In 2017, Chinese Progressive Association Action Fund and San Francisco Rising Action Fund merged to form the Center for Empowered Politics (CEP), a 501c4 organization with greater combined experience and an expanded purpose to support the dynamic, fast-moving and critical grassroots political infrastructure.

CEP grew out of a few emerging needs in the grassroots sector. As the infrastructure for grassroots people of color-led racial justice 501c3 organizations grew in the last 15 years, many developed robust year round organizing, policy and electoral infrastructure, what is commonly known as integrated voter engagement (IVE). In the second stage of integrated voter engagement (IVE 2.0), grassroots organizations have formed 501c4 organizations, won ballot measures and helped progressive candidates win elected office. Grassroots people of color-led racial justice organizations have become the tipping point in building short and long term power on a local level. With the increased local investments and electoral experiments, we see CEP providing the necessary leadership to develop and support IVE 2.0 in the next period.

In the era of Trumpism and the rise of white nationalism, we also believe that there must be healthy and vibrant regional movement ecosystems of leaders and c3/c4 organizations as we build towards our vision of a just inclusive multiracial society. This includes investing in a movement workforce development plan for the entire movement ecosystem - from leadership pathways for grassroots leaders, organizers and healers to executive directors and electeds, among other roles. We need people in the community and government who are prepared to govern in the 21st century.

Our Approach

As organizers, we are committed to the practice of “organizing ourselves out of our jobs'' for a more collaborative and interdependent movement ecosystem. We believe the field needs more practitioner-based capacity builders because there is already an abundance of wisdom from within. Therefore, we realize our work through many forms of deepening trust and relationships, sharing strategies, lessons and best practices, harnessing the wisdom of the leaders and communities and, most importantly, working together to build our collective power.

Our approach to movement work is guided by the following principles:

  1. Shared orientation towards vision and strategy
  2. Trust: Building from a baseline of trust to make assessments and guide the overall strategy
  3. Wisdom: Harnessing the wisdom across all generations, regions, and communities to learn and grow from each other
  4. Praxis: Creating spaces to grow and learn, build relationships, experiment and win, and build grassroots working-class power collectively

Areas of Focus

 CEP practitioners have decades of combined experience in grassroots organizing and power building, and our work is focused in the following areas:

    Strategic Partnerships & Ecosystem Building
    CEP believes in collaboration and movement building. We advance these principles by convening and exchanging with leaders around shared strategies, lessons and practices, so that we can build and strengthen the connective tissue in our movement.
    Field Building
    Grassroots, people of color-led racial justice organizations have been on the cutting edge of organizing and integrated voter engagement in the last period. Capturing these lessons and best practices, and advancing them across silos in our movement, and in philanthropy, is critical for the success of the sector.
    Incubation & Movement Infrastructure
    CEP believes that strong, shared operational infrastructure is fundamental to healthy and powerful movement ecosystems. We provide deep, nimble capacity to support organizations, experiments and movement infrastructure.
    1212 Broadway, Ste 700
    Oakland, CA 94612