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Cascade Policy Institute

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Founded in 1991, Cascade Policy Institute (CPI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, nonpartisan public policy research and educational organization that focuses on state and local issues in Oregon. Cascade’s mission is to develop and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity.

Cascade promotes property rights, incentives, markets and decentralized decision-making. Cascade advances these values by sharing its research with the public, the media, and state and local lawmakers through publications, educational programs, community forums and special events.

Policy centers

CPI has a number of policy centers focusing on specific issues and goals.

Asset ownership

The Asset Ownership Project "seeks to empower individuals and families by freeing them from dependence on government handouts and making them 'owners.'"

They seek to change ineffective government programs into asset building programs and giving workers ownership of unemployment benefits and retirement funds. Additionally the project has created Wheels to Wealth, a program aimed at increasing car ownership among low-income people.

School choice

Begun in 2005, The School Choice Project "focuses on expanding public education options for parents and students, including allowing them to choose their own school." CPI's current focus is on building a coalition to support an education tax credit that would increase school options for low-income and disabled students. To that end CPI set up Oregon Education Tax Credit Coalition, which currently has over 740 supporters.

Government transparency

The Government Transparency Center focuses on efforts to increase transparency of state and local government in order to make it more responsive and accountable to the people. They work to not only make data available to the public, but to make it understandable. The center lists its main focuses as:[1]

  • Active promotion of “transparency” related legislation
  • Maximize public accessibility and expand a culture of “transparency”
  • Multiply transparency efforts

Economic opportunity

The Oregon Economic Opportunity Project (OEOP) "seeks to engage the citizens of Oregon, the media, and state/local lawmakers in an in-depth discussion about economic opportunity in Oregon and to move forward in a direction that creates a healthy, dynamic economic climate in the state."

Carbon cartel

The Carbon Cartel Education Project is concerned with "the costs and implications of policies based on global warming alarmism" rather than sound science. Their focus is on "conducting a multi-faceted campaign to peel away grassroots political support for carbon restrictions, while simultaneously promoting market-based policies that preserve individual liberty, economic opportunity, and environmental quality."


According to the organization, the board of directors is composed of: Michael L. Barton, Ph.D., William B. Conerly, Ph.D., Lawrence W. Dennis, Sr., Jon Egge, David W. Gore, and William Udy.[2]

The Cascade Policy Institute staff is composed of:[3]

  • John A. Charles, Jr., President
  • Tina Pisenti, Vice President
  • Steve Buckstein, Oregon Economic Opportunity Project program director
  • Kathryn Hickok, Children's Scholarship Fund director
  • Todd Wynn, Climate Change and Energy Policy program director
  • Karla Kay Edwards, Rural Policy Analyst

Contact information

4850 SW Scholls Ferry Road
Suite #103
Portland, OR 97225
Phone: 503-242-0900
Fax: 503-242-3822

See also

External links