About Us

Who We Are

Progress Texas is a rapid response media organization promoting progressive messages and actions. While campaigns come and go, we’re the permanent home for progressive media and action in our state.

What We Do

Focusing primarily on state and federal policy, we create media supporting progressive change and diverse voices in our state. We specialize in message development, online campaigns, creative content, and media amplification for the progressive movement. And since 2010 we’ve shaped thousands of stories online, in newsfeeds, on TV, and in your local newspaper. We also conduct research and training via the Progress Texas Institute.

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Progress Texas is 501(c)(4) organization, along with our sister organization the Progress Texas Institute, a 501(c)(3) organization. Progress Texas ® is a registered trademark with the U.S. patent and trademark office. Read our privacy policy.

Annual Impact Reports

Meet the Team

  • Kathleen

    Kathleen Thompson

    Executive Director

  • Sam Gonzalez

    Samuel Gonzalez

    Digital Director

  • Chris Mosser

    Chris Mosser

    Podcasting Director/Producer

  • Reagan Stone

    Reagan Stone

    Advocacy Manager

  • Stevie Howat

    Stevie Howat

    Operations Manager

  • Tatum Owens

    Tatum Owens

    Advocacy Associate

  • Haley Smith

    Haley Smith

    Digital Associate

  • Joe Deshotel

    Joe Deshotel

    Podcast Contributor

  • D’Angelo Colter headshot

    D’Angelo Colter

    Communications Interns

  • Hiba Faruqi headshot

    Hiba Faruqi

    Communications Interns

  • Jackie Rogers headshot

    Jackie Rogers

    Communications Intern

Kathleen

Kathleen Thompson

Kathleen Thompson is the Executive Director of Progress Texas, where she leads a team that focuses on message development and media amplification for progressive issues, knowing that making a serious difference starts with shaping the narrative.

Kathleen is a professional communicator who helps candidates, political action committees, and nonprofits get noticed. She was most recently communications director for the Dallas County Democratic Party, which mobilized precinct chairs, activists, and voters to flip three county seats and nearly 90 precincts red to blue, resulting in a Dallas County government that's nearly all Democratic and more reflective of the county. She’s a former Texas Gun Sense advisory board member, Texas Democratic Party State Executive Committee member,  and leader of successful local campaigns for public safety and ethics.

Fun facts:

  • Won First Place in Democratic Halloween pumpkin decorating contest for entry "Build 🦇 Better"
  • Grapevine, Texas Veterans Day Parade founder
  • Named "Outstanding Undergraduate" in her university's major and minor

 

Sam Gonzalez

Samuel Gonzalez

Digital Director Samuel Gonzalez always seeks new ways to engage with Progress Texas’ audience. Using the latest research and trending insights, he ensures that Progress Texas’ message reaches all Texans who want to see change in their state.

At Progress Texas, Samuel manages social media platforms, multiple websites and email programs. He runs digital ad campaigns to amplify our organizing efforts and creates strategies to optimize campaign effectiveness to better reach our progressive audience.

Samuel is originally from Fresno, California and attended UC Santa Barbara, majoring in Film and Media Studies. He has been a professional content creator, podcast producer and graphic designer since 2014, having received a YouTube Silver Play Button and Austin Chronicle Best Of: Local Podcast Award.

 

Fun facts:

  • Someone once got tattooed with his artwork after posting it online.
  • He has never seen The Godfather, and now he can't (to keep this bio accurate.)
  • Fist bumped The Rock one time.
Chris Mosser

Chris Mosser

Chris Mosser is the voice and content curator of our Progress Texas Daily Dispatch news podcast, updated every weekday morning, and is producer and a regular contributor to our weekly conversation and interview podcast, the Progress Texas Happy Hour. An Austin broadcasting veteran since 1993 and currently part of the Sun Radio airstaff, Chris enjoys wielding his audiovisual talents towards amplifying progressive voices, ideas and policy goals. Chris also regularly produces live events for a variety of Democratic organizations and clubs including West Austin Democrats (for whom he's a board member), Blue Action Democrats, Liberal Austin Democrats, and more.

Chris is a native Texan, originally from Lubbock, is a graduate of Texas State University with a degree in History, and lives with his family in the Bryker Woods neighborhood of Central Austin.

Fun facts:

  • An expert on Texas chili - but controversially, does not insist that it contain no beans.
  • A former member of an Austin Music Award-winning heavy metal band.
  • Determined to one day trick Samuel Gonzalez into watching The Godfather.
  • Two inches shorter than Beto O'Rourke.

 

Reagan Stone

Reagan Stone

Advocacy Manager Reagan Stone leads content development and strategic communications in our three major issue areas: climate justice, abortion access, and voting rights. From election cycles to legislative sessions, Reagan helps our team communicate this work via digital and traditional media in addition to guiding coalition efforts that effectively shape favorable public opinion and policy change.

Reagan's passion in climate justice grew from his childhood in south Texas where he witnessed water wells on area ranches running dry as the Eagle Ford, oil and gas fracking infrastructure moved in. While working at the Texas State Capitol as a Legislative Assistant during his undergraduate studies at UT Austin, he took part in the first discussions between House leaders and the Sierra Club contributing to scrubbers being added to Houston-area refineries. Based in west Texas, Reagan plans to amplify atrocities from the nearby Permian Basin oil and gas fields, highlighting flaring, environmental degradation, climate-change impacts, and worker and community safety concerns.

Reagan and his partner split their time between the Texas Rockies in the Big Bend region and Austin. They both work to find ways to inspire and build community.

