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Who We Are

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.

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: We're a team of writers and researchers who develop positive messages around progressive issues. And we're all over online, print, and broadcast news media pushing those messages.
  • Digital targeting: Our digital team targets our messages directly into the virtual hands of Texas voters through social media.
  • Original content: We create compelling videos, graphics, and blogs to engage users across online platforms.

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!

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. Read our privacy policy.

  • Edward Espinoza

    Ed Espinoza

    Executive Director

  • Sarah Gutierrez

    Sarah Gutierrez

    Managing Director

  • Glenn Smith

    Glenn W. Smith

    Senior Strategist

  • Saatvik Ahluwalia

    Saatvik Ahluwalia

    Digital Strategist

  • Tara Pohlmeyer

    Tara Pohlmeyer

    Communications Manager

  • Wesley Story

    Wesley Story

    Communications Associate

  • 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.

    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 columns in the Texas Tribune and Austin American-Statesman. You won't regret it.

    Saatvik Ahluwalia

    Saatvik Ahluwalia

    As the Digital Strategist, Saatvik is committed to amplifying Progressive values across digital channels to get our message to the people who need to hear it most.

    Throughout his career, Saatvik has used digital platforms to explain complex issues and enroll individuals in taking action. He has worked in politics since graduating college managing campaigns, representing his town as an elected official, and as a consultant for political organizations advocating for a more progressive America. In particular, he is passionate about lowering the barrier for entry into politics for young people.

    Saatvik's work has been covered in publications like the Boston Globe and the Huffington Post, as well as in a book focusing on the success of the Indian diaspora in the United States.

    Wesley Story

    Wesley Story

    Wesley started at Progress Texas in February 2018 as an intern and has transitioned to full-time as our Communications Associate. He is a recent journalism and public relations graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

    Before Progress Texas, Wesley interned at Deeds Not Words and Texas RioGrande Legal Aid where his passion for advocacy and justice grew. He believes it is important to amplify the voices of young progressives across the state, as we’re slowly becoming the new majority.

    Wesley was born and raised in Dallas, Texas before moving to Austin for college.

    Tara Pohlmeyer

    Tara Pohlmeyer

    Tara joined the team in September 2018. In her role, she focuses on media relations, content creation, and social media management.

    Before Progress Texas, Tara worked as a digital journalist for local Texas newspapers. She is also a recent graduate of New Leaders Council – Austin, a six-month training program for young progressives.

    Tara is passionate about empowering women and supporting reproductive rights and access. Originally from the Rio Grande Valley, she graduated from Texas State University in May 2016 with a bachelor's degree in electronic media.

Submission Process

Progress Texas accepts article submissions for publication on from experts and emerging experts who provide unique, credible insight on Texas progressive issues. To submit an idea for a piece, please fill out this form.

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