Our mission

Progressive Future Network is a network of organizations that runs, incubates and financially supports organizations committed to freedom, justice, fairness, individual rights, equality of opportunity and a greater tolerance and recognition of our common humanity.

Our approach

Our staff have a long track record of building and sustaining strong grassroots organizations.

Our member groups commit to a shared set of organizational values. We are strategic and result-oriented in our approach to advocacy. We are committed to recruitment and organizing, which often requires “preaching beyond the choir.” And we are driven to deliver the most “bang for the buck” for our donors and activists. Member groups also benefit from organizational support services, including financial management, staff recruitment, grantseeking, editorial and creative communications, and list management.

Our staff have also incubated groups such as Equal Justice Works, which facilitates public service opportunities for law students and lawyers, and started as the Public Interest Law Foundation under Michael Caudell-Feagan.

We have also provided financial and other forms of support to such organizations as Progress Now, which promotes progressive ideas and values through a nationwide network of state-based communication groups, and People for the American Way, which was formed by the television producer Norman Lear and the late congresswoman Barbara Jordan to counter the rise of an intolerant social conservativism.

Leadership


Zach Polett, Progressive Future Network President

Zach’s long career in progressive activism includes positions as executive director of Project Vote, director of Political Operations for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), founding director of Louisiana ACORN, head organizer of Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now, founder & executive director of Local 100A of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and co-founder of Arkansas Values, Arkansas’s progressive donor alliance. Zach has trained and supervised scores of community, issue, electoral and union organizers; helped pass a 1996 Arkansas campaign finance reform ballot measure; organized successful statewide ballot measure campaigns to raise the minimum wage and trained and helped elect grassroots, low-income and African-American candidates to local elective office.

Mark Ferrulo, Founder and Executive Director, Progress Florida

As Executive Director of Progress Florida since its founding in 2008, Mark has led its work promoting progressive values in Florida through digital organizing, media outreach and collaborating with Florida’s leading progressive and public interest organizations. Mark has been working for public interest and progressive causes across Florida for three decades, starting as a student leader at the University of South Florida and including stints as a campus organizer and as Executive Director of Florida PIRG. Mark is also a board member of Environment Florida and Common Cause Florida. In 2017, he was named one of the “Top 100 Influential Floridians” by INFLUENCE Magazine.

Peter Murray, Founder and President, Accelerate Change and Accelerate Action

Since its founding in 2012, Peter has led Accelerate Change and its 501c4 partner Accelerate Action. Accelerate is a nonprofit media lab dedicated to catalyzing new scalable and sustainable digital media models for citizen engagement. Its particular focus is on developing new digital media models that engage communities of color and low-income communities, as well as models that bring together diverse citizens across class and race. Peter’s 15 years of experience in leading social ventures and nonprofits includes serving as founder and president of the Empowerment Group, president of the Center for Progressive Leadership and co-founder and executive vice-president of the I Do Foundation. He has received the Eli Segal Entrepreneurship Award and the Eugene Lang Community Service Award, and was selected for Fast Company Magazine's 2002 “Fast 50,” which honors 50 leaders from around the world who are reshaping their sectors.

Ivan Frishberg, Progressive Future Network Board Member

Ivan serves as First Vice President, Sustainability Banking for Amalgamated Bank, the leading national progressive bank, where he is responsible for serving Amalgated’s clients in the fields of environmental, green banking and sustainability. He came to the bank in 2016 with more than 25 years of public interest advocacy including leadership roles with Environment America, Clean Energy Works, State Climate Hub, Climate Action Campaign and Pew Charitable Trusts. He has also represented his community in D.C. government as an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner.

Leslie Samuelrich, Progressive Future Network Board Member

Leslie runs Green Century Capital Management, a leader in the environmentally and socially responsible investing field. Green Century offers mutual funds for individuals and institutions so they can keep their money out of the most irresponsible industries while using Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance ratings in investment analysis and portfolio construction to invest in corporate sustainability leaders. Her comments have appeared in numerous financial outlets including The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, Responsible Investor and Barron’s. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment (US SIF) and the Advisory Board of the Intentional Endowments Network. Prior to joining Green Century, Leslie served for 8 years as Chief of Staff at Corporate Accountability; 10 years as a founding member and then Executive Director of Green Corps, the full-year post-graduate training program in grassroots community organizing that prepares young talent for leadership roles in the environmental movement; and 5 years directing the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness.