Our Issues

Western Progress will work effectively to improve the lives and communities of westerners:

Expand opportunities that enrich us all-for education, gainful work, and personal achievement.
Encourage both individual and collective responsibility for building strong, nurturing communities.
Push government at all levels to be open, honest, responsive and humane.

Climate Change
It's not just a threat to polar ice caps, low-lying Pacific islands, and Alaska's glaciers
and permafrost. Climate change will have profound impacts on the Rocky Mountain
West, too: on our water supply, our recreation, our agriculture, our wildlife.

Demographics & Immigration
Progressives in the Rocky Mountain States often despair of seeing federal immigration reform that is practical, humane, enforceable, and serves the economic needs of the United States.


Education is how we invest in the future, and by many measures western states
simply aren't investing enough. We aren’t making the grade.

The American West has a vast potential for developing renewable energy , primarily wind
and solar power. The Renewable Energy Atlas of the West looks at current capacity, as
well as overall potential for wind, solar, geothermal and biomass.

Federal Lands
In the eight states of the Rocky Mountain west, a little less than half of the land area is owned by the American public and managed by the federal government. Little wonder, then, that policies governing management of our region's parks, forests, rangelands, refuges, monuments and other federal lands are closely watched by westerners – and frequently the subject of heated debate.

Growth & Sprawl
Five of the eight fastest growing states in the country are in the West – Arizona, Nevada, Idaho, Utah and Colorado. From disappearing open space, to overcrowded schools, to traffic congestion, the head- spinning pace of development in the West poses huge challenges.

Health Care
Western Progress urges the Federal Government to step up to the plate. Many advocates
believe the ultimate answer will be universal health care. States seem far more willing to tackle this crucial issue than do Washington lawmakers. Many states are already looking to provide extended coverage to their residents.

The Rocky Mountain Region in 2007 is seeing lower unemployment and faster economic
growth than the rest of the nation, but that doesn’t mean average workers in the Rockies
are enjoying fatter wallets. In states like Arizona, where service jobs are prevalent,
almost a third of all working parents have low hourly wages.

Tax Equity
The rich really are getting richer, and that's thanks in no small part to regressive tax policies, both in Washington and many state capitals. A new analysis shows that income inequality grew again in 2005, with the richest one percent of U.S. earners making their largest share of national income since 1928. Those 300,000 earners took in as much as the the bottom 150 million Americans.

Water is the lifeblood of the West. Our eight Rocky Mountain States are primarily dry, and although water has been a “fightin’ word” for most of our history, we still have not come up with adequate ways to fairly distribute the resources we have, or plan for a future when water will be in increasingly short supply. Water squabbling between neighboring states has lead to years of court battles over allocations . And disputes remain over water allocations for the Indian Nations.



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