Fun facts:

  • Loves bicycling and hiking in the Big Bend
  • Enjoys a local brewery
  • Currently running for City Council in Alpine, Texas
Stevie Howat

Stevie Howat

Stevie Howat manages the business operations and administrative tasks for Progress Texas. She makes sure that all of our i’s are dotted and our t’s are crossed. A jack-of-all-trades, her professional background includes stints in political communications, web development, business management, and hospitality.

Stevie grew up in Plano, Texas, and studied political science at Texas Tech University. She lives in Dallas with her husband, daughter, and a very stubborn Dachshund.

 

Fun facts:

  • Collects vintage postcards
  • Loves swing dancing
  • Started keeping a sourdough starter way before it was cool
Tatum Owens

Tatum Owens

Tatum Owens is an Advocacy Associate for Progress Texas. In this role, she assists the Executive Director with projects and produces both rapid response communications and digital grassroots engagement through research and content creation.

Tatum is a 2023 Political Communications graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, known for her work with the Texas Freedom Network’s nonprofit program, Texas Rising, as a community organizer and leader of their UT Austin chapter. She also served on the City of Austin’s College Student Commission as its Vice Chair. There, her team allocated $50,000 of funding for college student food access, while she also volunteered with Meals on Wheels in her free time. Her passions in advocacy include, but are not limited to, direct aid like affordable and healthy food access, voting rights, and civic engagement to create progressive change in Texas.

Fun facts:

  • Reader whose favorite book is “Goodbye, Again” by Jonny Sun
  • From San Antonio, but lives with her cat, Craig, in College Station
  • Can only remember catching one fish ever, it was a toadfish and it was ugly
Haley Smith

Haley Smith

Haley is a sophomore at Texas State University with a deep passion for progressive advocacy. Her commitment to creating positive change has led her to be actively involved with various nonprofit organizations and state-wide campaigns. With strong roots in her community, Haley leverages her experience in volunteer recruitment and training to advocate for both local initiatives as well as amplify voices on broader issues.

In her position as a Digital Associate, she actively participates in the creation of social media content, which includes drafting posts and curating photos and videos. Additionally, she plays a vital role in maintaining web platforms, monitoring social media analytics and contributing to digital grassroots engagement during breaking news events at Progress Texas.

Fun facts:

  • Has bumped into Hugh Jackman (He said “excuse me” in his cool accent!)
  • Speaks German
  • #1 Billy Joel fan

 

Joe Deshotel

Joe Deshotel

Joe Deshotel is originally from Beaumont, Texas, but a combination of live music, politics and natural beauty brought him to Austin in 2010. After realizing Austin faced its own growing pains, he developed a passion for improving urban transportation and creating a more equitable community and addressing the city’s affordability crisis.

Joe has had the honor of introducing President Barack Obama on stage, receiving awards for his political commentary and has been quoted in dozens of local and national publications and featured on multiple SXSW and other panels. He is a relationship builder, a lover of animals and the outdoors, and always looking for his next great challenge.

He has over a decade of experience in public policy that covers federal, state and local government and has worked for a number of successful election campaigns and tech startups.

Fun facts:

  • Introduced then Senator Barack Obama as the next President of the United States
  • Played guitar in a touring band
  • Two inches taller than Beto.

 

D’Angelo Colter headshot

D’Angelo Colter

D’Angelo Colter is an East Texas native born and raised in Grapeland, TX and a first year graduate student at the Lyndon B Johnson School of Public Affairs at The University of Texas at Austin. D’Angelo is pursuing a Masters degree in Public Affairs with a focus in Education Policy. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Texas Southern University. D’Angelo has previously served as the HBCU Campus Manager for the Beto for Texas campaign, doing student outreach, organizing, and voter registration for all Historically Black Colleges & Universities in the State of Texas, and was a part of the Texas Legislative Internship Program (TLIP) Class of 2023 cohort. D’Angelo was also a part of the Harris County Leadership Internship Program as a Policy Intern for Commissioner Rodney Ellis. He served as an intern for the Travis County Democratic party. D’Angelo is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Fun facts:

  • Love to go for walks at the park and hiking
  • Favorite food is sushi
  • Dog lover
  • Favorite color is Yellow
Hiba Faruqi headshot

Hiba Faruqi

Hiba Faruqi is a junior at The University of Texas at Austin double majoring in German and government with a minor in history. Throughout her time at UT Austin, she has been fortunate enough to work with multiple representatives at the Texas State Capitol, and was motivated by those experiences to be a loud voice for a more progressive Texas. She is a proud member of the national championship Texas Speech team and enjoys using that platform as a way to advocate for the causes she is the most passionate about, like reproductive rights and equitable immigration policy.

Fun facts:

  • She has a calico cat named Hazel who she absolutely adores
  • Elephants are her favorite animal
  • Her coffee order is an iced americano with a splash of almond milk
Jackie Rogers headshot

Jackie Rogers

Jackie Rogers is a recent graduate from Loyola University Maryland with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Sociology, and a minor in studio arts. During her time at college, she used her platform and position as Director of Civic Engagement to inform potential voters on issues concerning the greater Baltimore area such as infrastructure, voting rights, and sustainability. Her three biggest passions are politics, advocacy, and biology.

Fun facts:

  • Iced coffee is her favorite drink
  • She was in the Senate in Youth and Government in High School
  • She loves charcuterie boards

Board of Directors

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Alex Andrade
Progress Texas
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Louis Bedford
Progress Texas Institute
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Jermaca Brown
Progress Texas Institute
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Yvonne Massey Davis
Progress Texas Institute
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Dick Lavine
Progress Texas Institute
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Jay Malone
Progress Texas Institute
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Jason Smith
Progress Texas
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Charles Zeller
Progress Texas