HARRISBURG, PA – The Pennsylvania Policy Center, a nonprofit conducting policy research and analysis, will launch next month with the goal of expanding opportunity and promoting equity throughout Pennsylvania. Led by Marc Stier, who has served in leadership roles at policy advocacy organizations for more than two decades, the Center will identify solutions to some of the most pressing problems facing Pennsylvanians from Erie to Philadelphia and Scranton to Pittsburgh. The Center will launch on May 3, 2023.
“Regardless of whether you live in rural, urban, or suburban Pennsylvania, most of us are facing the same challenges,” said Stier. “We will focus our research on policies that improve people’s day-to-day lives and strengthen our communities. Our goal is to ensure children get a quality education, working people get the training and support they need to build a better life, and all Pennsylvanians have access to high-quality public services and programs paid for by fair taxes.”
The Center will provide information, quantitative analysis, and case studies on issues people have raised in community conversations held across the state. Its research agenda will include housing affordability and homelessness, child care, education at all levels, senior care, and tax and fiscal issues. By the end of this year, the Center anticipates having a staff of up to 10 policy analysts, communications experts, and advocates who will seek to equip lawmakers, journalists, advocacy groups, nonprofit service providers, and the public with unassailable information and tools they need to advance public policies that work for all Pennsylvanians.
The Center will conduct research on local, state, and federal policies so that lawmakers at all levels of government understand the needs of Pennsylvanians. This will also allow the Center to identify promising programs and ideas operating locally that should be scaled statewide; provide practical recommendations to elected and senior agency officials; and analyze the impact of different federal programs on families’ health and well-being, such as the Child Tax Credit and the extension or expansion of public benefits initially put in place during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
The new organization will represent Pennsylvania in the State Priorities Partnership, a network of more than 40 independent, nonprofit research and policy organizations coordinated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The Partnership works to expand economic opportunity, reduce inequality, and fight poverty.
Marc Stier has had a long career as an activist, advocate, teacher, and writer. From 2015 to 2023, Marc was the director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center in Harrisburg, PA, where he wrote policy reports on many federal, state, and local issues, including tax fairness, K-12 and higher education funding, raising Pennsylvania’s minimum wage, health care, and child care, as well as on racial and gender-related justice. He was also the founder and chair of PBPC’s advocacy campaign We The People–PA.
Before joining PBPC, Marc served as the executive director of Penn Action, where he worked to protect funding for education and women’s health care and expand Social Security. He was also the Pennsylvania director of Health Care for America Now, which led the grassroots effort in support of what became the Affordable Care Act, and the Health Care campaign manager for SEIU Pennsylvania State Council. He began his career in activism as a leader and then president of West Mt. Airy Neighbors in Philadelphia and an advocate for transit funding.
Stier was an academic for 25 years before starting his career in public policy analysis and advocacy. He has a bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and a doctorate from Harvard University, both in political science. He has taught at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks; City College of New York; the University of North Carolina, Charlotte; and Temple University, where he was the associate director and internet coordinator of the Intellectual Heritage Program. Stier is the author of papers on political philosophy, the history of political thought, and American politics. He is the author of the book Grassroots Advocacy and Health Care Reform, published in 2013. He will be publishing two new books in the next few years, Liberalism and Communitarianism Revisited and Civilization and Its Contents: Reflections on Sex and the Culture Wars. He is also co-editor of Ambiguity in the Western Tradition.