Civitas Institute

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John William Pope Civitas Institute
Motto"North Carolina's Conservative Voice"
Formation9 March 2005 (2005-03-09)
FounderArt Pope
Type501(c)(3) nonprofit
Purpose"Civitas fights to remove barriers to freedom so that all North Carolinians can enjoy a better life."[1]
HeadquartersRaleigh, North Carolina
  • 805 Spring Forest Road
    Raleigh, NC 27609
North Carolina
MethodsPublic policy think tank
President & CEO
Donald Bryson
Revenue: $2,487,738.11
(June 2017)[2]

The Civitas Institute, Inc. (Civitas) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit conservative public policy organization headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina.[3] Mission statement: Civitas fights to remove barriers to freedom so that all North Carolinians can enjoy a better life.[4]


Civitas was incorporated on March 9, 2005.[5]

Initial members of the board of directors included the first president of the organization, R. Jack Hawke; businessman Robert Luddy; and Art Pope, a businessman, political figure and philanthropist.[6] Pope resigned from the Civitas board in December 2012 to serve as Deputy Budget Director in the administration of Governor Pat McCrory.[7]

The organization’s name honors Art Pope’s father, John William Pope, also a businessman and conservative philanthropist.[8]


Civitas says that it commissions the only regular, live-caller opinion polling of North Carolina voters. Its polling examines public opinion on key issues and voters' views of state and national politicians.[9]

Research and information[edit]

In late 2012, Civitas commissioned a study on the effects of lowering or eliminating state income taxes.[10] In July 2013, the legislature passed and the governor signed into law lower corporate and personal income tax rates.[11][12]. A 2016 academic study commissioned by Civitas concluded that the tax reforms and other fiscal measures had boosted the state's economy. [13]

The Civitas Partisan Voting Index is a resource that resembles the Cook Partisan Voting Index, which analyzes congressional districts. The Civitas Index compares the political leanings of voters in each North Carolina House and Senate district with the voting patterns of the state as a whole.[14] Civitas also offers online maps that show demographic and political trends.[15]

In the fall of 2012, Civitas worked with the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice on a poll showing North Carolina residents were open to school choice options.[16] In the next session of the state legislature, two school voucher programs were included in the state budget.[17][18]

A Civitas study of the State Board of Elections led Civitas to call on top state officials for an investigation of the board and its ties to a lobbyist.[19] The legislature in 2013 also passed measures to change the state's election laws.[20]


The annual Conservative Leadership Conference offers conservative speakers and workshops on relevant issues. CLC speakers have included Charles Krauthammer, Arthur C. Brooks, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Barnes, Stephen Moore, Elizabeth Dole, Michael Barone, Bob Novak, Grover Norquist, and others.[21] The 2013 CLC featured speakers such as U.S. Senator Ron Johnson,[22] Michelle Malkin,[23] former U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint, former U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, U.S. Reps. Renee Ellmers and George Holding, talk-show host Jason Lewis, Heritage Foundation President Ed Feulner, and Lt. Gov. Dan Forest.[24]

Civitas hosts a monthly lunch series to announce poll findings and offer commentary on issues.[25]


The Civitas Institute publishes a monthly newspaper, the Civitas Capitol Connection, an internet magazine, the Civitas Review and the Civitas Blog.[26][27]

The Civitas Institute has published a number of pieces online critical of the Moral Mondays protests.[28] In one article, William Barber Rakes in Taxpayer Dollars Leads Moral (no it is) Money Mondays! the Civitas Institute criticized Rev. William Barber, head of the state's NAACP, because a non-profit overseen by Barber's church received federal support. Barber responded, stating "People know I'm a volunteer, even with the NAACP. Other work I do, I volunteer. I am a pastor."[29]

The Civitas Institute also released a web page which compiles data on protestors arrested in the course of the civil disobedience actions, which includes demographic information and comments on their voter registration status.[30]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Us". Civitas Institute. Retrieved 10 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Civitas 2016 Annual Report". Civitas Institute]].
  3. ^ "North Carolina Secretary of State". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  4. ^ "civitas institute". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  5. ^ "North Carolina Secretary of State". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "McCrory picks 3 more cabinet members + 3 more staffers: Art Pope, Kieran Shanahan among them | Under The Dome". 2012-12-20. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  8. ^ "John W. Pope". Free Enterprise Heroes. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  9. ^ "Civitas Poll: NC Voters Tell Washington: Hands off our Guns". Beaufort County Now. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  10. ^ "North Carolina Republicans consider ending income tax". Ballotpedia. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  11. ^ "Opinions vary on NC legislature's tax reform |". Retrieved 2014-01-31.
  12. ^ Jenkins, Dale (2013-06-14). "Berger's right move on NC tax reform | Other Views". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  13. ^ "Civitas Analyzes Tax Reforms in High Point Study". NC Capitol Connection. Retrieved 2016-10-13.
  14. ^ dopper0189 (2009-08-04). "Party Brand Index (part 3) North Carolina". Daily Kos. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  15. ^ "Map Series - Civitas Institute". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  16. ^ "Poll: North Carolina Voters Support Charter Schools, Vouchers | Heartlander Magazine". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  17. ^ "Proposed NC budget would end teacher tenure, pay tuition vouchers | State Politics |". Retrieved 2014-01-31.
  18. ^ Bonner, Lynn (2013-05-29). "NC bill advances to help parents pay for private schools | State Politics". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  19. ^ "Civitas requests investigations of state elections agency | Under The Dome". 2013-06-04. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  20. ^ "Q&A: Changes to NC election laws". WRAL. Retrieved 2014-04-18.
  21. ^ "Conservative Leadership Conference". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  22. ^  . "Hundreds gather for Conservative Leadership Conference -". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  23. ^  . "Web Exclusive: Michelle Malkin -". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  24. ^ "RALEIGH: N.C. conservatives gather to talk strategy | Politics |". Retrieved 2014-01-31.
  25. ^ "Civitas Institute meeting held to educate citizens | WWAY NewsChannel 3 | Wilmington NC News". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  26. ^ "Civitas Review Archives - Civitas Institute". Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  27. ^ Staff, Civitas. "North Carolina's Conservative Voice". Civitas Review. Retrieved 2013-07-03.
  28. ^ "RALEIGH: NC lawmakers go home, but 'Moral Monday' protesters will return". Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  29. ^ "Does NAACP president profit from Moral Monday?". Retrieved 2013-08-01.
  30. ^ "The Moral Monday Protesters - Civitas Institute". Civitas Institute. Retrieved 2013-08-01.

External links[edit]