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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 (501c4) and the Progress Texas Institute (501c3) are affiliates of the ProgressNow national network. Read our privacy policy. Progress Texas ® is a registered trademark with the U.S. patent and trademark office.

Annual Impact Reports

2020 2019 2018 2017

Our Team

  • Edward Espinoza

    Ed Espinoza

    President

  • Sarah Gutierrez

    Sarah Gutierrez

    Managing Director

  • Glenn Smith

    Glenn W. Smith

    Senior Strategist

  • Saatvik Ahluwalia

    Saatvik Ahluwalia

    Digital Director

  • Wesley Story

    Wesley Story

    Communications Director

  • Diana Gomez

    Diana Gómez

    Advocacy Director

  • “Brett

    Brett Isaacs

    Development Associate

  • Ben Salinas

    Ben Salinas

    Digital Intern

Edward Espinoza

Edward Espinoza

Ed Espinoza the President of Progress Texas where he leads a team that focuses on message development and media amplification for progressive issues. He also leads the organization’s work on public opinion polling, and provides political analysis for local and national news broadcasts.

His background includes work on more than 50 political campaigns, including five presidential efforts, and serving as Western States Director at the Democratic National Committee. He has also worked in public relations providing communications strategy for national brands. Ed is originally from Long Beach, California and went to UCLA and the London School of Economics.

Fun facts about Ed:

  • Was one of the youngest Superdelegates for Barack Obama in 2008.
  • Served on the PR team that launched Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. in the U.S.
  • Currently trying to hike as many trails as possible in Austin
Sarah Gutierrez

Sarah Gutierrez

Managing Director Sarah Gutierrez joined the organization in 2013 and serves as part of our executive team, overseeing operations, budget, finance, compliance, and human resources. Coming from the political operations and campaign finance world, she worked at the Texas Democratic Party for 6 years as Deputy Comptroller and then as Comptroller. She then went on to work in campaign finance reporting and operations for 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 with their son Griffin.

Fun facts about Sarah:

  • Outside of work: She is an active member of the Junior League of Austin and loves Pilates
  • First political job: Martin Frost for Congress, 2002
  • Guilty pleasure: watching The Bachelor/Bachelorette
Glenn Smith

Glenn Smith

Senior Strategist Glenn W. Smith has been with Progress Texas from the beginning. He focuses on media and message development across major policy areas. Glenn, a former colleague of George Lakoff at Lakoff’s political framing institute in Berkeley, is expert in all facets of strategic communications.

Glenn, an author and former political writer for the Houston Chronicle and Houston Post, has worked in and around politics for 40 years. He helped manage Gov. Ann Richards’ successful campaign in 1990. Since then, Glenn has worked in a variety of political and public affairs campaigns across Texas and the nation. Unable to give up journalism altogether, he writes a regular column for the Austin American-Statesman.

Saatvik Ahluwalia

Saatvik Ahluwalia

Digital Director Saatvik Ahluwalia keeps pace with the rapidly changing world of digital marketing. In doing so, he ensures that Progress Texas is able to use cutting edge tools and strategy to spread progressive values and actions across Texas.

At Progress Texas, Saatvik manages digital platforms and tools including multiple websites and email programs. He runs social ad campaigns to amplify digital organizing efforts, and analyzes data from digital sources to better understand audiences, the effectiveness of campaigns, and how to create and deliver stronger content.

Saatvik moved from Philadelphia where he was on the board of ProgressNow affiliate Keystone Progress. He has won a Platinum MarCom Award, been profiled in the Boston Globe, and competed in multiple Bollywood dance championships.

Fun facts about Saatvik:

  • Hometown: Birthplace of America - Lexington, MA
  • Can you make life easier? Yes, turn off your phone’s social media notifications!
  • Dream dog: Bernese. Mountain. Dog
Wesley Story

Wesley Story

Communications Director Wesley Story started at Progress Texas in February 2018 as an intern and has since held a number of positions with the organization. His role focuses primarily on media relations, message development, and content creation. He also oversees our voting rights coalition work and provides communications counsel and media support to our partners.

Wesley has worked on various projects, including Progress Texas’ Humans Against Ted Cruz campaign and the 2019 fight against the Secretary of State’s voter purge. He has also appeared in stories for outlets such as The Texas Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Law, and more.

Wesley graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with degrees in journalism and public relations. When he’s not working, he can be found listening to Supreme Court oral arguments, catching up on the news, or exploring Austin.

Fun facts about Wesley:

  • Hometown: Irving, TX
  • Most interesting former job: Resident Assistant at UT (DM for some wild stories)
  • Favorite fashion trend: He loves a good turtleneck
“Diana

Diana Gómez

Advocacy Director Diana Gómez leads issue management efforts at Progress Texas with a focus on abortion rights and voting rights work. She not only represents the organization in coalitions, but also provides communications counsel and message development to amplify progressive voices in the media. With a background in teaching and immigration legal work, she started working in politics as a congressional staffer for the U.S. House of Representatives.

Diana graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a degree in Mexican American Studies. She currently volunteers with the Hays County Democratic Party, serves on the board of The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, and is the Co-Founder of La Política, a group focused on increasing civic engagement among Latinas in Austin.

Fun facts about Diana:

  • Hometown: Kyle, TX (Pie Capital of Texas)
  • Favorite Pie: Frito
  • Won Second Place in a Selena Karaoke Contest in Buda, TX
“Ben

Ben Salinas

Digital Intern Ben Salinas makes Progress Texas’ content accessible to Texans across the state. Ben leads on designing social graphics and videos that are snackable and shareable while promoting progressive values. Ben got his start in politics as a College Democrat and worked his way up to the position of Social Media Director for College Democrats of America. Here ben developed his skills and passion for political issues and advocacy.

Ben has previously worked for the 2018 Beto O’Rourke Campaign as a student ambassador, the Dr. Joca Marquez for City Council campaign as the Communications Strategist, and most recently for the Bernie 2020 campaign as a Campus Leader.

Fun facts about Ben:

  • First person in his family to graduate from a four-year university
  • Loves video games and board games
  • Proud father of a rescue puppy and certified ‘good boy’
“Brett

Brett Isaacs

Development Associate Brett Isaacs leads development and fundraising for Progress Texas. Her responsibilities include spearheading donor communications, managing events, developing innovative fundraising strategies, and growing the donor base.

Before joining the Progress Texas team, Brett worked on the Texas Democratic Party Finance Team during the 2020 campaign cycle. There, she worked with candidates, stakeholders, and donors to build relationships, develop a virtual events program, and advance progressive goals in Texas. Brett earned a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in History from Tufts University. When not working, she can be found rewatching Parks & Rec, spending time outside, or exploring Austin coffee shops.

Fun facts about Brett:

  • Hometown: Washington, DC
  • Nerdiest hobby: Attempting to read a biography of every US president
  • Favorite food: Peanut butter

Board of Directors

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Alex Andrade
Progress Texas Institute
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Sara Stapleton Barrera
Progress Texas Institute
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Stephen Brown
Progress Texas Institute
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Joi Chevalier
Progress Texas Institute
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Amber Davis
Progress Texas Institute
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Yvonne Massey Davis
Progress Texas Institute
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David Glassco
Progress Texas
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Joe Hamill
Progress Texas Institute
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Dick Lavine
Progress Texas Institute
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Jeff Mankoff
Progress Texas
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Christina Oliver
Progress Texas Institute
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Jana Sanchez
Progress Texas Institute
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Jason Smith
Progress Texas Institute
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Kathleen Thompson
Progress Texas Institute
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Blaine Wesner
Progress Texas
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Charles Zeller
Progress Texas Institute