Focus on the Family Action, the lobbying wing of the iconic conservative organization, is changing its name to CitizenLink.
Under the leadership of founder James Dobson, the Colorado Springs-based group rose to national prominence as a fiery, uncompromising force for "conservative social values." Focus on the Family became so active in politics that, as the group's vice president of public policy, Tom Minnery, told the Denver Post, many were confused about the distinction between the lobbying wing and the ministry, which are separate legal entities.
Focus on the Family says the goal of the name change is "to create some clarity about the two organizations."
"We're not saying (Focus on the Family) is stepping out of the public policy realm," CEO Jim Daly told the Post. "From my perspective, it means Focus on the Family can focus on the family, and CitizenLink can do its job of engaging the citizenry."
The change follows a series of moves that many say are aimed creating a new public image for Focus on the Family, which was seen as polarizing during Dobson's tenure as CEO.
In an interview with AOL news last month, Daly questioned the long-term effectiveness the hard-line strategy that the organization had used in the past. While acknowledging certain political gains, and offering assurances that his goals remained the same as Dobson's, Daly commented that "we see a bit of fatigue [with the social conservative movement]. We don't see the results for the energy, the money, everything else that's been poured into the political sphere."
Daly assured the Post this week that "there has been no deliberate effort to change since Dobson's departure."