National Associates

Our Research Associates Around the Country

Our National Associates do the hard work of gathering and submitting information on sites built during the New Deal. There are currently 50 National Associates in 29 states across the country. We are always looking to expand our reach. If you are interested in joining our National Associates team, please contact us.


SUSAN C. ALLEN – Mississippi & the Delta Region          [email protected]
Susan is a Professor of Social Work at the University of Mississippi and is particularly focused on murals and other New Deal sites in Mississippi, Arkansas and Louisiana. Susan writes a regular column for a Mississippi historic preservation blog under the pen name Suzassippi.

DON BARRETT – At-large, photography          [email protected]
Don is an environmentalist, sociologist and activist based in the Coachella Valley, California, who spends much of his time exploring the rural U.S. West. His photography uses nature, architecture, and history to stimulate thinking about the environment and cultural identity, and to encourage ordinary citizens to explore, document and share the world through photography.  He is Assistant Editor of the Second International Encyclopedia of Social and Behavioral Sciences and Professor Emeritus at California State University, San Marcos.

ERNEST EVERETT BLEVINS –  West Virginia & Georgia          [email protected]
Ernest works as a Structural Historian in Review & Compliance at the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office.  His MFA thesis in Historic Preservation (Savannah College of Art & Design) was on the Charleston architectural firm of Simons & Lapham, which executed many New Deal projects.  Samuel Lapham, his grandfather, was the South Carolina District Officer for the Historic American Building Survey from 1933 to 1934.  In his travels, Ernest has documented New Deal sites in West Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina.  He enjoys the challenge of finding lost New Deal sites using historical maps and documentary resources.  He writes a history-oriented column for the Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail.

STEFANO BLOCH –  Arizona          [email protected]
Stefano is a native of Los Angeles where he conducted his dissertation research on the many layers of graffiti and murals painted atop a series of WPA retaining walls on Sunset Boulevard. He has an MA in urban planning from UCLA and a PhD in geography from the University of Minnesota. He was a Mellon Fellow at Brown University in 2015-17. He is presently Assistant Professor of Cultural Geography in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona.

KENT BOESE – Washington, D.C.          [email protected]
Kent has lived in the greater Washington area since 1994.  By profession, he is a librarian (currently at a law firm, formerly at the Smithsonian) and holds an M.S. in Design from Arizona State University.  He is currently Chair of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A (http://anc1a.org/) and writes the Park View, D.C. blog.  He is a strong preservationist, with 6 successful landmark nominations under his belt.

MAUREEN R. BUDETTI – Virginia          [email protected]
Maureen gained an appreciation for US history through working with the Friends of Cherry Hill Foundation to preserve a pre-Civil War house in her town of Falls Church.  She has also volunteered her service to Falls Church Arts and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. In all these efforts she calls on her training in Geography at UC Berkeley and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.  She is grateful to support the efforts of the Living New Deal and expand her understanding of another important period of US history.

JENNIFER CARPENTER – Texas          [email protected]
Jennifer earned a M.A. degree in Historic Preservation at the University of Maryland. She lives in Austin and works for the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s Historic Sites and Structures Program.  She manages the program’s Civilian Conservation Corps Initiative, which fosters appreciation for the history and architectural resources created by the CCC in Texas parks. She is currently researching how other New Deal works programs contributed to the built environment of the Texas State Park system.

DEVIN COLMAN – Vermont          [email protected]
Devin is State Architectural Historian at the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. He received an M.A. in Historic Preservation from the University of Vermont and wrote a thesis on modernist residential architecture in northwestern Vermont. He is a past president of the Recent Past Preservation Network. The 2005 rehabilitation of the modernist Crystal Lake Bathhouse, a 1939 CCC project in Barton, VT, piqued his interest in identifying and documenting New Deal projects throughout the state.

WILLIAM COOK – Maryland &  Washington, D.C.          [email protected]
Will is a retired aerospace engineer who lives in Columbia and Royal Oak, Maryland.  He is on the board of several nonprofit organizations, including Adkins Arboretum and the Old-Growth Forest Network, is a member of the Town of Easton Tree Board, and is a supporter of the Historical Society of Talbot County, Maryland.  His interests include oil painting, photography and website development.

