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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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


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 MoveOn.org,[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, progressnow.org 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


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]

Cardboard Cory


ProgressNow Colorado was notably a part of a four year campaign to oppose Republican U.S. Senator Cory Gardner.[17] A group of activists and ProgressNow came up with the concept of a cardboard cutout of Garner, and developed and participated in events, press conferences, and rallies with the stand-in from 2017 until Gardner's defeat in 2020.[18]

See also



  1. ^ Michael Roberts (2007-08-09). "Making Progress - Page 1 - News - Denver". Westword. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
  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.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  3. ^ Evans, Will (2008-08-04). "Profile: Progress Now Action". NPR. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
  4. ^ Evans, Will (August 4, 2008). "Profile: Progress Now Action". NPR. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  5. ^ "About ProgressNow". ProgressNow. Retrieved 24 February 2015.
  6. ^ "Rollie Heath: Candidate Profile". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  7. ^ "About Us". The Huttner Group. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  8. ^ Threadgill, Susan (July 1, 2003). "MoveOn.org, 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". Huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
  10. ^ Mulkern, Anne C. (2008-11-04). "Polis achieves a trailblazing House victory". The Denver Post. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
  11. ^ Denver Business Journal (2008-07-29). "Ted Trimpa changing law firms - Denver Business Journal". Denver.bizjournals.com. Retrieved 2012-06-15. {{cite news}}: |author= has generic name (help)
  12. ^ Caption by: Declan McCullagh (2008-08-26). "Big tent - Photos: Getting around Democratic convention - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2012-06-15.
  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.
  15. ^ Noon, Alison (2013-11-13). "Colorado Obamacare ads not paid for with state funds, backers say". Denver Post. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  16. ^ Miller, Emily (November 12, 2013). "New Obamacare ads make young women look like sluts". Washington Times. Retrieved 21 November 2013.
  17. ^ Woodruff, Chase (August 20, 2019). "Fed Up With the Real Thing, Activists Take "Cardboard" Cory Gardner on the Road". Westword.
  18. ^ Frank, John (November 25, 2020). "How the Cardboard Cory protest in Colorado helped Democrats defeat Gardner in the U.S. Senate race". Colorado Sun.