Mobilizing Influential Voices for Political and Policy Impact
Voices for Progress (V4P) galvanizes the advocacy of business leaders, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and other prominent individuals who unite to champion a healthy climate and environment, strengthen our democracy, and ensure economic and social justice for all.
V4P members recognize that U.S. policies often fall short of progressive values because too many people and corporations use disproportionate influence to advance their own self-interest. V4P members know they also have an unusual amount of access to policymakers and that their views are sometimes given increased weight. Understanding this and believing our democracy shouldn’t work that way, they use their positions to ally with historically marginalized communities, amplifying the concerns and solutions those communities put forward.
V4P members believe that the communities closest to the problems are closest to the solutions, whether regarding criminal justice reform, pay discrimination, or environmental justice. V4P members also advocate for strong campaign finance reform to lessen their own influence and voting protections to give an equal voice to all communities.
V4P Core Issue Areas
V4P’s work is currently focused on federal and California state policy and politics. V4P has worked on issues including immigration reform, greenhouse gas emissions, tax reform, voting rights, criminal justice reform, government ethics reform, LGBTQIA+ equality, gender equality, environmental justice, campaign finance reform, judicial nominations, care economy, and more.
V4P was founded in 2009 by Chris Findlater, Sandy Newman, who served as the first president, and Bob Bowditch. In spring of that year, V4P began its work with no official name or paid staff, working to support President Obama’s proposed budget and health care reform efforts. A group of about a dozen early grasstops leaders spoke with specific senators, but without a staff infrastructure, there was minimal capacity for either systematic follow-up or coordination with other organizations.
Within a year, the roster had grown to over 50 grasstops participants who took on major pushes for health care reform and clean energy. As a result of the clear effectiveness of this work by prominent individuals, V4P was officially launched in 2010, and staff were hired to optimally leverage the outreach done by the swelling ranks of grasstops members. V4P has long been involved in political work, but, during the 2018 cycle, significantly expanded it, and in 2019 formally created the political program and dedicated full-time staff to the department for the first time.
Early V4P victories include:
- preventing the confirmation of an anti-choice federal judge to a particularly powerful seat;
- expansion of Earned Income Tax and Child Tax Credits;
- preventing the repeal of protections from payday lending abuses; and
- upholding strong Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) anti-climate change programs.
V4P launched its California-focused work in 2015 because of the state’s history of being a model for precedent-setting legislation for the rest of the country. In just one example, CA V4P members were pivotal in passing what is considered the strongest net neutrality bill, specifically highlighting that net neutrality is of utmost importance to women and historically marginalized communities, whose access to information about reproductive healthcare and ability to organize online are jeopardized without a free and open internet.
CA political programming was launched in 2016 with the first slate of endorsed state legislative candidates, followed by dozens more in subsequent cycles. V4P and its endorsement partner California Donor Table (CDT) have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for these candidates. V4P has helped inform and strengthen their policy platforms, steadily expanding a diverse group of strong progressive legislators.
Today, V4P membership comprises over 200 high-net-worth individuals, who join together in multi-day policy and political summits, legislative meetings with lawmakers, national briefings with policymakers and allies, additional individual advocacy outreach, interviews with political candidates, support for endorsed candidates, and more.
V4P’s 17 staff are based in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Denver, and Sacramento.
Organizational Vision & Values