I believe the most leveraged way to make change and strengthen democracy is at the systems level. Progress Alliance works to bolster these systems, to be the political infrastructure that keeps people engaged, informed, and active.Moya Vazquez, Progress Alliance Member
At Progress Alliance, we’re building a network that advances the progressive vision of our state and country—one that invites us all to be part of the solution. We’re a wealthy nation and region, but those with the most money and power created a democratic and economic system that keeps shared prosperity from crossing race and class. We’re changing that. Our grantees, members, and partners are building a permanent, progressive political infrastructure together with communities traditionally pushed out of the democratic process. Like we did with minimum wage, marriage equality, and civil rights, we’re solving problems that improve people’s material lives today, while changing the system to address root causes by way of a strong democracy and inclusive economy.
We pool donor and philanthropic resources to make long-term investments in the organizations and people leading change.
We use our position and voice in political spaces to disrupt status quo power arrangements and advance the vision, voice, and solutions of our network.
We convene our network to build shared strategies and invest in tools that support their working together effectively.
- Working in solidarity to build a welcoming, thriving community where everyone can come together.
- Accountability to community, grantees, partners, and those most impacted by politics and policy.
- Changing the system through democracy in order to address the root causes of issues.
- Abundance in our approach to grant-gifting, resourcing, and building relationships.
- Collective action powered by people to solve problems through grassroots organizing.
- Racial justice as the foundation of our democracy and the progressive political movement.
Progress Alliance of Washington was founded in 2006 to strengthen the progressive movement in Washington state. In order to build a robust progressive movement, we researched and identified critical missing capacities that were holding us back, including sophisticated voter databases, online communications and action, long-term political engagement of youth and immigrant communities, and more. Guided by an experienced staff and dedicated members, we are funding those gaps and developing the infrastructure necessary for long-term success.
Since 2006, we have helped launch more than ten new programs and organizations, granted over $15 million, and quadrupled our membership. Donors come to Progress Alliance to pool their funds around a shared strategy of building a strong progressive movement that lasts beyond a single election cycle, winning lasting systemic political change, and developing an engaged and effective member learning community.
While we invest in Washington state, we are also interested in national progress. As one of the first and largest political donor alliances in the country, Progress Alliance is a leader in a network of other state alliances.
Racial Equity Work
An essential part of our work is to disrupt the political power structures that perpetuate inequality. We recognize that lasting progress requires the dismantling of racist systems that are reinforced when political efforts cater to wealthy, predominantly white donors and voters, steering resources away from communities of color. We strive to dismantle the current dominance of white political culture and instead uphold efforts to build a movement that collaborates and works across identities. We are committed to conversations about identity as a bridge to working together, while being mindful of how others will try to exploit these divisions.
Identity has been the primary wedge exploited to divide movements for progress in our country since its inception. Fulfilling our mission will require our political movement to tackle all forms of oppression including those based on race, class, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, immigration status, age, and ability. We focus on race as a starting point for our equity work, recognizing the insidious role racism has played in dividing our movement.
As we work to dismantle racism in our own organization and our movement, Progress Alliance actively supports shifting power to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities, and aims to partner in a way that dismantles white supremacy.
The progressive movement’s key strategic advantage is people power. There are simply more of us who believe that working together through democracy, we must create a healthy, just place to live. When we are activated together, we make progress. This moment calls on us all to build a multi-racial, cross class movement that brings everyone to the table. We must trust and center the needs and voices of BIPOC leadership. We must reject transactional politics in favor of relational organizing to develop the deep connections that move people to long-term action. We must take risks, trust each other, and be bold in our approach in order to create space to learn and grow. We know that we must evolve and sustain a progressive vision for our state and country – one that invites us all to be a part of the solution in strengthening our democracy and building an inclusive economy.
Photography: We share our gratitude for the contributions of photography for this website from: OneAmerica, Mike Harring, Tara Gimmer, Sharon Chang, Jessica Jones, and Unsplash contributors Rob Walsh, Markus Spiske, Kyle Glenn, and Taylor Vick.