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A grassroots movement fighting for an economy that works for everyone, not just the rich.

Building power for progressive change

We are a grassroots advocacy organization based in Seattle Washington.

We will lead, catalyze, or participate in local and national civic actions that meet the following criteria:

1.The issue is inherently inclusive and will improve the lives of the majority, not just the wealthy few.

2.The issue provides a unique, disruptive, and strategic opportunity to create real systemic and structural change.

3.The issue builds power for the good guys and tears down the bad guys

4. We are ambitious. Our opponents will fight us just as hard for the small stuff as they will for the big stuff. So we always go big.

5. We put narrative first. A good cause comes from a good narrative and changes how people think about the problem.

Photo of Volunteers at a Rally

We support and empower grassroots activism

Let's cause some trouble

Our mission is to empower you to be the best activist you can be. We curate ideas on the cutting edge of progressive politics, challenge how you think, and present opportunities for activism that will maximize your impact.

Become a troublemaker, donate now

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Income Inequality is an Existential Crisis

This is the quintessential fact of politics and economics today

Since 1989, the ultra-rich have gotten $21 trillion richer while the bottom 90% (essentially everyone else) have gotten $900 billion poorer. We work on all kinds of consequential issues, including everything from gun violence prevention to universal childcare, but our primary focus is squarely on combating income inequality.

The gap between productivity and a typical worker’s compensation has increased dramatically since 1979

From 1979 to 2018, net productivity rose 69.6 percent, while the hourly pay of typical workers essentially stagnated—increasing only 11.6 percent over 39 years (after adjusting for inflation). This means that although Americans are working more productively than ever, the fruits of their labors have primarily accrued to those at the top and to corporate profits, especially in recent years.

Percent change in worker productivity vs. worker compensation

Source of this graph

EPI analysis of unpublished Total Economy Productivity data from Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Labor Productivity and Costs program, wage data from the BLS Current Employment Statistics, BLS Employment Cost Trends, BLS Consumer Price Index, and Bureau of Economic Analysis National Income and Product Accounts

Explore what we do

Logo for Pitchfork Economics podcast

Any society that allows itself to become radically unequal eventually collapses into an uprising or a police state—or both.

Join venture capitalist Nick Hanauer and some of the world’s leading economic and political thinkers in an exploration of who gets what and why. Turns out, everything you learned about economics is wrong. And if we don’t do something about rising inequality, the pitchforks are coming.

Civic Action uses Facebook and Twitter to embolden progressive activists across the country to take direct action on the most pressing issues today.

We promote bold policy ideas in four key areas: inclusive democracy, middle-out economics, climate change, and gun responsibility. By engaging with people on social media, Civic Action communicates our outside-the-Beltway thinking, and encourages political troublemaking.

Civic Skunkworks

Civic Skunk Works is where our ideas meet the real world.

From political analysis to media criticism to the latest in economic thinking, Civic Skunk Works is where we publish our policy deep dives. Our Medium page is where you’ll find explainers on what really happens when the minimum wage goes up and pieces debunking trickle-down arguments that place billionaires over the middle class.

Civic Ventures is our parent organization

We are institutionally independent, accountable only to our community and ourselves, and will do whatever it takes to innovate important social change, even if we antagonize allies in the process. We believe effective leadership requires building a great strategy first and then building a collation around that strategy. Coalition-first movements lead nowhere but to bureaucracy and half measures. That said, as institutions yield to networks, we recognize that we can’t accomplish important work by ourselves. We must always partner with other like-minded groups and institutions to be effective. We are willing to lead the pack, but will never be “lone wolves”.

What is Civic Ventures?

Civic Ventures is a small group of political troublemakers devoted to ideas, policies, and actions that catalyze significant social change. We are serial innovators in the civic space who favor the kind of big, disruptive ideas that upturn conventional thinking. Though we promote many progressive concepts, we’re not beholden to the traditional political framework of liberal versus conservative; an idea’s value and utility should be more important than its origin. By thinking, writing, and acting outside the realm of conventional political discourse,Civic Ventures plans to drive the conversation and fundamentally alter the status quo in Seattle, Washington state, and the United States.

Meet the Team

We are a passionate team of activists, writers and policy-makers with headquarters in Seattle.

Paul Constant

Paul is a writer and the editor-in-chief at Civic Action. He oversees all the shop’s written products, from emails to speeches to articles to blog posts, ensuring that they’re all grammatically, thematically, and substantively sound. He steers the direction of our online publications and helps craft our narrative framing for campaigns and communications. Paul has written about politics, culture, and business for many outlets including the Seattle Times, the Los Angeles Times, BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, and the New York Observer. Paul is also a co-founder of the Seattle Review of Books, an award-winning website for book news, reviews, and interviews from a Seattle perspective.

Stephen Paolini

Stephen manages Civic Action. This includes digital, social, multimedia, and conventional platforms that help activists learn about and engage with the most important progressive issues across the country. Stephen caught the political bug working as a community organizer on Gun Violence Prevention Ballot Initiative 1491. Since then, he’s helped GVP activists across the state of Washington organize and win. Most recently he was the Campaign Manager for Initiative 1639: Safe Schools and Safe Communities. Stephen moved to Seattle from Orlando in 2016. Despite never having visited Seattle and not having a job, he instantly fell in love.

Stephanie Ervin

At Civic Action, Stephanie oversees the development of ballot measures and campaigns. Stephanie also manages Civic Action's political and PAC work and supports our multi-media channels, including as a producer of the Pitchfork Economics podcast. Stephanie has had a career in electoral politics, first working in competitive candidate campaigns including for Governor Christine Gregoire and Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, and then transitioning to issue advocacy. Stephanie has run and consulted on legislative and initiative campaigns to prevent gun violence, increase funding for housing and homelessness, to protect endangered species, and to require deescalation training and police accountability to name just a few. She is a devoted care-taker of the world’s best good-boy, labradoodle Mr. Finn.

Actions, Live Streams, and Press Releases

Press Release: Sept 19

The Dirty Secret of Capitalism and a New Way Forward

Press Release: Dec. 11th

Washington to Have Strongest Overtime Protections in the Nation

Civic Action LIVE: Dec. 6th

The Stock Market is NOT the Economy