| HELENA, Montana - The Progressive Legislative Action Network (PLAN) today announced that Joel Barkin will serve as the founding Executive Director of the new national state-level policy and strategy network.
Barkin previously worked for U.S. Representative Bernie Sanders
(I-VT) and will be leaving his position with New York Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat to lead the new organization.
"This is a great opportunity," Barkin said. "For decades, the most powerful forces in American politics have brought their money to bear on state policies. With PLAN, we will work with groups across the country so that working Americans will have a more successful voice in our statehouses."
Barkin also announced that venture capitalists Andy and Deborah Rappaport have now joined the Service Employees International Union
(SEIU) and MoveOn.org in committing resources to PLAN.
PLAN also released a partial list of the members of its Board of Directors, which is comprised of legislators from across the country and leaders from some of America's most important unions, think tanks, and civic organizations. PLAN will be filling out the full Board in the coming weeks.
"This is a great coalition and we're proud to have all of these fine people on board," Barkin said. "We think this shows that PLAN is ready to make a real impact at the state level in support of the progressive agenda." -30- *Members of PLAN's Board of Directors* *Wes Boyd*, President of MoveOn.org - Wes Boyd and his wife Joan Blades were the cofounders in 1987 of Berkeley Systems, a San Francisco Bay area software company. After selling the company in 1997, Boyd and Blades went on to found MoveOn.org.
Asm. Adriano Espaillat, New York Assembly, Assemblyman Espaillat was born in the Dominican Republic. In 1996, he became the first Dominican to be elected to any state house in the country. During his time in the legislature, he has focused on making sure that New York's is a shared prosperity.
Ellen Golombek, SEIU - Ellen Golombek has a long history of leadership in America's labor movement. She has served as President of Colorado's Federation of Labor and more recently as President of the SEIU-backed Americans for Health Care.
Joe Hoeffel, former Congressman and state legislator - Congressman Hoeffel served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1977 to 1984. In the 1990s, he served two terms as a Montgomery County Commissioner and was elected in 1998 to the U.S. Congress, where he served for three terms. Hoeffel is a lifelong Pennsylvanian.
Rep. Hannah Pingree, Maine House of Representatives - Representative Hannah Pingree represents ten coastal and island towns in the Maine House. She works as development director for Waterman's Community Center. Prior to her election, she worked for iVillage.com, the largest political website for women, and for her mother, Chellie Pingree, in her run for the U.S. Senate.
John Podesta, President and CEO of the Center for American Progress - Prior to launching the Center, Podesta served as Chief of Staff to President Bill Clinton. He serves as a Visiting Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center and is considered one of the nation's leading experts on technology policy.
Lisa Seitz Gruwell, Political Director for Skyline Public Works - Prior to joining Skyline, which merges venture capitalism with political philanthropy, she served as Press Secretary and District Director for former California Assembly Majority Leader Kevin Shelley. Seitz Gruwell has helped elect progressive candidates across the country at all levels of government.
Naomi Walker, State Legislative Issues Coordinator for the AFL-CIO - Naomi Walker researches, coordinates, and serves as a spokesperson on state legislative issues for the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations.
Rep. Neva Walker, Minnesota State House - In 2001, Rep. Walker became first black woman to serve in the Minnesota Legislature in the state's history. Rep. Walker works as a community organizer and focuses her legislative work on issues of social and economic justice.