President Joe Biden announced earlier this week that—as part of his anti-crime, or community-violence intervention (CVI), strategy—“the Administration will convene and support a CVI Collaborative of 15 jurisdictions that are committing to use a portion of their” American Rescue Plan “funding or other public funding to increase investment in their CVI infrastructure, including to anticipate and respond to the potential rise in violence this summer,” according to a White House fact sheet.
“Over the next 18 months, the Administration will convene meetings with officials from” the 15 “communities, facilitate peer-to-peer learning, and provide technical assistance,” the White House document continues. “This effort will support both proven and new strategies that reduce gun violence and strengthen community-based infrastructure to enhance public safety for children, families, and communities and to advance equity.”
Biden has enlisted some of the biggest pillars of America’s liberal philanthropic establishment to not just financially support, but actually participate in the project.
“A group of philanthropies that have been leaders on this issue will support this collaborative learning network by deploying CVI experts to provide training and technical assistance, identify best practices, integrate proven and innovative public-health approaches, and help local community-based organizations scale CVI efforts this summer and beyond,” according to the fact sheet, which then lists 13 specific entities in the group.
They are (in alphabetical order) Arnold Ventures, The California Endowment, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, the Emerson Collective, the Ford Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, The Joyce Foundation, the W. K. Kellogg Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Microsoft Corporation, the Open Society Foundations (OSF), and the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies.
At first glance: The inclusion of Microsoft, not a philanthropy, seems curious. And George Soros’s OSF might also raise a question—given his substantial support for progressive district-attorney candidates around the country, including in jurisdictions where crime is so concerningly increasing.
But the list’s impressiveness should be both acknowledged and implicitly raise an uncomfortable hypothetical question for conservative givers: is there any particular issue on the right that could appeal, much less any person who could make such an appeal, to such a lengthy roster of immensely wealthy and powerful foundations?