FRANK DA CRUZ – New York City/The Bronx          [email protected]
After stints in the Army, as a musician and as a taxi driver in the 1960s and 70s, Frank got a B.A. and M.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University.  He led the Kermit Software project for many years and wrote books on the Kermit protocol, as well as the history of computing at Columbia.  In 2012 he retired to the Bronx, becoming a devotee of the borough and photographing its many delights, including New Deal projects.

KAREN DANIELS – Missouri          [email protected]
Karen Daniels is a Senior Historic Preservation Specialist/Architectural Historian with the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT). She received a BS in Historic Preservation from Southeast Missouri State University and a Master of Heritage Preservation from Georgia State University. She has worked in the field of historic preservation since 1989 and has been with MoDOT since 2001 researching buildings, roadside history, roadways and bridges. She has observed that New Deal era resources are impossible to escape—not that one should want to. They make our national and state parks more enjoyable, we still drive on them, and our civic life is still lived in these resources. They were built for the ages.

SUSAN DEMASI – Long Island, New York          [email protected]
Sue Rubenstein DeMasi is a librarian at Suffolk County Community College in New York, as well as a screenwriter, playwright, and freelance journalist. She began her love affair with the New Deal while researching her book on Henry Alsberg, director of the WPA’s Federal Writer’s Project. She has written for The New York Times, CHOICE Magazine, and other publications. Sue covers social justice issues and labor union history for her union’s award-winning publication, The Word.

DOUGLAS W. DODD – Central California          [email protected]
Doug is Professor of History at California State University, Bakersfield, where he teaches public history, environmental history, and the history of California and the American West. He earned his Ph.D. in history at the University of California, Santa Barbara.   His previous public history work includes stints as a historian for the U.S. Forest Service (Boise National Forest and Los Padres National Forest), as an Associate Environmental Planner/Architectural Historian for the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), and as a cultural resources management and interpretation consultant in private practice.   He is currently working on a history of the CCC in California’s national parks.

SARAH DOWNING – North Carolina          [email protected]
Sarah is an archivist at Western Regional Archives in Asheville who relocated to the North Carolina mountains in 2015. She spent 30 years on the Outer Banks and has written extensively on coastal history. Sarah holds a Masters of Library Science and is a certified North Carolina librarian. She is looking forward to documenting New Deal projects in the Blue Ridge and surrounding regions.

LAURA DUVEKOT – Florida          [email protected]
Laura works as a historic preservationist for the City of St. Petersburg, Florida. She holds a Master of Historic Preservation and a Master of Environmental Planning and Design from the University of Georgia. She has conducted cultural resource surveys, historic structure reports, and oral histories in towns big and small across the southeast. Her research has been varied and includes topics spanning from historic paving materials to workforce housing, but is consistently driven by a fascination with the ways in which material culture and the built environment both shape and reflect their creators. 

EVELINE EVANS – Texas          [email protected]
I am a native of Nebraska but have lived in Central Texas for over 45 years.  I am retired.  I became interested in the New Deal when I first stumbled upon a WPA mural in a Post Office.  I started doing research and found many other types of New Deal projects that interested me,  so when I travel I check the Living New Deal website to see if there are sites I can visit.  Sometimes I’m lucky and stumble upon one that hasn’t been listed yet, and then I try to document it so others can enjoy the New Deal legacy.

DAVID W. GATES JR. – Midwest & all US post offices          [email protected]
David is from Chicago and has been photographing and documenting Post Offices around the country, including New Deal buildings and artwork. His website www.postofficefans.com records the photos and stories associated with each one he’s visited. David authored the Wisconsin Post Office Mural Guidebook. He is a graduate of DePaul University with a degree in Information Technology Project Management.

JEREMY GILL – Kansas          [email protected]
Jeremy is a lifelong resident of western Kansas. He earned his M.A. in History from Fort Hays State University. His field of interest includes environmental and public history. His research focuses on parks, historic sites, and how the public interacts with these spaces and the government’s role in conservation and preservation. He became interested in the New Deal while conducting thesis research about Frontier Historical Park in Hays, Kansas. The CCC and NYA built the state park on the site of the former Fort Hays Military Reservation. In his spare time, he enjoys exploring the outdoors and local history in his area.

