5 Dedicated Groups Advocating For Progressive Reform

The free market and the criminal justice system can be scourges on society, consuming irreplaceable resources and wrecking countless lives. To address this, many groups promote policies that attempt to bring about positive social change without completely overthrowing the systems that govern us. In no particular order, here are some organizations that aim to better the lives of ordinary people via important progressive improvements.

#1 on our overview is Impact Justice, a non-profit organization that describes itself as a national innovation and research center. The group seeks to advance means of reforming the justice system in order to achieve a world in which people are free to thrive, and harms are addressed in a manner that is humane and restorative.

Impact Justice looks to curtail mass incarceration, reduce the inherent cruelty of correctional facilities, and make sure the needs of those who have been victimized are met. IJ focuses most particularly on lessening how often people come in contact with the justice system, improving conditions and opportunities for those who are incarcerated, and supporting successful re-entry.

Arriving at #2 is Alliance for a Better Minnesota, which strives to empower Minnesotans and build a state that works for everyone. ABM specializes in using digital and social media, media relations, and original content like videos, graphics, and blogs to hold conservatives accountable and increase support for progressive ideals.

The group works to connect liberal activists to opportunities to make a difference in the political arena. The organization advocates for stimulus payments during economic downturns, making voting accessible for all, ensuring the availability of abortion and other methods of family planning, ending racism, and taking action to mitigate the effects of climate change.

Coming in at #3 on our list is the National Democratic Training Committee. This group provides free training for Democrats who want to run, work, or volunteer on campaigns. NDTC's courses, articles, and overall educational program connect candidates, staffers, and local leaders to skills and strategies designed to help them succeed.

NDTC's training sessions are both online and in-person, and are open to any Democrat looking to make a positive change in their community. The group notes that there is no litmus test, meaning the participants do not need to hold any particular political beliefs or values beyond their party affiliation.

The #4 entry is Austin Justice Coalition, which serves people who are historically and systematically impacted by gentrification, segregation, and over-policing, as well as those who lack educational and employment opportunities or are impacted by other institutional forms of racism. AJC's mission is to improve the quality of life for people of color by helping them be the driving force behind their own liberation.

The group's big four areas of advocacy are education, policing, civic engagement, and community building. AJC strives to narrow the scope of the justice system so that it no longer relies on criminalization and punitive excess, but instead has human dignity as its core organizing principle, and defers to community-based initiatives to improve public safety.

Finally, at #5 is the Progressive Policy Institute, a Washington, DC-based think tank. PPI's mission is to move the United States beyond ideological and partisan deadlock using an approach the group describes as "radical pragmatism." With donations from ExxonMobil and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, PPI seeks to find progressive policy solutions that also stimulate corporate growth.

In seeking an alternative to populism, the think tank looks for ways to equip all Americans with the necessary skills and assets to achieve social mobility in a stratified society. The group's ideas also include an increased emphasis on charter schools, as well as strategies for modernizing an overly bureaucratic and centralized public sector.