Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sean Dobson Leaves Progressive Maryland

Progressive Maryland Executive Director Sean Dobson, who has led the organization since 2006, is leaving for another job. Following is his statement.

Sean Dobson Moves On After Ten Years at Progressive Maryland

Dobson helped found PM ten years ago and served as Executive Director since 2006

May 13, 2010

Dear PM Supporters,

It is with bittersweet emotions that I inform you I have accepted a wonderful job offer to be Field Director at the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy starting on May 19th. NCRP is the nation’s pre-eminent watchdog of the philanthropic sector, working to ensure it is responsive to people and communities with the least wealth and opportunity and is held accountable to the highest standards of integrity.

PM will shortly post an ad for the Executive Director job opening. Please circulate it widely and encourage talented people to apply. During the job search, Rion Dennis, PM’s current Political Director, will serve as Acting Director.

Working with all of you to build PM has been a dream job for me. Ten years ago I helped Tom Hucker and others create PM. These past four years I have served as Executive Director. Together and through PM we have made our state more progressive and created more opportunity for working families. Since 2006 we have notched impressive victories, including:

• Executing a successful election program during the 2006 election, helping 90+ endorsed candidates to win;

• Enacting the nation’s first statewide Living Wage law;

• Spearheading the drive to persuade lawmakers to invest record amounts in school construction;

• Coordinating the grassroots campaign to persuade lawmakers in 2007 to enact a progressive overhaul of the state’s income tax code, making it fairer and generating hundreds of millions of new dollars for the public sector;

• Coordinating over the past year the Health Care for America Now (HCAN) coalition in Maryland, an alliance of dozens of groups that successfully organized the public to pressure Maryland’s congressional delegation to enact historic, federal health care reform.

And PM has achieved something else that is hard to prove, but which I believe is true. As a proud ally of the labor movement, PM assists the AFL-CIO and specific unions to enact pro-worker reforms. Ten years ago, when I first started lobbying in Annapolis, such reforms almost never passed. But in the past two years alone the General Assembly enacted no less than five major pro-labor bills. To be clear, PM was the lead organization on none of these bills. But I can’t help but suspect that PM has helped change the climate in Annapolis so that more lawmakers now feel more responsive to working families – not just to the wealthy special interests that write big campaign checks.

Working with all of you has been the best professional experience of my life. I don’t want it to end – that’s why I hope you will elect me to the Board of Directors this summer.

Now let new leadership take PM to its next level of success! Onward!

In solidarity,

Sean Dobson
Executive Director