The Center for Progressive Reform is a nonprofit research and educational organization with a network of Member Scholars working to protect health, safety, and the environment through analysis and commentary.
CPR believes sensible safeguards in these areas serve important shared values, including doing the best we can to prevent harm to people and the environment, distributing environmental harms and benefits fairly, and protecting the earth for future generations. CPR rejects the view that the economic efficiency of private markets should be the only value used to guide government action. Rather, CPR supports thoughtful government action and reform to advance the well-being of human life and the environment. Additionally, CPR believes people play a crucial role in ensuring both private and public sector decisions that result in improved protection of consumers, public health and safety, and the environment. Accordingly, CPR supports ready public access to the courts, enhanced public participation, and improved public access to information.
Current laws and the civil justice system have substantially enhanced protection of people and the environment. But flagging enforcement of regulations and increasing restrictions on people’s rights to seek redress for their injuries in the courts have significantly undermined many of these protections. Many serious threats remain largely unaddressed. In addition, novel technological developments present potential new dangers that must be managed. CPR therefore seeks to restore and preserve existing regulatory and common law methods of protection that are under attack by regulated industries and the think tanks and lobbying organizations they support. In addition, CPR supports developing new or revised ways to protect people and the environment. Such reforms include providing individuals with more and better information about health, safety, financial and environmental risks, and holding companies responsible for the full range of their risk-producing actions through new forms of corporate governance. CPR also works to open the regulatory process to greater public scrutiny, particularly by facilitating the participation of groups representing the public interest that are often hobbled by restrictions on their ability to access information upon which decision-makers rely.
CPR’s core issue areas are health, safety and the environment. Member Scholars’ work in this area touches on such topics as:
Protecting the environment (including climate change, clean air and water, enforcement issues, environmental justice, toxics, the next generation of environmental policies, natural resources, wildlife and nature);
CPR Member Scholars do much of their work through CPR's Issue Groups. Read about those groups, here.
Who and How
Founded in 2002, CPR is a network of university-affiliated Member Scholars with expertise in legal, economic, and scientific fields. Scholars are not paid for their contributions to CPR’s work, but rather donate their time and expertise to the organization. CPR Member Scholars and staff prepare studies, reports, articles, and other analyses, and participate in educational forums and conferences to promote informed and effective public policy.
CPR has more than 50 Member Scholars around the nation, working academics teaching at colleges and universities. They represent diverse research agendas, areas of expertise, and geographic location.
CPR follows the successful model of the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, which relies on committees organized around particular issue areas to develop projects. CPR Member Scholars work in Issue Groups organized around four issue areas: Achieving a New Progressive Agenda, Clean Science, Government Accountability, and Corporate Liability and Accountability. Member Scholars work collaboratively and individually, through the Issue Group structure, to conceive and develop projects, with support from the organization's board of directors and staff.
CPR has a seven-member Board of Directors, led by CPR President Rena Steinzor (University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law). The Board includes John Applegate (Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington), Robert L. Glicksman (The George Washington University Law School), David Hunter (American University Washington College of Law), Thomas O. McGarity (University of Texas Law School, immediate past president of CPR), Catherine A. O'Neill (Seattle University School of Law), Sidney A. Shapiro (Wake Forest University School of Law), and Amy Sinden (Temple University Beasley School of Law). (University affiliations are for purposes of identification only.)
CPR also benefits from the wisdom and experience of its Advisory Council. Members include Patricia Bauman (Bauman Foundation), Frances G. Beinecke (President, Natural Resources Defense Council), Eula Bingham (University of Cincinnati and former Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health), W. Thompson Comerford, Jr. (Senior Partner, Comerford & Britt, L.L.P.), Sally Greenberg (Executive Director, National Consumers League), John Passacantando (Executive Director, Ozone Action and Former Executive Director, Greenpeace USA), U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman, and Robert Weissman (President, Public Citizen). (Affiliations for purposes of identification only.)