FairVote's Promote Our Vote project is governed by the staff and board of directors of FairVote. Promote Our Vote's Leadership Circle provides regular advice and is offered an opportunity to meet at least once every year to discuss the work and its progress. Here are its members in alphabetical order.
Steve Cobble has 30 years of experience in progressive politics. He is an Associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and is a co-founder of Progressive Democrats of America and After Downing Street – a non-profit working to hold American politicians accountable. He has worked as speechwriter for Jesse Jackson, as a strategist for Dennis Kucinich’s presidential campaign and as the Executive Director of the Arca Foundation.
Josh Douglas is a professor at the University of Kentucky College of Law. He is passionate about studying vote counting rules, post-election disputes and the role of the judiciary in elections. He has been published in a number of premier legal journals, including the Vanderbilt and George Washington Law Reviews. His work has been used in articles by Reuters, Politico and the Huffington Post.
Anita Earls is a veteran civil rights attorney with over 25 years of experience. She has handled a wide variety of cases, including police misconduct, school desegregation, and First Amendment rights. She co-founded and currently directs the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, a non-profit organization that fights for minority voting rights and civic participation. She is also a Research Fellow and Professor at Duke University’s Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Gender. Formerly, she taught at University of North Carolina Law School and spent 10 years as a partner at a civil rights practice.
Adam Fogel is the Chief of Staff for Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Navarro. Before working with Navarro, he served as the Chief of Staff for Rich Madaleno, a Maryland state senator. For 3 years, he worked at FairVote as the head of the Right To Vote Project where he researched civics education and wrote on the presidential nominating project. Prior to his experience at FairVote, he served as the Field Director for a Pew Charitable Trust project that registered more than a half-million voters in Pennsylvania. He holds a Master’s Degree in Political Management from George Washington University.
Geoff Foster is the Director of Organizing and Policymaking at the United Teen Equality Center in Lowell, MA where he manages a variety of youth-led campaigns aimed at increasing voter turnout and increasing youth representation. Foster has overseen three separate youth-led city council and school committee candidate forums, and coordinates a statewide coalition ‘Teens Leading The Way’ aimed at empowering youth to create lasting policy changes. Geoff’s has over ten years’ experience in grassroots campaign management and strategy, policymaking, lobbying and volunteer work, with special focus on electoral reform since 2009.
Dr. Ron Hayduk is a professor of political science at Queens College, CUNY. His research interests include elections and voting, especially when those topics intersect with immigrant rights. He has written several books, including Democracy for All: Restoring Immigrant Voting Rights in the U.S, and Gatekeepers to the Franchise: Shaping Election Administration in New York. Formerly, he was the coordinator of New York City’s Voter Assistance Commission and a consultant to numerous groups, including the NAACP and the Brennan Center for Justice. He is the co-founder of the Coalition to Expand Voting Rights and an active member of the CUNY’s Professional Staff Congress.
Dan Johnson is a Chicago-based lawyer, lobbyist and entrepreneur. He is a partner at Korey Cotter Heather & Richardson, LLC. He is the founder of two companies: Equity Partner Match, which helps match potential business partners, and Progressive Public Affairs, a lobbying group for non-profits, tax associations and for-profit companies. Mr. Johnson formerly served as General Counsel for FairVote, where he helped to reinstate cumulative voting for the Illinois legislature. He continues to work closely with John B. Anderson; former Congressman, presidential candidate and Director of FairVote.
Dr. Alexander Keyssar is the Stirling Professor of History and Social Policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. His academic work focuses on the history of democracy, poverty and election reform. He is a prolific author for both scholarly and general audiences. His book “The Right to Vote: The Contested History of Democracy in the United States (2000)” was named the best American History book by the American Historical Association and the Historical Society. The book was a Pulitzer Prize and Los Angeles Book Award finalist. He also writes for the Huffington Post where he has voiced concerns over voter ID law, voter suppression, the lack of a positive constitutional right to vote and more.
Eugene Kinlow is the Public Affairs Director of DC Vote, an organization fighting for full autonomy and Congressional representation for the District of Columbia. Before joining DC Vote, Kinlow directed Kinlow & Associates, a community relations company. Formerly, he was a Management Fellow for the Marshall Heights Community Development Organization. He serves on the boards of the University of the District of Columbia and the Washington East Foundation.
Dr. Peter Levine is the Director of CIRCLE, the Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University. He serves on the steering committees and boards of several organizations, including the Deliberative Democracy Consortium, Everyday Democracy and AmericaSpeaks. He has published seven books on a wide range of topics, including The Philosophy and Practice of Civic Renewal, The Future of Democracy and Living Without Philosophy.
Tim Male serves on the Takoma Park City Council, where he has championed several sustainability and government transparency efforts. In addition to serving on the council, he is the Vice President for Conservation Policy at Defenders of Wildlife. Formerly, he was a lobbyist and ecologist for the Environmental Defense Fund, one of the premier U.S. organizations working for environmental protection. He has also worked with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
Marc Mauer is the Executive Director of The Sentencing Project, a non-profit that works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration. His lauded 1999 Race to Incarcerate is the seminal work explaining the rapid increase in incarceration rates in the United States. He is an expert in the field of criminal justice and is often interviewed by NPR, The Washington Post and The New York Times. He is most interested in working with Promote Our Vote to ensure felon enfranchisement.
Dr. Michael McDonald is an Associate Professor of Government and Politics at George Mason University and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution. He has extensively researched redistricting and voting behavior and works with the Public Mapping Project, an initiative supporting public participation in redistricting. In the past, he has served as an expert witness in election law cases, consulted for the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and written editorials for the Washington Post and Politico.
John Nichols writes about politics for The Nation magazine. He regularly contributes articles to The Progressive and In These Times. His work has been published in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other major publications. Nichols is also a prolific book author, writing Dick: The Man Who is President, a best-selling biography of former Vice President Dick Cheney; The Genius of Impeachment, an analysis of the 2000 Florida recount debate; and Jews for Buchanan.
Larry Ottinger is the former President of the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest, an organization dedicated to promoting responsible, pro-democracy lobbying for non-profits. He was the Co-Chair of the Board of the Ottinger Foundation, a non-profit philanthropic group that supports progressive causes. He has also served as Senior Counsel for People for the American Way, a non-profit dedicated to analysis and advocacy of civil liberties. In addition, he has worked as the Director of Policy and Leadership Development at the Fannie Mae Foundation.
Jamie Raskin is a Maryland Democratic State Senator, representing Takoma Park and Silver Spring. Elected in 2006, Mr. Raskin has passed nearly 50 bills on issues ranging from the environment to consumer rights, and has been named one of the most influential lawmakers in Maryland. He helped pass the nation’s first National Popular Vote law, which calls for an interstate compact requiring states to cast their electoral college votes for the winner of the national popular vote. Mr. Raskin is also a constitutional law professor at American University’s Washington School of Law.
Rashad Robinson is the Executive Director of Color of Change, a group that fights for African American representation and interests in Congress. He is a board member at the Applied Research Center, an organization working for racial justice. Before his work with Color of Change, Robinson served as the National Field Director of FairVote. He has been cited and interviewed by a wide range of publications and networks, including the New York Times, NPR, and CNN.
Bennett Singer has been a writer and filmmaker for over 20 years . His most recent documentary, Brother Outside: The Life of Bayard Rusin, premiered at Sundance Film Festival, was broadcast nationally and won over 25 awards. His current project is Electoral Dysfunction, a documentary that exposes flaws in the American voting system. Formerly, he was the executive editor of Time magazine’s education program.
Jacob Soboroff is the host and producer of HuffPost Live, The Huffington Post’s streaming network. He has produced content for a number of major broadcast companies, including MTV and PBS. Formerly, Soboroff was the director of Why Tuesday, an organization dedicated to holding elections on more convenient weekend days. He currently serves on Why Tuesday’s board, as well as the board of City Year Los Angeles.
In 2001, Peter Wagner co-founded The Prison Policy Initiative, an organization dedicated to identifying and solving the negative consequences of mass incarceration on the democratic process. Wagner has worked with the program tirelessly, and, through his efforts changed the way two states use prisoner counts for voting districts, increased prisoner phone access and identified unfair sentencing policies.
Frank Watkins has worked closely with Jesse Jackson Sr. and Jesse Jackson Jr. In 1987, he coauthored Straight from the Heart with Jackson Sr. and Roger Hatch. He worked as Jackson Jr.’s Communications Director during Jackson Jr.’s years as a Democratic Representative from Illinois. He has also worked extensively with the National Rainbow Coalition, an advocacy group that supports disadvantaged groups of all kinds.
Ilir Zherka is the Executive Director of the National Conference on Citizenship, an organization focused on increasing democratic participation. Previously, Zherka directed DC Vote, which works to provide Washington, D.C. with full congressional representation and independence. For his work, he has received numerous awards including the Meyer Foundation Exponent Award, the National Urban League's Leadership Award, and the United Nations Association Human Rights Community Award.