The Heritage Foundation was formed in 1973 by Paul Weyrich and Joseph Coors and is one of he biggest conservative think-tank operating in Washington, DC. Media Transparency has described the founding of the Heritage Foundation as “probably the most important event in the development of a national network of conservative policy-oriented institutions.” The Foundation works to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of “free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense” The organization has been extremely influential in the conservative movement since the 1980s, taking credit for many of the policies enacted by the Reagan administration (via the Mandate for Leadership and Mandate for Leadership II documents published by the Heritage Foundation containing policy recommendations) and has described President George W. Bush’s policies as “straight out of the Heritage play book.” The organization supports faith-based initiatives, school vouchers, abortion bans, and overturning affirmative action programs.
West Michigan People Associated with the Heritage Foundation
- Jay Van Andel, former trustee. Van Andel also had a room named after him for his years of supporting the Foundation. (source)
- Richard and Helen DeVos, longtime funders who contributed $1.8 million for the establishment of the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society that looks at the relationship between government policy and religion.
- Barb Van Andel-Gaby