CONNIE GILMER – Virginia          [email protected]
Connie is a retired computer programmer/analyst who lives in Rockingham County, Virginia, near Shenandoah National Park, Skyline Drive, and the site of the nation’s first CCC camp: Camp Roosevelt.  Connie also travels occasionally to other parts of Virginia, such as the Hampton Roads area in 2017 where she photographed New Deal sites in Hampton and Newport News.

GLORY-JUNE GREIFF – Indiana          [email protected]
Glory-June is a public historian and preservation activist who has written some eighty successful nominations to the National Register of Historic Places, including some of the first for New Deal sites.  She holds an MA degree in Public History from Indiana University. She served as statewide director of Indiana’s Save Outdoor Sculpture (SOS) survey in the 1990s and has been documenting New Deal sites in Indiana for over thirty years. Her publications include Remembrance, Faith, and Fancy: Outdoor Public Sculpture in Indiana and People, Parks, and Perceptions: A History and Appreciation of Indiana State Parks.  

TED GREVSTAD-NORDBROCK – Iowa and South Dakota          [email protected]
Ted is Assistant Professor of Historic Preservation in the Department of Community and Regional Planning at Iowa State University.  Before making the leap into academia he spent two decades in professional practice, which included twelve years with the State Historic Preservation Office of Michigan.  He studied architectural history at Wisconsin and preservation planning at Cornell and holds a doctorate in urban geography from Michigan State.  Students in his historic preservation classes at ISU undertake projects that contribute to the Living New Deal database.  Ted spent many of his younger years overseas in a Department of Defense family, but he’s an Upper Midwesterner through and through.

DOUG HALVORSEN – Oregon          [email protected]
Doug lives in southern Oregon and travels throughout Oregon, Washington and northern California.  He has a personal blog site: http://www.oregonhistory.net to document his appreciation of cultural history in Oregon.  Through Groundspeak, the company that oversees Geocaching.com and Waymarking.com, he is also an officer of a category devoted to New Deal projects.  In his work for Groundspeak, he researches historical categories, including New Deal projects.

MICHELE HANSFORD – Southwest Missouri          [email protected]
Michele has an MA from Eastern Illinois University and 35 years of experience with preservation organizations, history museums, and cultural/heritage tourism initiatives throughout Indiana, Ohio, Illinois and Missouri.  She was a long-time member of the Missouri Humanities Council, including two years as chair, and is past president of the Missouri Museums Association (now Missouri Association of Museums & Archives) and a former board member of the Route 66 Association of Missouri.

LAURA HAPKE – New York          [email protected] 
Laura Hapke is Professor Emerita of English and American Literature at Pace University in New York City. She is a labor studies scholar who has written a number of books and articles on the New Deal era. Chief among them are Daughters of the Great Depression: Women, Work, and Fiction in the American 1930s and Labor’s Canvas: American Working-Class History and the WPA Art of the 1930s.  As a reviewer for the Journal of American Culture and other American Studies periodicalsshe addresses recent scholarship on proletarian fiction; social realist art; and the oral history of American labor from the 1910s to the Cold War. Her current research involves the American Life History Unit of the Federal Workers’ Project, including the 500+ interviews on African American social conditions in the Roosevelt era. Finally, she is annotating the papers of her father, Daniel Harris, a member of the John Reed Club and a writer for the Daily Worker

KARA HEITZ – Kansas          [email protected] 
Kara is a historian and educator who engages in historical storytelling through a variety of media formats. She currently is a lecturer in the Liberal Arts department at the Kansas City Art Institute, where she teaches classes in American history, history and film, and history of Western thought. She also owns a media production company that creates historically-focused documentary films and podcasts. Her research focuses broadly on American cultural history during the Great Depression – and particularly on Hollywood film and public art. Kara is currently working on a project about New Deal federally funded arts and culture programs in Kansas, including a documentary film about Section post office art in the state.

