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Who We Are

Our Mission

Welcome to Progress Texas! We are a creative team of seasoned campaign and policy pros working to promote progressive ideals in our state. We stand up for the left, fight the right, and call out politicians for bad policies and bad behavior.

Working with a coalition of partners from around the state, we work on issues that are important to a growing majority of people in our state.

With your help we can build a strong Texas that focuses on the things that unite us instead of divide us. And you can help impact change every time you share our content, sign a petition, contact a legislator, and most importantly, when you vote!

You might be wondering: that sounds great, but how do you do that in deep red Texas?!

Texas isn't as much a red state as it is a non-voting state (we ranked last in voter turnout in 2014). Here's what we are doing to change that:

  • Media relations: our team of talented writers and researchers work to develop positive messages around progressive policies and promote those messages through the traditional online, print, and broadcast news media.
  • Digital targeting: through sophisticated targeting efforts, we deliver our messages directly to voters online and through social media.
  • Original content: We create compelling blog articles, funny videos, and eye-catching graphics to engage users via computers and mobile devices.

Progress Texas is a 501(c)(4) organization advocating for progressive ideals and policies while opposing bad policies and worse behavior from the right wing.

Progress Texas Institute is a 501(c)(3) organization providing research and strategic communications on issues with the ultimate goal of increasing civic engagement.

Progress Texas and the Progress Texas Institute are proud state-run affiliates of the ProgressNow national network.

Our Team

  • Edward Espinoza

    Ed Espinoza

    Executive Director

  • Phillip Martin

    Phillip Martin

    Deputy Director

  • Lucy Stein

    Lucy Stein

    Advocacy Director

  • Mark Corcoran

    Mark Corcoran

    Digital Director

  • Marissa Jones

    Marissa Jones

    Digital Associate

  • Sarah Gutierrez

    Sarah Gutierrez

    Manager of Finance
    & Operations

  • Glenn Smith

    Glenn Smith

    Special Contributor

Edward Espinoza

Edward Espinoza

As Executive Director, Ed serves as primary spokesperson and media strategist for Progress Texas. He provides strategic communications counsel for an array of issues and campaigns, and regularly offers political analysis to local and national news broadcasts. His background includes more than 20 years of experience on 50 campaigns and serving as the Western States Director at the Democratic National Committee. He has also worked for leading PR firms providing communications support for clients such as Nintendo of America, Aston Martin Motor Cars, and the United Nations Foundation.

Originally from Long Beach, California, he went to school at UCLA and the London School of Economics. He loves football (both kinds), water sports, and a good glass of bourbon. Little known fact: as a kid, he appeared in an episode of Doogie Howser, M.D.

Phillip Martin

Phillip Martin

Phillip brings research and policy expertise to the team, where he focuses on health care, federal courts, voting rights, and marijuana policy reform. Phillip has worked as Chief of Staff for State Representative Garnet Coleman, as Policy Director for the Legislative Study Group, and as a Communications Specialist with the Texas Democratic Trust. A graduate of UT-Austin, he holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

Phillip is a former writer for Burnt Orange Report, and loves basketball (#HookEm and #RedNation) and live music. He and his wife were married at Barton Springs Pool in 2011.

Lucy Stein

Lucy Stein

Lucy brings a unique combination of policy and communications experience to our team, where she focuses on abortion access, LGBTQ equality, income inequality, and, of course, holding feet to the fire. Before joining Progress Texas, she worked with a DC-based good government group, in the U.S. Senate, and as press secretary for a nationally targeted congressional campaign.

Originally from Dallas, Lucy has long considered Austin home. She holds an undergraduate and law degree from UT-Austin.

Mark Corcoran

Mark Corcoran

Mark is the geek of the team and has been with Progress Texas since its launch in 2011. As one of the most experienced digital and online creative experts in Texas politics, Mark leads the entire digital program.

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.

Marissa Jones

Marissa Jones

Marissa is the video enthusiast of the group. Armed with her degree in Multimedia, she takes on projects ranging from motion graphics to infographics, videography to typography. She's been lucky to work with non-profits such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Austin Film Society.

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. She spends most of her time corralling her puppy.

Sarah Gutierrez

Sarah Gutierrez

Sarah Gutierrez works behind the scenes to make sure the trains run on time. Sarah comes from the political operations and campaign finance world. She 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. She and her husband Anthony live in south Austin.

Glenn Smith

Glenn Smith

Glenn has spent the past 30 years in journalism and politics where he’s made a name for himself as a writer, campaign manager, activist, and think tank analyst. He led Ann Richards’ successful 1990 campaign for Governor of Texas. He worked for former Texas Lt. Gov. Bill Hobby and U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen.

Go read Glenn's weekly columns in the Texas Tribune and Austin American-Statesman. You won't regret it.