alliance for Housing Justice support efforts to strengthen grassroot groups in their advocacy to center housing as a human right.
WHAT: Government programs that protect families should be championed.
HOW: We invest in organizations that fight efforts to weaken and end government protections.
- Fund proactively. Food stamps (SNAP) are the primary bulwark against hunger in the United States. They provide necessary supplements that help families stay housed because they do not need to choose between rent and food. SNAP serves millions of people across the country and promotes long-term health and well-being, especially in children. Our grant to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities helped convince policymakers around the country to prevent proposed harmful cuts to this program.
- Fund multisector campaigns. The administration plans to roll out new regulations to fundamentally change legal immigration in the United States by imposing a wealth test and expanding deportations based on people’s use of public safety net programs. Butler funded the National Immigration Law Center and National Housing Law Project for advocacy and litigation to protect immigrant families by fighting these harmful changes.
WHAT: A centralized campaign—The 8th Amendment Project—works to abolish the death penalty.
HOW: We invest in advocacy, education, training, and grass roots organizing to support the campaign goal.
- Fund the trainers. We supported the Atlantic Center for Capital Representation and the Florida Center for Capital Representation to provide expert training to death penalty lawyers and mitigators to reduce death sentences. Death sentences are down dramatically across the country—43 in 2018, the fourth-fewest number imposed in any year since 1972.
- Stop the poison, expand the voices. We invest in Reprieve US’s Stop Lethal Injection Project, which has ended the supply of lethal injection drugs to the United States and debunked the “humane execution” myth. To expand the voices against capital punishment, we support grassroots organizing by the Catholic Mobilizing Network and others.
- Engage business. We were an early supporter of the Responsible Business Initiative, formed to take advantage of the depth of EU investment in the US. RBI leverages these corporate and diplomatic voices in service of ending the death penalty.
- Reverse the policy. With colleague funders, we invested in statewide campaigns that abolished the death penalty in five states: New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware [abolished by the court], and Maryland. These states joined New Jersey, New York and New Hampshire as states that have abolished since 2007.