NATALIE HENEGHAN –  Minnesota          [email protected]
Natalie is the Education Coordinator at Rethos: Places Reimagined, a Minnesota-based nonprofit committed to connecting people to places. Natalie creates hands-on workshops homeowners, rehabbers, craftspeople, and anyone who cares for an old building. Recent side projects include a “treasure hunt” for missing furnishings from the Minnesota State Capitol and researching a tiny 1880s Irish enclave in St. Paul. Natalie holds a BA in History from Macalester College and is pursuing a Masters degree in Heritage Studies & Public History from the University of Minnesota. 

JOHN HOCTOR – Connecticut          [email protected]
John has a journalism background and has written for The Army Times in Washington, D.C., and The Fog City Journal in San Francisco. Most recently he has been a staff writer for the Weston Magazine Group, Westport, Connecticut, freelance for the Fairfield Co Weekly, the Norwalk Beat, and editor of Westport’s HamletHub.

MILTON JORDAN – Texas [email protected]     
Milton is a retired United Methodist Pastor who has done social work with teenage boys in a county children’s home, taught in public schools and graded lumber in an Idaho sawmill. He has a BA in History from Southwestern University, a Master of Divinity from SMU and has studied at the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest and Union College, University of British Columbia. Milton is a Past President and a Fellow of the East Texas Historical Association and active in the Texas New Deal Symposium and other state and regional groups. He has edited several volumes on Texas History including Just Between Us: Stories and Memories from the Texas Pines, with Dan Utley and Conflict and Cooperation: Reflections on the New Deal in Texas, with George Cooper.

JUDITH KENNY – Oregon          [email protected]
Judith is an associate professor emerita of Geography from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where she taught from 1990 to 2012. As an urban cultural geographer and former city planner, her publications reflect common research themes related to her interest in planning discourse, the built environment, and the politics of place. Recently returned to her home state of Oregon, she is now focusing her research on the role of federal and state government in the making of its regional culture.

SUSAN ALLEN KLINE – Texas          [email protected]
Susan is a historic preservation consultant in Fort Worth who specializes in the preparation of nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.   She is the author of the book Ft. Worth Parks (Arcadia Books, 2010).  She has a particular passion for resources associated with the New Deal.

RENEÉ KOLVET – Nevada          [email protected]
Renée Corona Kolvet is a historic preservation specialist/archaeologist. She has spent the last 15 years studying the CCC and New Deal programs in Nevada. Her research also includes Depression-era programs on Nevada’s Indian Reservations.

ANDREW LAVERDIERE – Southern California & Sierra          [email protected]
Drew works as a housekeeping supervisor for a Yosemite National Park rental company. He served in the Navy 1986-1990 and has an associate degree in broadcasting from the New England School of Broadcasting in Bangor, Maine.  Although he has no formal schooling in history, he has always been a history buff.  He is a long-time political activist, who, in the course of teaching and advocating for public works projects to rebuild the county and reinstatement of Glass Steagall Act controls on banks, developed a deep appreciation for FDR’s unorthodox American System approach to economics and public policy.

KEN LISS – Massachusetts           [email protected]
Ken is a librarian at Boston University and the head of the Brookline Historical Society in Brookline, MA where he blogs (https://brooklinehistory.blogspot.com) and gives presentations and walking tours on local history. A native of the Bronx, he is a former newspaper reporter in Tarrytown, New York and has lived in the Boston area since 1983. He contributes to several crowd-sourced projects, including Wikipedia and the 1919 Boston Police Strike Project.

TARA MIELNIK – Tennessee          [email protected]
Tara is Federal Programs Coordinator for the Metropolitan Nashville Historical Commission.  She is the author of New Deal, New Landscape: The Civilian Conservation Corps and South Carolina’s State Parks (2011).

LARRY MOORE – Texas           [email protected]
Larry was born in San Antonio, raised in Austin, and got a degree in Management from Park University, Austin.  He has spent years researching, creating and editing Texas-related articles on Wikipedia and adding hundreds of images of Texas to Wikimedia Commons. His favorite photographic subjects are county courthouses, state parks, and National Register of Historic Places sites. Although particularly fond of Second Empire, Romanesque Revival and Victorian architecture, research on the New Deal era has helped him appreciate Art Deco, Moderne and National Park Service rustic styles.

