Welcome to the Northwest Progressive Institute, a netroots powered strategy center working to raise America’s quality of life through insightful research and imaginative advocacy.

Who we are and what we do

A strategy center is an organization that helps people think and act pragmatically so they can realize their goals. That is NPI’s role within the community of people and organizations identifying as progressive.

At our core, we’re a think tank with the soul of a tech startup, generating and refining ideas that would raise up our region and our country, leading to a more inclusive economy and society for everyone.

But we’re also a media, advocacy, and outreach organization, because we know that taking an idea from conception to implementation requires a lot more than research. It’s this commitment to communicating and organizing that sets us apart from conventional think tanks.

Metaphorically, NPI can be thought of as a Swiss Army knife for the progressive movement. We’re a multifaceted organization that has been built to move quickly and effectively. Ingenuity is in our DNA. We’re funded and supported by activists who want to invest in permanent infrastructure, not just win the next election. Our goal is to empower activists to become thought leaders, mastering the reframing skills needed to liberate our public discourse from right wing demagoguery.

We invite you to learn more about who we are and what we do.

Our Values

Progressive values are traditional American values, values that we are proud of.

We believe in a more perfect Union that guarantees freedom, liberty, equality, and opportunity for all of its citizens, with laws and rules rooted in our core values of empathy and mutual responsibility. We believe in an America that prizes dissent and independent thinking as patriotic.

We believe that the people and the planet are more important than profit. In the words of the old Native American proverb: We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. We believe that taxes are investments that allow us to pool our resources to afford the essential public services we need. And we believe the laws we adopt as a society should make us healthier, cleaner, and safer.

Too often, decisions are driven by greed as opposed to what it is in the public interest or supported by science. At NPI, we believe we must liberate our politics from the grip of big money.

Our values shape and guide our views on the major issues that face our country today. We support policy directions and specific policies (whether proposed through our system of representative government or directly to the people by initiative) that embody our values.

See recent positions we’ve taken on ballot measures and legislative bills in our Advocacy section.

Our Projects and Publications

Besides our core website, our online presence includes the following projects and publications:

Cascadia Advocate
The Cascadia Advocate is NPI’s long-form blog, providing frequent news, analysis, and commentary.
In Brief
In Brief is a sister publication of The Cascadia Advocate offering links, quotes, asides, and clips.
Permanent Defense
Permanent Defense fights right wing initiatives, especially harmful proposals from bad actors like Tim Eyman
Pacific NW Portal
Pacific NW Portal serves citizens, activists, and journalists as a regional media & information gateway.

Become a member

Our work would not be possible without the support of our members, who donate annually or monthly to sustain our research and advocacy. Help revolutionize grassroots politics by becoming a member of the Northwest Progressive Institute today.

As one way of saying thank you for investing in our work, we offer the following benefits of membership.

  • Activist: Members who donate $25 per year or more receive a Framing Sense handbook that provides useful advice on how to communicate using the logic of progressive values.
  • Advocate: Members who donate $50 per year or more receive an NPI-designed wall calendar that lists key legislative and election dates and birthdays of inspiring progressive leaders in addition to holidays and phases of the moon, plus Framing Sense.
  • Sustainer: Members who donated $100 per year or more receive a Washington Progressive Blogroll t-shirt listing all the progressive blogs we know about from our home state, plus Framing Sense and our wall calendar. T-shirts are printed by a local union shop in a different color each year.
  • Champion: Members who donate $250 per year or more receive a coffee table photobook that beautifully depicts a collection of images taken by NPI staff, plus Framing Sense, our wall calendar, and a Washington Progressive Blogroll t-shirt. NPI offers a different photobook each year.

Becoming a member of NPI is easy. We offer two ways to pay dues: online via credit card or by check through U.S. Mail. If you choose the latter option, our website will generate a completed membership form for you that you can print out and enclose with your check.

Recently published by NPI

Browse new content from our projects and publications.

Apr 20 Documentary Review: “Breaking the Cycle” dares us to think differently about prisons
"Breaking the Cycle" is a relatively short documentary that follows Jan Strømnes, warden of a maximum security prison in Norway, as he tours Attica Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison in New York. There are really no comparisons to be made; it is all stark contrasts. The post Documentary Review: “Breaking the Cycle” dare...
Apr 20 Alliance for Gun Responsibility plans initiative for 2018 to restrict military grade weapons
NPI's friends at the Alliance for Gun Responsibility announced today they intend to spearhead a measure for the November 2018 ballot that would restrict access to military grade weapons in Washington State, also known as assault rifles. The post Alliance for Gun Responsibility plans initiative for 2018 to restrict military grade weapons is from ...
Apr 18 Cantwell, Murray back push for vote of no confidence in Scott Pruitt, Trump’s EPA chief
A record number of United States Senators have signed on to a resolution expressing no confidence in Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump's anti-environmental Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) chieftain, according to the offices of Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell of Washington. The post Cantwell, Murray back push for vote of no confidence in ...
Apr 17 Washington State squares off at the Supreme Court with tribes, feds over culvert removal
Tomorrow morning, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral argument in a case that concerns treaty-granted tribal fishing rights and barriers to the exercise of those treaty rights... specifically, culverts that impede salmon from spawning in Northwest streams and rivers. The post Washington State squares off at the Supreme Court with trib...
Apr 16 Tim Eyman restarts his war on Sound Transit — this time, he claims, with seed money
Disgraced initiative promoter Tim Eyman declared this morning that he's ready to have another go at whacking Sound Transit and WSDOT's Amtrak Cascades, claiming that he now has $500,000 with which to launch a signature drive for Initiative 976. The post Tim Eyman restarts his war on Sound Transit — this time, he claims, with seed money is ...
Apr 15 Book Review: Author Christian Davenport, for one, welcomes our new “Space Barons”
Read NPI's review of The Space Barons: Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos, by Christian Davenport. The post Book Review: Author Christian Davenport, for one, welcomes our new “Space Barons” is from the NPI's Cascadia Advocate .