A number of abortion rights nonprofits already work on measures to codify abortion rights, and Think Big America would add a new flush of cash from the personally wealthy Illinois governor.
Think Big America is modeled after NextGen America, a dark money group founded by billionaire Tom Steyer that advocated on climate change.
Nine members of Pritzker’s political team, including Mike Ollen, who was Pritzker’s campaign manager, have stayed in place since his reelection campaign last year and will split their time between the governor’s political work and running the new organization.
The group’s board of directors includes several Pritzker allies, including businessperson Desirée Rogers, who worked in President Barack Obama’s administration, Illinois state Rep. Margaret Croke and Chicago Ald. Michelle Harris, three advisers to the governor.
The group also has an eye for expanding down the road to address issues such as book bans, LGBTQ rights or gender-affirming care, issues where Democrats have often played defense in recent years.
“Extremism poses an existential threat to our democracy. And I take this threat very seriously,” Pritzker says in a video about the new group.
The Democratic governor announced his new organization a day after taking part in the annual fundraising luncheon for the Chicago-based Personal PAC, which supports candidates who back abortion rights.
Pritzker’s team isn’t sharing how much he’s seeded to get Think Big America up and running. For now, he’s the sole funder, but as a political advocacy nonprofit, the group takes donations. It declined to say if it would make subsequent donors public.
Pritzker has long been involved with abortion rights. He often shares that he attended abortion rights marches with his mother, and he signed the Reproductive Health Act of 2019, which protects access to reproductive health care in the state of Illinois — including abortion — into law. The governor also contributed to abortion rights efforts in Kansas, Wisconsin and Ohio in the last year and a half.