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February 6 2017

Long Focused on Climate Change, Billionaire Tom Steyer Expands Political Focus

Julie Gunlock and Jillian Melchior

Billionaire environmental activist Tom Steyer said this week that, under the Trump administration, he will expand the focus of his political organizing beyond climate change, Buzzfeed reports.

 Last year, Steyer was the single biggest political spender in the nation, giving more than $87 million to support liberal candidates and political causes. NextGen, his organization, organized on more than 350 campuses, also registering over a million voters, Buzzfeed wrote.

 Steyer views Trump’s priorities as “a barrage against the basic fabric of American society,” and he’s reshaping his advocacy accordingly, he told Buzzfeed:

Speaking by phone from California, Steyer outlined possible changes that could make NextGen a group with diverse aims: organizing a network of nationwide activists, registering voters, forming alliances with other liberal groups — while still investing millions in progressive candidates, as Steyer did in 2014 and 2016.

… Asked if he has concerns about widening beyond climate — particularly when so few leaders in the party make it their top political priority — Steyer said that under the new Trump administration, progressives cannot consider causes in isolation.

It’s unclear whether Steyer’s expanding priorities will mean less funding for environmental causes. Then again, he told Buzzfeed there was “no limit” to his budget for anti-Trump initiatives.


Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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