Who We Are
Progress Texas is a public relations shop promoting progressive ideals while also pushing back on bad policies and bad behavior from the right wing.
We focus on issues important to a growing number of people in our state: affordable healthcare, voting rights, LGBT rights, abortion access, fighting income inequality, marijuana policy reform, and accountability in government.
We are the little shop in Austin promoting some of the biggest issues in Texas.
Our work is creative, sends a clear message, and shapes public opinion.
Proud Progressives are Proud Texans! We believe in the Texas spirit and the ability to make our state exceptional. And working with a coalition of partners from around the state, we are working to make Texas an even better place.
Progress Texas is a 501(c)(4) group and a member of the ProgressNow network.
Edward Espinoza, Executive Director
Ed brings state and national credentials to the team with more than 20 years of experience on 50 campaigns, and winning 9 of 10 races in Texas. From 2009-2011, he served as Western States Director at the Democratic National Committee. He has written for Politico and is a frequent guest political analyst for CNN and other broadcast outlets. In 2008, he was a Superdelegate for President Obama from his home state of California. Ed's professional background also includes work for public relations firms Golin/Harris and Fleishman-Hillard, providing communications and media support to Fortune 500 brands including Nintendo of America and Sony Computer Entertainment of America.
Originally from Long Beach, he went to school at UCLA and the London School of Economics. He runs, travels, and collects cocktail books. He also loves football (both kinds). Little known fact: as a kid, he appeared in an episode of Doogie Howser, M.D.
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Sarah Gutierrez, Manager of Finance and Operations
As Manager of Finance and Operations, Sarah Gutierrez works behind the scenes to make sure the trains run on time. Sarah comes from the political operations and campaign finance world. Beginning as a finance assistant for the House Democratic Campaign committee in 2005, she then worked at the Texas Democratic Party for 6 years, first as the Deputy Comptroller and then as Comptroller. After leaving the TDP, Sarah focused on campaign finance reporting and operations for Texas political committees and candidates.
Sarah grew up in Colleyville, Texas and graduated from Texas Christian University. Outside of work Sarah is a Pilates enthusiast and loves reality TV cooking shows. She and her husband Anthony live in south Austin.
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Phillip Martin, Deputy Director
Phillip brings a long record of research and policy expertise to the team. His professional experience includes serving as Chief of Staff for State Representative Garnet Coleman and work with the Texas Democratic Trust. Prior to joining our team, he served as Policy Director for the Legislative Study Group – where he helped lead a team of analysts in evaluating every bill that came to the floor of the Texas House and completing projects like Texas on the Brink – a biennial report detailing quality statistics on how state policy is affecting the lives of Texans.
Born and raised in Austin, he is a graduate of UT-Austin and holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. A former senior writer for the popular Texas political blog, Burnt Orange Report, he enjoys the Longhorns, the NBA (#RedNation) and live music. He and his wife, Kaiba, were married at Barton Spring Pool in 2011.
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Lucy Stein, Advocacy Director
Lucy brings a unique combination of policy and communications experience to our team. She received her undergraduate and law degree from UT- Austin. Before joining Progress Texas, she worked as an associate with DC-based government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. She has also served as a legal fellow for the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for multiple high-profile congressional investigations, and, during the 2012 cycle, as press secretary for a nationally targeted congressional campaign. While in law school, she engaged on a range of state policy issues with Texas Watch, ACLU of Texas, and the office of Texas State Senator Judith Zaffirini.
Originally from Dallas, Lucy has long considered Austin home. When she’s not hard at work, she enjoys playing with her dog, listening to live music, and attempting to master silly yoga poses.
Mark Corcoran, Digital Director
Mark is the geek of the team and has been with Progress Texas since it’s launch in 2011. As one of the most experienced digital and online creative experts in Texas politics, Mark leads the entire digital program.
Before joining Progress Texas, Mark was the New Media Manager for the Texas Democratic Party. During the 2008 cycle he worked as an assistant political media buyer at GMMB in Washington, DC. He has also worked internationally in South Asia and Europe for various non-profits.
Mark was born and raised in Richmond, VA but moved to Texas with his wife (a native Texan!) in 2008. When not obsessing about politics and technology, Mark enjoys torturing himself as a fan of DC area sports teams.
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Marissa Jones, Digital Creative Associate
Marissa is the video enthusiast of the group and is the newest member to Progress Texas. A fresh graduate from college, Marissa has been lucky to work with non-profits such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Austin Film Society. She’s worked to be a jack-of-all trades in media with experience in newspaper, video, and web design. Armed with her degree in Multimedia, Marissa takes on projects ranging from motion graphics to infographics, videography to typography.
Marissa recently moved to Austin from her hometown of Abilene, TX. You can go ahead and blame her for Austin's increase in traffic and housing prices, but she loves this city. There are few things in life that make her happier than chowing down on good food, trying to keep her succulents alive, or being overly competitive when playing a board game.