Resources for Researching Your Hometown

Advocacy Groups, Associations, and Policy Research Organizations

In order to understand a particular social issue in your town it is often important to gather information about the issue at the national level. Use that national information to contrast and compare what is occurring in your town.  

Advocacy groups often put out alerts as legislation is proposed, collect and provide statistics and create their own policy papers on topics of concern. Think tanks and other policy agencies publish reports and assessments.

  • Center for Law and Social Policy - "CLASP is a national non-profit organization with expertise in both law and policy affecting the poor." One useful feature of its webpage is a listing (with links) of its recent publications, which cover various issues relating to low-income Americans.
  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities - Another " think-tank working on fiscal policy and public programs that affect low- to moderate-income families and individuals. The Center conducts research and analysis to inform public debates over proposed budget & tax policies and to ensure the needs of low-income families and individuals are considered in these debates." Click on AREAS OF RESEARCH in the top pull down menu.
  • National Alliance to End Homelessness - This organization is a federation of nonprofit groups dedicated to fighting homelessness. Click on Policy and Legislation to find federal legislation related to homeless issues. Publications/Resources will take you to full-text reports and the Alliance newsletter.
  • Pew Hispanic Center - PHC is a nonpartisan research organization supported by The Pew Charitable Trusts. Its mission is to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the entire nation. Provides research reports, statistics and other information regarding Hispanics in the United States.
  • Urban Institute - "A nonpartisan economic and social policy research organization." Site provides links to research reports on a wide variety of policy issues. Look in the Research Finder section, then click Find Research by Topic or Issues in Focus to get a topic list leading to specific publications and projects.