Who We Are
Courage Campaign fights for a more progressive California and country. We are an online community powered by more than 1.2 million members.
Our proven strategy combines digital tools with grassroots community organizing. Every day, we use email, social media, petitions, offline events and data-driven outreach to educate public opinion, mobilize action, and hold our leaders accountable.
We focus on THREE priorities:
- Economic Justice
- Human Rights
- Corporate and Political Accountability
Courage Campaign is not bound by election cycles or confined to issue areas. Courage Campaign does not endorse candidates. We are a permanent, independent, multi-issue campaign.
We primarily work in California, the largest and most diverse state in the nation, to create models for the country. We are creating progressive solutions today -- priding ourselves on the fact that we work with a wide variety of organizations that focus on various issues -- to build progressive power and infrastructure for the future
Our funding comes from thousands of small online donors, a growing group of major donors and the support of foundations and funding partners, including the Arca Foundation, The Broad Foundation, California Community Foundation, The California Endowment, Consumers Union, CREDO Working Assets, The Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund, The Ford Foundation, The Geffen Foundation, The Global Giving Foundation, Liberty Hill Foundation, Los Angeles Fund for Social Justice, 11th Hour Project, The Mary Wohlford Foundation, The Murial Pollia Foundation, NextGen, The Rosenberg Foundation, The Rosenthal Family Foundation, and The Streisand Foundation.
Our partners include the Advancement Project, American Civil Liberties Union, Alliance for Justice, Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Bend the Arc: A Jewish Partnership for Justice, California Budget Project, California Calls, The California Federation of Teachers, California Immigrant Policy Center, California League of Conservation Voters, The California Nurses Association, California Partnership, California Reinvestment Coalition, The California Teachers Association, Californians United for a Responsible Budget, Climate Relief Fund, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, Common Cause, CREDO Mobile, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Equality California, Food and Water Watch, Friends Committee on Legislation, Gay Straight Alliance Network, Greenlining Institute, Media Matters, Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, the National Union of Healthcare Workers, PICO California, Planned Parenthood, Presente.org, 350.org, Transgender Law Center, and UDW AFSCME Local 3930 and dozens of state-based organizations working for LGBT equality. Courage Campaign 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 2013, he was named by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones as the very first visiting fellow in the California Department of Insurance. Dr. Song currently serves as the co-chair of A Campaign for a Healthy California and on the boards of Physicians for a National Health Program, People for the American Way, Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center, and The Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.
Eddie Kurtz, Executive Director: A theatre director in a previous life, Eddie served as Political Director -- leading Courage Campaign's campaign work -- prior to his promotion to Executive Director. 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.
Emma Crossen, Deputy Director: Emma moved to CA in 2014 and was thrilled to join Courage two months later. In Chicago, she led the national fundraising program for Women of the ELCA. Emma brings experience in consumer education, ministry, environmental advocacy, anti-hunger organizing with Bread for the World, interfaith education and conflict resolution in India, and refugee resettlement in Atlanta. She earned a M.Div. at Harvard Divinity School and was executive director of The Outdoor Church in Cambridge, MA. Raised in Terre Haute, IN, she is a proud graduate of Bethany College in Lindsborg, KS. Emma is excited about how the work of Courage will help progressives around the country to bring change in their states. She's also excited about walking, architecture, design, local history, and food, and is often found seeking out all the above.
Lindsay West, Operations Manager: Prior to joining Courage Campaign, Lindsay worked in integrated marketing and events in the entertainment industry. Lindsay’s activism started with peer HIV education and harm reduction programs in high school. He earned a BA in Film and Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz, and has volunteered for Outfest, the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian film festival.
Laura Leavitt, Campaign Manager: 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 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 managing campaigns, she can be found in the recording studio or performing her original music at local venues throughout LA.
Tim Molina, Campaign Manager: Tim came to Courage Campaign after working at Brave New Films as their Outreach Director. While at Brave New Films, Tim directed national campaigns around BNF's full-length documentaries and short videos, working on issues ranging from mass incarceration, workers rights, immigration, and U.S. wars. Prior to joining BNF, Tim worked with MoveOn.org as a National Field Organizer, where he oversaw over 1 million MoveOn members in CA, HI, and AK. Before working with MoveOn, Tim started his organizing career as a Labor Organizer with SEIU Local 1021 based out of San Francisco. Originally from Los Angeles, Tim is glad to be back to the, actually always sunny, Big Orange.
Moonyoung Ko, Campaign Organizer: Prior to Courage Campaign, Moonyoung worked for Technicolor and the California State Assembly. She first got involved in the progressive movement when she attended her first protest – Occupy Wall Street – at UC Berkeley. She graduated from Cal with a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology. Upon graduation, she managed a field office for a congressional campaign. Aside from fighting for progressive issues, Moonyoung is deeply passionate about protecting our natural environment and being a steward for our ocean. She is a former volunteer at the Ocean Institute and helped organize its first Girls in Ocean Science Conference.
Kelsey Murphy, Campaign Organizer: Kelsey is a graduate from the University of California at Santa Barbara. She graduated on the Dean’s list with a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a minor in English. Before working with Courage Campaign she was the Student Programs Manager at The American Pavilion, helping over 200 students navigate their way through the Cannes Film Festival. Prior to that, she was a Production Assistant at Brave New Films and worked tirelessly for the War Costs campaign and their documentary Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars. She is proud to be working towards building a more progressive tomorrow with Courage Campaign.
Ernesto Villasenor, Jr., Campaign Organizer: Ernesto came to the Courage Campaign team as a Kairos Fellow. Prior to Courage Campaign, he worked with the Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety & Health as an AmeriCorps Fellow, helping provide pathways between the underserved communities of Boston and the labor movement as well as providing resources for higher education and social justice activism for youth involved in the Teens Lead @ Work program. He was also a Council Liaison with the City of Compton Council. Ernesto held two fellowships with People for the American Way Foundation, Young People For (YP4) and the Front Line Leaders Academy, and is a Gates Millennium Scholarship recipient. He’s glad to be back in the amazing Hub City as part of the Courage team!
Scottie Thomaston, Lead Writer: 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.
Work with Courage
We're also always looking for talented people to join our team, graphic designers, writers, campaigners, organizers, social media experts, coders, etc. If you think you would be a great addition, email us at email@example.com with your resume and a cover letter explaining why you want to work with Courage.
Courage Campaign Structure and Status
The Courage Campaign family of organizations is devoted to fighting for a more progressive California and country.
Courage Campaign is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization. This designation allows Courage Campaign to advocate for legislation and influence the decisions of our elected leaders. It also means that contributions to Courage Campaign are NOT tax deductible.
Courage Campaign Institute is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the educational arm of the Courage Campaign family of organizations. Its mission is to defend and extend economic justice, human rights, and corporate and political accountability through public education, strategic research, and innovative leadership-development training. Contributions to Courage Campaign Institute are TAX DEDUCTIBLE within IRS guidelines.
Courage Campaign Issues Committee is ballot committee active on statewide and local ballot campaigns and is registered with the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
Contact Courage Campaign
Our staff work virtually from their homes across California, but our mailing address is:
7119 West Sunset Boulevard, No. 195
Los Angeles, California 90046