State Voices: National Progressive Network Funding Local Progressive “Grassroots”
State Voices, a national network of Progressive 501(c)3’s, has targeted Colorado for years. They provide GOTV technology, polling data, various other political advocacy tools, and cash to state affiliates such as the Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable.
The biographies for State Voices national staff tout connections to the AFL-CIO, Common Cause, the Sierra Club, and ACORN to name a few. Joanne Wright and Camellia Phillips were both longtime ACORN employees, working as deputy political director and assistant director of development, respectively. Joanne’s switch to State Voices has provided her with a handsome monetary benefit. The group’s 2009 and 2010 tax reports total her income to nearly a quarter of a million dollars in those two years alone.
State Voices does not disclose their high dollar donors in their 990 filings. That said, the group’s Vice President Renee Fazzari, a progressive activist from San Francisco, is also the coordinator for the General Service Foundation’s Colorado group, which has given grants to State Voices and the Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable totaling $288,000 going back to 2009.
According to public filings, State Voices has provided various progressive organizations in Colorado grants totaling $330,000 between 2008 and 2011.
- $35,000 to the Colorado for Fairness and Equality (aka Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable)
- $100,000 to the Colorado Progressive Coalition
- $95,000 to the Colorado Progressive Coalition
- $31,667 to the Colorado for Fairness and Equality
- $68,350 to the Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable
Nationally, State Voices has provided grants for the 9 to 5 National Association of Working Women, a union organization whose Colorado affiliate is planning a “99% March on Wells Fargo” later this month. State Voices has also given to NARAL, a pro-abortion organization, and $681,000 to various progressive funds, forums, and alliances. Before ACORN’s demise, State Voices provided $56,000 in grants to the organization.
State Voices is one of many national Progressive organizations that work in concert to provide state level “grassroots” progressives with the funding and tools they need to take states like Colorado from red to blue. The Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable has used these resources to great effect, working not only with State Voices, but also organizations like the Voter Participation Center. The Voter Participation Center also provides GOTV tools, with their goal being the turnout of single women and people of color which they call the Rising American Electorate.
Many of these national groups are also members of the widely known Democracy Alliance. As reported by Andrew Stiles of the Washington Free Beacon, Democracy Alliance held a secret conference in Miami earlier this week with many notable attendees, including Al Yates, the former Colorado State University President and “Gang of 4” member. Ted Trimpa, Tim Gill’s superstar lobbyist is listed as being on the Board of Directors of Democracy Alliance as well.
Media Trackers Colorado contacted Megan Van Ens, Director of the Colorado Civic Engagement Roundtable and affiliate of State Voices, to ask if she had attended the “Soros Summit.”
We are still waiting for a reply.