Public Leadership Institute

The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy and leadership center organized to raise public awareness on key issues of equity and justice and to develop public leaders who will improve the economic and social conditions of all Americans.

Public Policy Initiatives

PLI creates and disseminates research, talking points and model legislation on a wide range of state and local issues related to economic opportunity, civil rights, education, healthcare, the environment and reproductive freedom. Our best known policy tool is the Progressive Agenda for States and Localities, a menu of specific policy ideas and model legislation. Legislators in more than 40 states and council members more than 50 cities have handed 5,000 copies of the Progressive Agenda to their colleagues. PLI also reports on progressive and conservative legislation with our annual Progress in the States and Localities and monthly Compendium of State and Local Legislation.

Policy Leaders Network

PLI hosts the largest network of progressive lawmakers in the nation, with more than 13,000 legislators, council members, commissioners and supervisors, as well as thousands of state-level activists. We communicate with our network every other Thursday through the PLI Bulletin, an emailed newsletter that provides hyperlinks directing lawmakers and advocates to the most timely policy news, legislative models, reports, arguments and polls. We also organize networking events, workshops, webinars and conferences, both formal and informal. Whenever appropriate, we link members of our network to policy organizations that can provide special expertise on particular issues.

Message Program

PLI conducts a program of message and communications training for policy leaders called Voicing Our Values. The cornerstone of the program is the annual publication of a message book, also titled Voicing Our Values, which includes practical messaging on many specific issue areas (e.g. budget and taxes, education, environment). We have distributed more than 2,500 copies of the book in paperback, it’s available on, and it can also be downloaded from our website in PDF format. In addition, we offer bi-weekly message webinars led by policy and communications specialists, and when invited, we present in-state message framing workshops for both elected officials and policy advocates.

Leadership Training

PLI conducts policy, communications, media and coalition-building webinars, conferences, trainings, and workshops for policymakers and grassroots leaders. When invited, PLI staff and allied experts present leadership training workshops at meetings across the nation. We hold dozens of training webinars and workshops each year, and in 2016, we will begin a values-based fellowship program to provide several dozen lawmakers with an in-depth leadership training experience.