Anti-Trump Liberal Activist Group Pulls in Another $400,000 In Gov't Grants

Make the Road New York has been awarded more than $25 million in gov't grants since 2002

Protestors against the immigration ban at John F. Kennedy International Airport / Getty Images
December 17, 2017

A liberal activist group that has been involved in direct action campaigns against President Donald Trump and Republicans was recently awarded $400,000 more in taxpayer-backed government grants, records show.

Make the Road New York (MRNY), a New York City-based Latino immigrant group with nearly 20,000 dues-paying members, is closely linked to an $80 million dollar anti-Trump network and an approved funding group of the Democracy Alliance, a secretive liberal donor network.

MRNY has already hauled in millions of dollars in government grants. Between 2002 and 2014, the group was the recipient of more than $20 million in grants, the Washington Free Beacon previously reported. The amount that they received in 2015 and 2016 are not fully known, given the group's most recently available tax form is from 2014.

According to USASpending, a site that tracks federal government grants, MRNY was given $725,000 in grants in 2015 and more than $4.4 million in 2016. However, figures on the site show only a fraction of the total amount in government grants the group has received in previous years as marked on their tax forms.

On August 10, MRNY was awarded another grant totaling $420,000 from the Department of Education, records show.

MRNY was behind the widely covered protests at the JFK airport following Trump's initial travel ban. The protests, which were billed as spontaneous at the time, were later found to be in the works since one day after the presidential election.

The group was involved in the #DeleteUber campaign after Uber allowed drivers to pick up passengers from the airport during the protests. Travis Kalanick, Uber's founder, stepped down from Trump's advisory council following the activist campaign.

MRNY was also a part of the #GrabYourWallet campaign, which targeted retailers that sold Trump family products. Nordstrom dropped Ivanka Trump products following the campaign, but cited declining sales as the reason why it had made the decision.

MRNY has "partnered" with the Center for Popular Democracy, a New York-based liberal nonprofit that contains old chapters of the controversial and now-defunct Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), on a "Corporate Backers of Hate" campaign that targeted companies the group's claimed could profit from Trump's policies.

The Center for Popular Democracy refers to MRNY as its "sister" organization in the biography of Ana Maria Archila, one of its co-executive directors, on its website. The two groups have swapped a number of individuals throughout recent years. Archila was the co-executive director of MRNY prior to her current position.

Andrew Friedman, the other co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy, founded MRNY in 1997 and spent years building up the organization before moving to the Center for Popular Democracy. Friedman also sits on the board of directors of MRNY.

Javier Valdes, the co-executive director of MRNY, sits on the board of directors of the Center for Popular Democracy.

The groups have additionally transferred hundreds of thousands of dollars to each other. In 2013, MRNY passed $122,112 to the Center for Popular Democracy. In 2014, MRNY gave the group $25,000, according to tax forms.

The Center for Popular Democracy sent $253,900 to MRNY in 2013 with another $100,000 going to its action fund. The Center for Popular Democracy then sent $286,042 to MRNY in 2015.

The Center for Popular Democracy's action fund is also spearheading a massive $80 million dollar anti-Trump network that will span across 32 states with 48 local partners.

Members of the Democracy Alliance, a secretive network of deep-pocketed liberal donors that was co-founded by billionaire George Soros, are recommended to donate to the Center for Popular Democracy, which receives generous funding from Soros.

The Free Beacon recently obtained a number of documents from the alliance's secret fall investment conference in November at the posh La Costa Resort in Carlsbad, Calif.

One of the documents shows that the Center for Popular Democracy will work with two other liberal activist groups in targeting 20 congressional Republicans during the 2018 elections.

MRNY did not return a request for comment by press time.