Today a group of many of the country’s most prominent and effective Democratic and progressive issue consultants announced the creation of a major new political consulting firm.
The firm, known as Democracy Partners, has offices in eight cities including Washington, D.C., Chicago, Minneapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, San Francisco, San Diego, and Portland, Maine.
Democracy Partners will focus much of its energy on progressive issue campaigns, civic engagement programs, and campaigns to elect Democrats to public office.
The new firm includes experts in political messaging, campaign planning and management, high-intensity field programs, television and radio advertising, earned media, direct mail, website development, new media, research, non-profit organizations, philanthropies, issue campaigns, voter registration drives, labor union campaigns, fundraising, grass-tops advocacy, staff recruitment and development, organizer training, phone operations, community organizing and voter contact programs.
The new firm’s partners include:
- Heather Booth – One of the country’s leading progressive issue campaign strategists. Booth recently directed Americans for Financial Reform, which spearheaded passage of Wall Street Reform. She is a former Training Director of the Democratic National Committee, Director of the NAACP Voter Fund, and founder of the Midwest Academy, which trains progressive organizers. She was the lead consultant for the Campaign on Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Booth specialized in directing Coordinated Campaign GOTV and played a major role in the election of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington and U.S. Sen. Carol Moseley Braun (D-IL). She is co-author of the book Citizen Action and the New American Populism.
- Marc Cerabona – Leading expert in website development and data management in the political, corporate and non-profit arenas. Marc led the development of one of the earliest online field and fundraising databases, built one of the first Palm-Pilot-based field tools and has managed data for many elected officials, political campaigns, and organizations such as America Coming Together, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and EMILY’s List.
- Robert Creamer – Political organizer and strategist for more than four decades. He has worked on some of the country’s most significant issue campaigns, from health care to the budget to immigration reform. Creamer was one of the major architects of the successful 2005 campaign to defeat the Bush plan to privatize of Social Security. He also has worked in hundreds of local, state and federal electoral campaigns. Creamer’s recent book is titled: Listen to Your Mother, Stand Up Straight: How Progressives Can Win.
- Brett C. Di Resta – For 20 years, he has provided winning research and strategic advice to Democratic House and Senate races. His list of victories includes Sen. Chuck Schumer’s (D-NY) defeat of Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-NY) in 1998, Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) in 2002 and 2006, and Congressman John Carney (D-DE) in 2010. Di Resta is also an adjunct professor at George Washington University where he lectures on opposition research.
- Carla (Ohringer) Engle – An expert in strategic political planning for non-profits, labor unions, PACs and progressive donors. Engle has spent nearly 20 years in the political world, splitting her time between the campaign trail and D.C., and electing leaders like Debbie Stabenow and Fritz Hollings to Congress. In 2000, Engle directed the first federal money program at the DNC and helped found the DNC’s Gay & Lesbian Leadership Council. Following the 2000 election, she joined the Renaissance Weekend team. Since 2008, she has served as President of Progressive Strategies.
- Jeffrey Garcia – A seasoned campaign manager, consultant and ad maker with more than 16 years of experience. Garcia has worked on campaigns in six states at all levels of government, including campaigns for members of Congress, mayors, state representatives, judges and attorneys general. He also has special expertise in the politics of Florida and the Latino and Cuban American communities.
- Ken Grossinger – For 20 years worked in the labor movement as a leading strategist with the Service Employees International Union and then as Director of Legislative Field Operations for the AFL-CIO. He also has extensive experience working with non-profit, philanthropic and university based organizations.
- John Hennelly – Served for four years as the National Field Director for Politics for the Service Employee International Union (SEIU). In 2006 he helped SEIU become the largest PAC in America and win a No. 1 ranking in political effectiveness by National Journal. He has more than two decades experience in politics and specializes in high-intensity field programs. Hennelly is a former Lieutenant in the Marine Corps.