JOHN MURPHEY – New Mexico & Southwest          [email protected]
John W. Murphey has an MA in Historic Preservation Planning and has worked nearly twenty years in public history for city, state and federal preservation agencies. He has (co-)authored over 50 nominations to State and National Registers of Historic Places, including architectural and engineering surveys, and preparing Historic American Buildings Survey documentation.  The New Deal bug bit him back when he worked on statewide surveys in Michigan and Texas, and his passion today is for unsung New Deal infrastructure. He splits time between Santa Fe, NM and Santa Rosa, CA.

FERN NESSON – Massachusetts          [email protected]
Fern L. Nesson is a graduate of Harvard Law School and received an MA in American History from Brandeis and an M.F.A in Photography from the Maine Media College. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She practiced law in Boston for twenty years and subsequently taught American History at the Cambridge School of Weston and the Commonwealth School in Boston. She is now a Post-graduate Fellow and an Artist-in-Residence at the Maine Media College and an Associate at the Optical Lab at the MIT Museum. Fern wrote Great Waters: A History of Boston’s Water Supply (1982) and Signet of Eternity (2017). She is currently working on a combined history and photography book on the WPA’s American Guide Series. Her photographs have been shown in galleries in Massachusetts and Maine, at “Les Rencontres de la Photographie” in Arles, France and at the Center for Maine Cotemporary Art. Her work appears on the Living New Deal website as well as on the Global Voices and Berkman-Klein Center at Harvard Law School websites.  Fern’s photography work can be found at www.fernlnesson.com.

CLAIRE NICKELL – Arizona and Colorado         [email protected]

Claire was born in Boulder, Colorado, educated in Canada, married in Scotland. She currently live in Phoenix AZ in an historic home (built in 1936) surrounded by WPA sidewalk stamps: truly living in history! Claire spent 20 years working in technology before deciding she needed a change. She is now a writer (fiction and non-fiction) and spend as much time as she can contributing to the climate change movement. Claire met Dick Walker at a conference on the Green New Deal and the Future of Jobs. His presentation on the Living New Deal inspired her to check the map- and sure enough, she was surrounded by history! She also found out that my grandfather had worked in a CCC camp in Florida (details still pending!).

KATHLEEN WALSTON PAGAN, AICP – Florida          [email protected]
Kathleen is Senior Planner of Growth Management in Alachua County, Florida. SACRPH published her 1995 work on the Civilian Conservation Corps Automotive Priorities Division. She has given CCC research presentations at the University of York, UK, in 1997, and the Popular Culture Association Conference, New Orleans, in 2000.  At the University of New Orleans (UNO) from 1998 to 2000, she researched the New Orleans urban parks, including City Park built by the WPA. She has completed a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning (1986) and Bachelors of Design in Architecture (1980) at the University of Florida (UF).

ROBERT (BOB) PETERSON  – Iowa mailto:[email protected]
During Bob’s 40 year career as an Industrial Designer/Artist, Technical Writer, and Photographer he designed the first excavator (back-hoe) with joy-stick controls. Painting very realistic portraits and landscapes is one Peterson’s life long hobbies. Many of his fine art works have received awards. Researching Japanese artists and woodblock prints is another interest of his. Mr. Peterson’s book, European and American Painting: A Reference Guide was published in 2008. As a person who loves research he’s documented all New Deal murals in Iowa. He’s given multiple lectures to Iowa historical groups on New Deal murals. On his many travels across the USA Bob has documented a total of 250+ murals. Bob, a life long resident of Iowa, is a relative of Daniel Rhodes who painted seven New Deal murals (5 exist).

LUKE NATHAN PHILLIPS  – Virginia and D.C [email protected]

Luke is a journalist and editor living in northern Virginia, currently working for think tanks and civic organizations. He writes for various online publications and magazines on the relevance of the American historical experience to modern American life, and is especially interested in the evolution and development of the U.S. federal government, and in the evolving American self-conception of national identity.

SARA RUTKOWSKI  – New York          [email protected]
Sara Rutkowski is an English professor at the City University of New York: Kingsborough Community College. Her research focuses on the writers of the Federal Writers Project (FWP), and in particular how the fieldwork they undertook for the FWP has had a lasting impact on American literature and culture. She is the author of Literary Legacies of the Federal Writers’ Project: Voices of the Depression in the American Postwar Era (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017), and is currently at work on an edited collection of essays that showcases a range of new research and scholarship on the FWP.

