Josh Silver (nonprofit director)

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Josh Silver
Josh Silver-freepress.tiff
Born April 16, 1968
United States New York, New York, U.S.
Education University of Grenoble
The Evergreen State College
Occupation Nonprofit Director
Employer Represent.Us

Josh Silver (born April 16, 1968) is the founder and director of Represent.Us, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization whose stated mission is to challenge the influence of money in American Politics.[1] Silver formerly served as CEO and president of Free Press, an "activist group that promotes Internet openness."[2] Silver also served as campaign manager of the successful 1998 "Clean Elections" ballot measure in Arizona. He has published widely on democracy, media, telecommunications, campaign finance and a range of other public policy issues. Silver has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal[3] and featured in outlets including the New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, Newsweek, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor,, C-SPAN, and NPR. He speaks nationally on democracy and issues of money in politics, and blogs at The Huffington Post.[4]


Silver was born in New York, NY and grew up in Shelburne, Massachusetts. His mother, Genie Zeiger, an essayist, poet, and creative writing teacher, died in 2009. His father, Carl Silver, is a clinical psychologist in Western Massachusetts. Josh Silver has one sister.

In 1995 Josh Silver was on a river trip in Peru with a friend, Patchen Miller, when they were ambushed and shot; Silver was seriously wounded but survived; Miller did not.[5]


Silver attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and The University of Grenoble, France.


Silver posits that the overwhelming influence of money in the American political system has a paralyzing effect on nearly every issue. He advocates using the term “corruption” to describe the combined influence of lobbying, the “revolving door,” and campaign contributions, and sees this corruption as afflicting politicians of both parties.

Silver argues that past campaign finance reform efforts have failed partly because they relied on passing reform legislation through Congress; he points out that members of Congress, who have achieved their positions under current campaign finance laws, are unlikely to approve legislation that would change those laws and limit the influence of the special interests and moneyed donors who have financed their political careers.[6]

Silver advocates a grassroots campaign of citizen-led ballot initiatives passed at the city and state level to build momentum towards national reform. The organization he co-founded and directs, Represent.Us, was established to support these grassroots anti-corruption efforts.[7]


  1. ^ Joseph, Andrew (2012-01-03). "New Group Formed To Limit Political Money - Influence Alley". Retrieved 2012-01-13. 
  2. ^ Kang, Cecilia (2008-03-28). "Net Neutrality's Quiet Crusader". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  3. ^ "Non-Profit Takes on Big Media," Wall Street Journal, March 8, 2007. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-03. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  4. ^ See "blog entries by Josh Silver," [1].
  5. ^ "A Darkness on the River". Outside Online. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  6. ^ "Discovered: A Cure for Political Corruption". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 
  7. ^ "All Is Not Lost: How to Win Money-in-Politics Reform". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2015-11-06. 

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