Our Mission

Demand Progress is 501(c)4 entity, with 501(c)3 sponsorship from the Citizen Engagement Lab Education Fund. Demand Progress is a national grassroots group with two million affiliated activists who fight for basic rights and freedoms needed for a modern democracy.

We work to win progressive policy changes for ordinary people through organizing and grassroots lobbying. We focus on issues of civil liberties, civil rights, and government reform.

We run online campaigns to rally people to take action on the news that affects them — by contacting Congress and other leaders, funding pressure tactics, and spreading the word in their own communities.

We work in Washington to provide an advocate for the public in all the decisions that affect our lives.

About Us

Our deep grassroots membership and expertise allow us to quickly and effectively bring the voice of the people to Washington to influence national policy debates.

By organizing grassroots campaigns driven by smart policy insight and strategy, Demand Progress works to achieve the most change and best outcomes possible for ordinary people.

We bring together large and diverse coalitions that transcend political lines and embrace shared values around civil liberties, civil rights, and government reform.

We focus on:

Internet freedom
From free expression and privacy to the ability to connect and organize, Internet freedom is where some of the most consequential civil liberties developments of the day are unfolding.

Open government
An open and accountable government is essential for a well-functioning democracy, and smart use of technology is key to making our modern democracy work.

Money-in-politics and financial reform
Through Rootstrikers.org, we work to eliminate the corrupting influence of big money in politics and reform the financial system in order to ensure our democracy is for everyone, not a tool for wealthy interests to rig the game.

History

Demand Progress was born in late 2010 with an online petition and alliance-building campaign that eventually helped defeat the infamous Internet censorship bill known as the Stop Online Piracy Act, or SOPA.

In the aftermath of the historic campaign against SOPA, Demand Progress helped lead efforts to successfully block online surveillance bills such as the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). Demand Progress has also helped lead the public push for reform of surveillance practices at the hands of the National Security Agency — in 2013, Demand Progress was the lead organizer of The Day We Fight Back, and in 2015, Demand Progress organized SunsetThePatriotAct.com. Through these and other efforts Demand Progress drove more than 130,000 phone calls and 1.8 million emails to Congress, and organized dozens of meetings across the country between constituents and their lawmakers in support of surveillance reform.

All the while, Demand Progress has contended with the fallout from the unjust prosecution of its cofounder Aaron Swartz, and with the aftermath of Aaron’s tragic suicide. Demand Progress has fought for a modicum of justice for Aaron by seeking to reform the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the law under which Aaron was prosecuted. Through its advocacy, Demand Progress has prevented the expansion of the CFAA.

Demand Progress has also been a leader in the campaign for Net Neutrality. Over the course of a year, Demand Progress members took more than four million actions in support of Net Neutrality, and Demand Progress helped organize the Internet Slowdown Day in the fall of 2014, which drove over 700,000 comments to the FCC and nearly 300,000 calls, and two million emails to Congress in a single day.

Demand Progress Action 2014 990

David Segal

David Segal

Co-Founder and Executive Director

David Segal is a former Democratic Rhode Island State Representative, and served on the Providence City Council as a member of the Green Party. During his eight years as an elected official he oversaw the passage of legislation promoting economic justice, renewable energy and open space, banking reform, affordable housing, LGBT rights, criminal justice reform, and a variety of other progressive causes. He recently ran in the Democratic primary for Rhode Island’s first Congressional seat, supported by much of the netroots and organized labor. His opinion pieces have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, and other newspapers, and in a variety of online publications. He has a degree in mathematics from Columbia University.

Kurt Walters

Kurt Walters

Campaign Director

Kurt is a digital strategist and political advocate dedicated to upending the corrupting system of big money-fueled politics and building a democracy based on equal citizenship. Prior to joining Rootstrikers.org, the money-in-politics and financial reform wing of Demand Progress, Kurt served as the digital lead for Sen. Brian Schatz's 2014 campaign and as a consultant for prominent progressive candidates and nonprofits. He also developed small donor public financing policy and held anti-reform politicians accountable with Public Campaign Action Fund (now Every Voice). He graduated with a degree in Politics, Philosophy & Economics from Brown University, where he advocated for Fair Elections reform and disclosure at the state level in Rhode Island.

Mark Stanley

Mark Stanley

Director of Communications and Operations

Prior to joining Demand Progress, Mark worked on the Public Affairs team at Edelman New York and worked the Washington office of the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) as campaign and communications strategist. At CDT, Mark’s work focused on creating campaigns and coalitions to fight for civil liberties in the digital age. Mark was a leader in a campaign to reform the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), which received large-scale, bipartisan support in Congress. He also led efforts to add privacy protections to cybersecurity legislation, and he was involved in the historic efforts to defeat the Stop Online Piracy Act and reform NSA surveillance practices. Prior to that, Mark worked at the Pulitzer Center, an international journalism organization.

[email protected]

Kate Kizer

Kate Kizer

Campaigner

Prior to joining Demand Progress, Kate led advocacy strategies to advance US policies supporting human rights and democratic reform in the Middle East. Before that, Kate worked in Silicon Valley at Dropbox before leading opposition research against Tea Party Governor Rick Scott as the Deputy Director of Research for the 2014 Charlie Crist for Governor campaign in Florida. She graduated with a degree in Middle Eastern & North African Studies from UCLA. Her writing and commentary have been featured in numerous news outlets, including Reuters, Al Jazeera America, OpenDemocracy, and the Huffington Post.

Daniel Schuman

Daniel Schuman

Policy Director

Daniel Schuman has long worked at the intersection of law, policy, and technology. He most recently served as policy director for Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), and prior to that as policy counsel with the Sunlight Foundation. In a prior life he was a legislative attorney with the Congressional Research Service. Daniel chairs the Congressional Data Coalition's steering committee and founded the Advisory Committee on Transparency. In 2013, Daniel was named among the 'top 25 most influential people under 40 in gov and tech' by FedScoop. He is a nationally recognized expert on federal transparency and has testified before Congress and appeared on NPR, C-SPAN. Daniel graduated cum laude from Emory University School of Law.

[email protected]
202-577-6100

David Moon

David Moon

Program Director

David Moon is a Washington-based policy attorney and political consultant. The former Chief Operating Officer of the election reform group, FairVote, Moon has coordinated numerous advocacy efforts to make our electoral process more fair and accessible. In recent years, he has managed and assisted successful campaigns for progressive Democrats, political action committees and ballot initiatives around the country. His issue portfolio has included work on smart growth and transit issues, criminal justice reform, LGBT rights, women’s rights, civil liberties, and more. He is a graduate of American University’s Washington College of Law and received his bachelors degree from Tufts University.