ANNIE SEGAN – New York City          [email protected]
Annie Rothstein Segan is a personal historian and independent scholar whose work has been honored at the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress. She is the daughter of Arthur Rothstein (1915-85), the first photographer hired by the Historical Section of the Resettlement/Farm Security Administration. The 170,000 photographs taken by Rothstein and other FSA photographers are a comprehensive portrait of America during the Great Depression. Rothstein was dedicated to the use of documentary photography to foster social change and, in that spirit, Dr. Segan searches out opportunities to present his work. Visit www.ArthurRothstein.org for more information.

ANNE DELANO STEINERT – Southern Ohio & Northern Kentucky          [email protected]
Anne is a preservationist, educator and urban historian currently at work on her PhD at the University of Cincinnati. Her work focuses on the built environment as a primary source to uncover otherwise unknown histories, including those of marginalized groups.  Anne’s grandparents were original residents of the New Deal village of Greenhills, Ohio which will be the subject of her public history practicum course in the spring of 2018.  In case you noticed the Delano name, she is a 5th cousin 4 times removed to FDR.

CHARLES SWANEY – Missouri          [email protected]
Charles is a retired physician specializing in Radiology, living in Columbia, Missouri.  As he says, “Since images are so important to my work, a love of art is understandable and over my life, I have found so many points of connection with parts of various New Deal programs and am wanting to highlight those to the people of this country and state to keep their memory alive.”

ERIN TERBEEK OLSON – Wisconsin          [email protected]
Erin completed her M.A. in Public History and Museum Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where she focused on the New Deal, World War II propaganda posters, and Victory Gardens.  Erin writes a local history column for the Shepherd Express, a Milwaukee newspaper, where she often discusses New Deal history in articles like this one.

JAMES P. THOMAS – Long Island, NY     [email protected]
James grew up in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, finding suburban adventure in his local park that was primarily built through the New Deal. Growing up the outdoor exploration expanded to CCC built trails, huts and lodges of the High Sierras. Later moving to New York for college, James holds a BArch from N.Y.I.T. and currently practices Architecture on Long Island specializing in Traditional Design and Historic Renovation. His research interests have been varied but particularly in the exploration of 19th century American Architecture and the search for an organic style.

OLIVER WILLIAMS – Pennsylvania          [email protected]
Oliver Williams is a retired professor of political science at the University of Pennsylvania, where he specialized in American politics and especially urban politics. For years, he has been visiting county courthouses, jails, and city halls, exploring what was once an investment in public buildings. His journeys led to a guidebook to all 66 Pennsylvania courthouses. He is a collector with an interest in New Deal art and has visited over 200 New Deal murals.

WAYNE YANDA – Seattle (Washington) & Iowa          [email protected]
Wayne is a freelance graphic designer and photographer. Since 2009, he has been researching the murals and sculpture created for American passenger ships built from 1927-1962. Holding his focus of late is a little-known Section of Fine Arts competition to decorate six passenger-cargo ships for the Maritime Commission. He received a BA in Communications from Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri, and this fall will attend Seattle University for an MFA in Arts Leadership. He discusses his research, photography, and design projects at www.grafischewerken.blogspot.com.

BARBARA YOUNG – Chicago          [email protected]
A long-time fan of WPA art, Barbara became interested in the significance of this art form while researching the mural in her local post office. She obtained her BA from DePaul University’s School of New Learning with an independent degree of 20th Century American Arts & Culture. She has since documented the LND sites in her hometown of Glen Ellyn, Illinois, creating a brochure for the local historical society.

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Organizational Partners

The National New Deal Preservation Association (NNDPA), based in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is the longest standing group working to preserve the legacy of the New Deal, especially in the Southwest. Kathy Flynn is founder and Executive Director; Harvey Smith is President of the NNDPA and several members of our team are now or have been on the board of directors.

The Institute for Public Accuracy, based in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., is dedicated to expanding media access for progressive and grassroots organizations across the country who might otherwise not be heard; it has worked with over one thousand such groups.