The Applied Research Center

‘Racial justice think tank’ gets SEIU money. Third in a series.

Background from the first article in this series:

Thousands of home-based health care providers have been forced into a union because they receive assistance from the state while they take care of loved ones who are disabled. The Service Employees International Union receives close to $6 million annually in forced dues from this abusive arrangement. 

House Bill 4003 would end this injustice by clarifying that Michiganders who care for relatives in their own homes are not government employees, and hence are not appropriate targets for government unions. That bill has passed the House but is stuck in the Senate. While we wait for the Senate to act, the SEIU continues to siphon money that was meant to help families.

Here's one example of where that money might be going, drawn from the SEIU's 2010 LM-2 report.

The Applied Research Center, with offices in New York, Chicago and Oakland, Calif., describes itself as a "racial justice think tank." It received several payments totaling $136,195 from the Service Employees International Union, which categorized this as an "overhead" expense, claiming that ARC served as some sort of "consultant."  What sort of consulting work ARC did was not described.

When not consulting for SEIU, the ARC works on racial issues, advocating such things as "dropping the 'I' word (illegal) from the immigration debate. It also hosts a biennial "Facing Race" conference. ARC also issues research reports. Its most recent are:

  • "Shattered Families," which looks at "the perilous intersection of immigration enforcement and the child welfare system;"
  • "Don't Call Them Post-Racial," which argues that although the generation of Americans born after 1980 is remarkably diverse, "race continues to play a role" in the lives of the "millennial generation;"
  • "The Color of Food," which looks at the color and class of workers in the food industry, finding that "people of color typically make less than whites and hold fewer management positions;"
  • "Better Together: Research Findings on the Relationship between Racial Justice Organizations and LGBT Communities," which argues that "the lack of resources, funding, and community support are obstacles to engagement."

This is one of many organizations that people across Michigan with disabled relatives are being forced to support in violation of state law.


Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.