Welcome to Courage Campaign!
Courage Campaign fights for a more progressive California and country. We are an online community powered by more than 800,000 members.
Courage Campaign Institute is the educational arm of the Courage Campaign family of organizations. Our mission is to defend and extend human rights through innovative leadership-development training, strategic research and public-education.
The Courage Campaign Institute is a 501c(3) non-profit organization. Contributions or gifts to Courage Campaign Institute are tax deductible within IRS guidelines.
Our funding comes from thousands of small donors, a growing group of major donors and the support of foundations. Our partners include The California Federation of Teachers, The California Nurses Association, The California Teachers Association, CREDO Mobile, Media Matters, UDW ASCME Local 3930, the National Union of Healthcare Workers and dozens of state-based organizations working for LGBT equality. Courage is also a proud state partner of the ProgressNow network.
Courage Campaign Staff
Dr. Paul Song, Executive Chairman: Paul Song has been involved in progressive politics, both in California and nationally, for years. Dr. Song is a board certified radiation oncologist and tireless advocate for universal healthcare. In January 2013, he was named by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones as the very first visiting fellow in the California Department of Insurance. Dr. Song also serves as an executive board member of Physicians for a National Health Program California and on the boards of Liberty in North Korea, and People for the American Way.
Sarah Callahan, Chief Operating Officer: Sarah has worked on elections at the local, state and national level for more than 20 years. For the past six years, Sarah has worked in the California labor movement to achieve quality patient care and improved standards for 150,000 healthcare workers as Political Director for United Healthcare Workers West and with the National Union of Healthcare Workers. Prior to working in California politics, Sarah organized in Florida during the 2000 general election and served as the Caucus Campaign Director for the Connecticut Senate Democrats in 1996, helping restore the Democrats to the majority in the State Senate. Sarah has a masters degree in government administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
Eddie Kurtz, Political Director: A theatre director in a previous life, Eddie leads Courage Campaign's online operations. He managed our campaign to pass California's Homeowner Bill of Rights in 2012 and the Lifesaving Intelligent Firearms Enforcement (LIFE) Act in 2013. He also directed online operations for the Millionaires Tax of 2012, the precursor to the historic Proposition 30. Prior to his time at Courage, Eddie served as Communications Associate at Brave New Films and worked to elect Congressman Jerry McNerney and President Obama. Originally from Kansas City, Eddie is a proud graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs, as well as Washington University in St. Louis and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Caitlin Maloney, Data Director: As Courage’s resident data geek, Caitlin manages our web site and online tools, including the Voter Activation Network’s (VAN) volunteer and voter files. Before working as a Campus Campaign Manager for No on Prop 8, she was a Program Manager for Libraries for the Future, a national non-profit supporting innovation and investment in America's public libraries. There, she ran online and offline trainings, while overseeing website and database development. Raised in New Hampshire, she now lives on a houseboat in Sausalito, CA with her wife (and dog).
Michael Bridges, Finance Director: Michael began his public policy work designing and managing the NYC welfare to work Employability Skills Project under Mayor Ed Koch. In 2007-2008, he served as the coordinator of surrogate fund-raising in Southern California for Obama For America. Michael has also worked on electoral campaigns for Jim Hahn, Steve Westly and Gavin Newsom. For twenty years, Michael operated LIMB records, an independent Los Angeles-based record company. Michael earned an MS in Policy Analysis from SUNY Stonybrook, an MA in Theology from The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, and an MA in Politics from NYU.
Kristin McCowan, Director of Fundraising Operations: Born into a large family that emphasized the importance of giving back, Kristin made political activism, volunteerism and public service defining characteristics and principles in her life. Kristin spent more than four years on Capitol Hill working for the Committee on House Administration before working as a field organizer on President Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign in Nevada. Following the reelection, Kristin spent several months managing compliance and operations for a PAC in support of Eric Garcetti for Mayor of Los Angeles. A native of Santa Monica, CA, Kristin received a BA in political science from California State University, Northridge and a MPA from the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. After several years away, she now resides in Santa Monica with her fiancé Albert.
Laura Leavitt, Online Campaign Organizer: Before joining Courage, Laura worked as Regional Field Director for Organizing for America, President Obama’s re-election campaign, in the critical battleground state of Wisconsin. Laura has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University and has years of experience in community organizing and and social justice advocacy. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she is passionate about California politics, as well as national progressive issues. Laura is also an established Singer-Songwriter. When not working on social media and digital actions, she can be found in the recording studio or performing her original music at local venues throughout LA.
James Dusenberry, Contractor - Online Organizing: James grew up in the L.A. suburb of Manhattan Beach, the second youngest of five children, and gained an appreciation for community and political involvement from the rich history of political service on both sides of his family. His own commitment to civic engagement was solidified after working in Philadelphia during the Summer of 2008 on Barack Obama's first Presidential campaign and after finishing up the election in North Carolina in the Fall. Returning home, he worked on Janice Hahn's special election to Congress and a CA Democratic Party campaign in the San Fernando Valley. He then spent over a year in Las Vegas on President Obama's re-election team and was most recently a staff member on Eric Garcetti's Mayoral election. James is an avid environmentalist, working with the Climate Reality Project to spread the word about taking action to combat climate change, and in his spare time enjoys carpentry work in his home wood shop.
Scottie Thomaston: Scottie is an activist and writer based in south Alabama. In addition to being a Contributor at Courage Campaign Institute's EqualityOnTrial.com, he has been a longtime contributor to DailyKos, Fire Dog Lake, Critical Mass Progress, and The Huffington Post's 'Gay Voices.' As a lifelong activist, he has worked to help to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy" and to end proposed statewide amendments and legislation such as the recently withdrawn anti-transgender bill proposed in Tennessee's General Assembly. He's written on topics ranging from LGBT rights to disability rights and criminal justice.
Jacob Combs: Jacob is a contributor to Courage Campaign Institute's EqualityOnTrial.com. He focuses on legal analysis of the Prop 8 and DOMA trials. A native of Los Angeles, Jacob now lives in New York City.
Courage Campaign Structure and Status
The Courage Campaign family of organizations is devoted to bringing progressive change and full equality in California and across the country. Courage Campaign is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization. The Courage Campaign Institute is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization. Courage Campaign Issues Committee is active on statewide and local ballot campaigns and is registered with the California Fair Political Practices Commission. None of the Courage Campaign organizations make contributions to or expressly advocate for the election or defeat of candidates for public office.
A "member" of the Courage Campaign is defined as any person who has participated in at least one online action with the Courage Campaign. Members are generally contacted by the Courage Campaign based on their expression of interest in specific issues or categories. We carefully guard our members’ information and do not sell or use any data for commercial purposes.
Please consider making a contribution to the Courage Campaign to help us build progressive infrastructure, empowering grassroots and netroots activists to create a new era for progressive politics in California and across the country.
Contact Courage Campaign
7119 West Sunset Boulevard, No. 195
Los Angeles, California 90046