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TypeAdvocacy group
Legal status501(c)(4)
PurposeProgressive advocacy
Executive Director
Lonnie Scott
Formerly called
Rocky Mountain Progressive Network

ProgressNow, previously the Rocky Mountain Progressive Network, is a progressive 501(c)(4) advocacy organization in the United States. Founded in 2003, ProgressNow bills itself as a network of state based communications hubs which act as a marketing department for progressive ideas.[1]

History and mission[edit]

ProgressNow was created in 2003 as a response to the libertarian Independence Institute.[2] It has since grown a subscriber base of more than 350,000 grassroots activists in Colorado.[3] In 2006, ProgressNow began to expand its network outside of Colorado and has since created ProgressNow Partners Networks in twenty-one states:[4] Alliance for a Better Minnesota, Alliance for a Better Utah, Battle Born Progress (formerly ProgressNow Nevada), Better Georgia, Better Idaho, Courage Campaign (California), Fuse Washington, Granite State Progress (New Hampshire), Keystone Progress (Pennsylvania), One Wisconsin Now, ProgressNow Arizona, ProgressNow Colorado, Progress Florida, ProgressIowa, Progress Michigan, Progress Missouri, ProgressNow New Mexico, Progress North Carolina, ProgressOhio, Progress Texas, and ProgressVirginia. As of 2015, the organization reported that it had an email list of over four million names.[5]

The first chairman was Rollie Heath, a Boulder executive who gained office as the 18th district's state senator in 2008.[6] Heath was followed by Dr. Albert Yates, the former president of Colorado State University. The founder of ProgressNow is Michael Huttner, a Brown University and University of California Hastings College of Law graduate and lawyer turned political strategist.[7] The current executive director is Arshad Hasan, who previously led Democracy for America.

Its founding board members included Wes Boyd, founder of,[8] Rob McKay, chairman of the board of the Democracy Alliance and president of the McKay Family Foundation,[9] Jared Polis, elected in 2008 as the U.S. Congressman for Colorado’s 2nd District,[10] and Ted Trimpa (the current chair), an attorney and government relations expert.[11]

The group co-sponsored a blogging workspace, 'The Big Tent', during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[12] In 2007, received multiple honors from the Golden Dot Awards (online political advocacy awards).[13]

In 2010, the book The Blueprint: How Democrats Won Colorado, and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care by Adam Schrager and Rob Witwer described ProgressNow as the "crown jewel" of the progressive investors' effort to flip the state.[14]

Affordable Care Act advocacy[edit]

In October 2013, ProgressNow Colorado released a controversial series of advertisements promoting Obamacare. According to the Denver Post, one advertisement "features a woman flashing a thumbs up with one hand and holding a packet of birth-control pills in the other. She is wrapped in a man's arm next to text that includes the sentence 'Let's hope he's as easy to get as this birth control.'" In response to inquiries about whether taxpayer funding was used for the advertising campaign, the executive director of ProgressNow Colorado said, "I know some people are saying this is a taxpayer-funded campaign...but that is just not the case." ProgressNow said the series of advertisements was paid for with donations and individual contributions, and the organization denied association with state agencies.[15][16]

Plagiarism claims[edit]

In November 2013, ProgressNow Michigan released a report critiquing the Mackinac Center, a Michigan-based, free-market think tank. Portions of the report were copied, without attribution, from a 2011 article in Mother Jones. The report also copied an explanatory note from a report written by the Center for Media and Democracy. After accusations of plagiarism were published in the Daily Caller, ProgressNow changed the passages in question and added a disclaimer to the front page of the report, stating "An earlier version of this report inadvertently left out two citations, which have been included in this version."[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Roberts (2007-08-09). "Making Progress - Page 1 - News - Denver". Westword. Retrieved 2012-06-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^ Valenty, Richard (2008-07-17). "Carlisle, Health debate mostly civil". Colorado Daily. Archived from the original on December 3, 2008. Retrieved 21 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ Evans, Will (2008-08-04). "Profile: Progress Now Action". NPR. Retrieved 2012-06-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ Evans, Will (August 4, 2008). "Profile: Progress Now Action". NPR. Retrieved 24 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^ "About ProgressNow". ProgressNow. Retrieved 24 February 2015. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^ "Rollie Heath: Candidate Profile". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 21 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^ "About Us". The Huttner Group. Retrieved 21 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^ Threadgill, Susan (July 1, 2003). ", the progressive grassroots organization founded by screen-saver magnates Wes Boyd and Joan Blades, is planning to launch a virtual Democratic presidential primary". Washington Monthly.
  9. ^ "Rob McKay". Retrieved 2012-06-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Mulkern, Anne C. (2008-11-04). "Polis achieves a trailblazing House victory". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2012-06-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  11. ^ Denver Business Journal (2008-07-29). "Ted Trimpa changing law firms - Denver Business Journal". Retrieved 2012-06-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^ Caption by: Declan McCullagh (2008-08-26). "Big tent - Photos: Getting around Democratic convention - CNET News". Retrieved 2012-06-15. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^ Westword, Best of Denver 2007, 7/2008
  14. ^ Rob Witwer & Adam Schrager (2010). The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care). Golden, Colorado: Fulcrum Publishing.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  15. ^ Noon, Alison (2013-11-13). "Colorado Obamacare ads not paid for with state funds, backers say". Denver Post. Retrieved 21 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^ Miller, Emily (November 12, 2013). "New Obamacare ads make young women look like sluts". Washington Times. Retrieved 21 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^ Markay, Lachlan (2013-11-13). "Progress Michigan Plagiarized Portions of Report on Mackinac Center". Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved 21 November 2013. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]