Ann Pratt Appointed New Executive Director, State Senator Joe Bolkcom Elected Board Chair
New York, NY – Progressive States Network, a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country and to the advancement of state policies that deliver on issues that matter to working families, today announced the appointment of Ann Pratt as the organization’s new Executive Director, effective immediately.
“At this moment, with statehouses across the nation currently the battlegrounds for ensuring the survival of the middle class, Progressive States Network’s Board of Directors is thrilled to welcome Ann Pratt as our new Executive Director,” said State Senator Joe Bolkcom (Iowa), who was elected the new chair of Progressive States Network’s Board of Directors at their annual meeting this past weekend. “The work of Progressive States Network could not be more needed or important at this time in our history, and Ann brings the kind of vision and experience that will be critical in taking our work to the next level. With her leadership, I am certain that we are ready and prepared for the fights that lie ahead.”
“I am eager to start building on the excellent work already established by the staff and board of Progressive States Network and the many legislators, advocates, and allies with whom PSN has worked over the past five years,” said Ann Pratt. “With every day that passes it becomes clearer that ours is an absolutely essential mission – to build a progressive network in the states that offers a clear alternative to a national conservative agenda focused on extremist and economically destructive policies that benefit only the very few. I look forward to strengthening our efforts to fulfill this mission, and to working to build a movement focused on expanding the middle class, restoring economic security for our families, advancing democracy and rebuilding prosperity in our states.”
Progressive States Network’s outgoing chairman of the Board, State Representative Garnet Coleman (Texas), welcomed both Sen. Bolkcom and Ann Pratt to their new positions. Rep. Coleman began serving as Chairman in December 2008, and will remain a member of PSN’s Board of Directors.
“It's been a true pleasure to work with the board and staff of the Progressive States Network over the last three years that I've served as chair,” said Rep. Coleman. “I'd like to extend my sincere appreciation and thanks for their hard work and support as we've strived to advance sound public policy across the states. I know that they all share my excitement in welcoming Sen. Bolkcom as our new Board Chair and Ann Pratt as our new Executive Director. I look forward to both of them bringing their strong leadership to Progressive States Network as our organization enters this new and exciting phase in its growth.” (Rep. Coleman’s full remarks can be read here.)
“I am very happy to welcome both Ann Pratt and Sen. Bolkcom as they begin to lead an organization that stands on the front lines of so many critical issues facing our nation,” said State Senator Kyrsten Sinema (Arizona), a member of Progressive States Network’s Board of Directors. “For over five years, the staff and board of PSN, as well as the over 1,000 state legislators and countless advocates and allies with whom we have partnered, have worked to build a national multi-issue progressive movement across all fifty states. I know that under Ann and Sen. Bolkcom’s leadership, that progress will continue to flourish and grow.”
Ann Pratt brings thirty years of community organizing experience to Progressive States Network, including ten years of building and directing a diverse range of community organizations including neighborhood organizations, large social service agency, labor unions, regional faith-based organizing initiatives and a statewide parent and child advocacy organization. Most recently, Ann directed the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance, a statewide advocacy organization committed to improving outcomes for young children. She has worked extensively on advancing progressive policies in Connecticut, including the nationally recognized Sustinet health care legislation, and recently spearheaded an initiative calling for the creation of a Department of Early Education that would serve children from birth to five years of age. (For more on Ann, read her full biography here.)
State Senator Joe Bolkcom (Iowa) comes to his new position as Chairman of the Board of Progressive States Network after having served three years as a member of its Board. Now serving in his thirteenth year representing the residents of Iowa City in the Iowa Senate, Sen. Bolkcom has also served as Assistant Majority Leader in the Iowa Senate, as a County Supervisor on the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, and as a public servant within a county public health department. Sen. Bolkcom helped found and direct two senior citizen advocacy organizations fighting for lower health care cost for seniors in Iowa and Illinois. He has also been active in state and local environmental protection efforts. (For more on Sen. Bolkcom, read his full biography here.)
Founded in 2005, Progressive States Network seeks to transform the national political landscape at the state level by advancing progressive policies on the issues that matter to working families: strong wage standards and workplace freedom, balancing work and family responsibilities, health care for all, smart growth and clean energy, tax and budget reform, clean and fair elections, and technology investments to bridge the digital divide. By supporting state legislators and other groups in their efforts to advance progressive policies at the state level, Progressive States Network proves that state policy matters, and that good policy leads to good politics for all. For more information, visit http://www.progressivestates.org.