- Jackie Kendall – Served for almost 30 years as the Director of the Midwest Academy, a national training center, where she provided organizing training and strategic issue campaign consultation to non-profit organizations and unions, and trained thousands of progressive organizers throughout America. She is co-author of the book, Organizing for Social Change.
- Mike Lux – Worked as a senior staffer on five different presidential campaigns, on the Clinton and Obama transition teams, and as a Special Assistant to President Clinton. For the last two decades, he has been nationally recognized as an influential leader in progressive politics as a consultant, organizational founder and leader, blogger, and author. Lux played a role in the formation of the Center for American Progress, Air America, MoveOn.org, and several other influential national organizations. His recent book is The Progressive Revolution: How the Best in America Came to Be.
- Dan Manatt – As writer, producer, director and editor of TV and Internet ads and videos, Dan Manatt has helped pioneer the new era of media consulting. In 2003, he formed the first ever Web Video consulting firm, winning the first "Pollie" awards for the new medium. MSNBC hailed his 2010 TV ads opposing John Boehner as "the best of the campaign". Manatt offers clients more than technical and creative skills, drawing on a 20 year career in politics that began with the 1992 Clinton campaign, and 10 years as an elections lawyer. Dan is the son of Charles Manatt, a former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
- Donald McFarland – Has nearly three decades of experience in all levels of politics and is an expert at grasstops and grassroots advocacy. His work has combined communications, electoral and advocacy experience. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul and has a particularly deep familiarity with the politics of the upper Midwest.
- Josie Mooney – Has a 30-year career as a labor leader and activist for social change across the United States and around the world. Josie was the first woman president of the San Francisco Labor Council, which she led for a decade. Recently she served as Special Assistant to the President and Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union. She specializes in strategic, political, and communications consulting for union organizing and contract campaigns, non-profits, public service and initiative campaigns, progressive candidates and socially conscious businesses.
- Braidy O’Neal – Has managed more than 60 national, statewide and congressional political campaigns and programs and brings his clients a combination of strategic vision and relentless tactical execution.
- Andres Ramirez – Has 15 years of experience working with local state and national campaigns. He served on the staff of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and is the former Senior Vice-President of the political and advocacy think tank, NDN. Ramirez is Vice Chair of the DNC’s Hispanic Caucus.
- Linda E. Saucedo – Has a decade of experience as a political consultant for electoral and issue campaigns. She is an expert in telephone operations of all sorts and has run phone programs that have delivered millions of calls to Members of Congress in support of critical progressive issue campaigns. Saucedo also specializes in direct mail, organizer recruitment and training programs.
- Renee Schaeffer – Over the last decade she has become known as an accomplished fundraiser for candidates, PACs, political organizations, trade associations and non-profit organizations. She formerly served as Director of Candidate Services for the DCCC.
- Joel Silberman – Comes to political communications from a disciplined theatrical and musical career and is now a widely respected media strategist and trainer for progressive organizations, online activists and Democratic candidates. Silberman specializes in training leaders and candidates for appearances on television and radio. He is also an accomplished producer of special events such as the People for American Way Foundation’s Spirit of Liberty Awards and Leonard Bernstein’s A Classic Evening for AIDS Research. Silberman is also a frequent guest lecturer at the Juilliard School in New York.
- Cheri Whiteman – For the last two decades she has worked as a political organizer in dozens of electoral and issue campaigns in 12 states. She served as a longtime Canvass Director for Clean Water Action and is an expert in organizer recruitment. She also specializes in field operations, direct mail, and TV and radio production. Formerly, Whiteman was a reporter/producer for Florida Public Television.
Democracy Partners’ General Counsel is Joe Sandler who served from 1993 to 1998 as in-house general counsel of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and general counsel to the DNC through his law firm until 2008. Sandler specializes in non-profit and political law and was co-chair of the Election Law Committee of the American Bar Association’s Administrative Law Section. (PF tipster)