These are historic and exciting times. Yesterday, The Heritage Foundation took a bold and forward-looking step. Our Board of Trustees approved launching a grassroots advocacy organization to help press the conservative cause with our nation’s lawmakers. The independent organization will be called “Heritage Action for America.”

Over the last two years, Heritage membership has skyrocketed. Over 633,000 Americans now proudly call themselves a Member of The Heritage Foundation. That staggering number, more than double our 2008 total, testifies to the quality and appeal of our original research and principled policy recommendations.

Americans are more engaged and better informed than ever before. They’re not only opposing the “progressive” ideas emanating from Washington, but they’re educating themselves on the details, and the alternatives. That is where we come in. Over the past two years, no organization has come close to us in offering fact-based analysis of health care reform, energy and the environment, our nation’s defenses, the government’s fiscal irresponsibility, the entitlement crisis, education, the free enterprise system, American values, and the rule of law.

The Heritage Foundation is, and will always remain, a beacon of scholarly leadership for conservative policy ideas. What Heritage Action for America will offer are better ways to advance conservative policies at the grassroots level and to aggressively market our ideas. And in doing so, Heritage will once again break new ground. Many organizations in Washington have gone in the opposite direction, establishing a think tank as a façade intended to add credibility to their political goals.

President Ronald Reagan once said: “If you can’t make them see the light, make them feel the heat.” Heritage Action for America will be the heat, harnessing grassroots energy to increase the pressure on Members of Congress to embrace The Heritage Foundation’s policy recommendations.

Heritage Action for America will not get involved in election campaigns. The creation of a sister organization involved in issue advocacy in no way leads The Heritage Foundation away from its stated mission: To build an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society flourish.

America stands at the crossroads. We can become just another European-style welfare state or we can switch course and return to our roots of personal liberty, limited government and responsible stewardship. Charting our course will require intellectual firepower and grassroots political heft. With the creation of Heritage Action, we aim to harness the energy of both.

Heritage grew from a small townhouse on Capitol Hill in the 1970s to what the New York Times currently describes as the “Parthenon of the conservative metropolis” or more aptly, “the beast” of the think tank universe. Growth is good. It’s the American dream, and we fight for everyone to share a piece of the American dream everyday.

I thank you for continuing to support that fight. You can visit Heritage Action at

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