Conservative group launches organization billed as 'NRA for families'

Conservative group launches organization billed as 'NRA for families'

The American Principles Project (APP) announced on Wednesday it is rolling out a membership program aimed at voters who hold conservative family values in an effort to address cultural issues. 

The conservative group is championing the program, known as “APP’s Big Family,” as an “NRA for families,” with the hope of replicating the National Rifle Association’s vast membership base. 

“What we don’t have that the NRA has is an activist army of people across the country that care about these issues organized [politically],” Terry Schilling, president of APP, told The Hill. 

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The group’s goal is to get to 1 million members in five years, specifically attracting parents on issues like school choice and opposition to critical race theory in schools, and having transgender people participate in school sports. APP said the program’s first two years will be focused on building the group’s membership base and building up financial resources. 

Schilling said the goal is to bring families into the political sphere and put pressure on politics to uphold what they view as pro-family values.  

“If we can start inflicting a political consequence on these elected officials, it doesn’t matter if it’s the school board or the presidency, we’re going to have very quick turnaround for the family when it comes to public policy,” he said. 

The program’s launch comes as conservatives seek to capitalize on culture issues ahead of this year’s off year elections and next year’s midterm elections. 

Twenty-one states have either introduced legislation aimed at restricting critical race theory in the classroom or limit how teachers can address the topic in the classroom. 

A number of Republican-led states have also moved to ban or limit the participation of transgender girls and women from participating on female sports teams. 

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisRon DeSantisIsrael forms task force to pressure Ben & Jerry's to reverse boycott: report Florida Democratic official suspends concealed carry permits for 22 people tied to Capitol riot Trump Jr. inches past DeSantis as most popular GOP figure in new poll: Axios MORE (R) signed legislation into law earlier this month that bans trans athletes from participating on female sports teams at the high school and college level. 

However, these efforts have sparked backlash. More than 100 corporations have spoken out against the bans, calling them discriminatory. 

“What DeSantis gets and that no other [potential 2024 Republican presidential nominee gets] is that when the left and these woke corporations start freaking out, that means we should probably dig even deeper,” Schilling said. 

Republicans and Democrats are both targeting suburban voters ahead of the midterms after many played a consequential role in the 2020 elections. 

While the suburbs played a major role in propelling President BidenJoe BidenBriahna Joy Gray: White House thinks extending student loan pause is a 'bad look' Biden to meet with 11 Democratic lawmakers on DACA: report Former New York state Senate candidate charged in riot MORE to victory in 2020, Schilling said he still thinks it's possible to make a play with the voters on issues impacting schools in particular. 

“A lot of these suburban parents are going to be the prime targets for this simply because we’re already seeing them be outraged at what’s going on in their kid’s schools and they only know 10 percent,” Schilling said.