Independence Institute

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The Independence Institute (II) is a non-profit, nonpartisan 501(c)(3) public policy foundation located in Golden, CO. Founded in 1985 by former Colorado State Senate President John Andrews, II was "established upon the eternal truths of the Declaration of Independence."[1]

The organization is headed by Jon Caldara and has a staff of 16. It played a lead role in organizing the Denver Stimulus Bill Protest 2009.

Colorado spending transparency

The Institute began the Colorado Spending Transparency (COST) initiative with the mission of getting "the state of Colorado, all municipalities, counties and school districts to put their itemized expenditures and revenue online, in a searchable database." The Institute argues that taxpayers should be able to easily access information on how their money is being spent.

Policy centers

II includes a variety of policy centers and projects that provide focus and expertise in a given area.

Education Policy Center

The Education Policy Center advocates school choice, school accountability, and teachers' rights. It is headed by Pamela Benigno.

On November 26, 2007 the Center launched the website School Choice For Kids, which seeks to provide information to Colorado parents on all of the available options for their children. It is available in English and Spanish.

Healthcare Policy Center

The Healthcare Policy Center, established in 2002, focuses on public policy that allows consumer choice in health care. It is directed by Linda Gorman, a leader in free market health care issues.

Fiscal Policy Center

The Fiscal Policy Center works to "communicate the balance between taxation and liberty." It is led by Penn R. Pfiffner.

A major project has been the Colorado Union of Taxpayers. Every year since 1994 the Union has put out a ranking of state legislators on fiscal responsibility.

Second Amendment Project

Led by Dave Kopel, the Second Amendment Project researches legal precedents, news, and opinions in order to provide Constitutional perspectives related to the Second Amendment.

Campus Accountability Project

Created in 2003, the Campus Accountability Project has two main focuses: "first, to serve as an educational resource on free speech, ideological diversity, and racial discrimination, and second, to operate as a watch dog, seeking to ensure that universities are observing the individual rights of faculty, staff, and students." It is directed by Jessica Corry.

Center for the American Dream

The Center for the American Dream, led by Randal O'Toole, opposes any coercive planning efforts that limit personal and economic freedom. They advocate property rights over "smart-growth."

Property Rights Project

The Property Rights Project began in 2005. Its goal is "to serve as a community resource on land use issues—including but not limited to—eminent domain abuse, zoning regulations, and historical designations."

Justice Policy Initiative

Led by Mike Krause, the Justice Policy Initiative undertakes research on "the consequences of statewide criminal justice policies and practices on the Colorado budget, in particular how policy impacts prison spending, law enforcement priorities and the lives and liberties of Coloradans."

Liberty Project

Unlike the other Policy Centers at the Institute, the Liberty Project funds more general research and outreach, providing publications and public forums across a diverse spectrum of topics.

Publication topics include environmental policy, personal freedom issues, politics and government issues, social policy, technology, national security, and immigration.

Contact information

13952 Denver West Parkway
Golden, Colorado

External links