New group ALICE to counter ALEC’s influence

From my email inbox comes this very cool announcement.

This afternoon, the American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange (ALICE) announced the launch of its groundbreaking new website. ALICE is a one-stop, web-based, public library of progressive law on a wide range of issues in state and local policy.

ALICE Director Joel Rogers explained that “ALICE is an open, public, transparent resource that relies on the knowledge and goodwill of a network of professors, students, activists, researchers and others. The website we are launching today provides a starting place for activists, policymakers and others interested in progressive model law. We hope that others will join us in the important work of building a one-stop shop of progressive best practices.”

ALICE might be understood as a partial antidote to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the corporate-backed group that has for nearly 40 years provided model state law and connection to corporate lobbyists to its nearly 2,000 state legislator members.

Like ALEC, ALICE is a values-based nonprofit that offers model legislation over a broad range of state and local issues. But it’s easily distinguished from its counterpart. ALICE aims to promote, not destroy, economic fairness, environmental sustainability, and effective democratic government. Its model laws are public, not secret. They’re written by public interest advocates and volunteers, not paid corporate lobbyists. They cover local, not just state, policy. They include law originating from the executive branch and directly from citizens, as well as from legislative bodies. And ALICE only provides such model law and written supports for its persuasive communication.

As Rogers said, “ALICE is not a corporate-funded juggernaut – nor do we aspire to be one. Unlike ALEC, we don’t plan to subsidize junkets for state legislators. As we get underway, we aim simply to supply a small, if vital, piece of a broader infrastructure: progressive model and exemplary laws that everyone should know about.”

For further information please visit our website at www.alicelaw.org, or contact us at 608.890.4879.

ALICE (American Legislative and Issue Campaign Exchange), is a project of the Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS), a nonprofit think-and-do tank, based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that promotes “high road” solutions to social problems.

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