Demos President Tapped to Lead Common Cause
- Dale Eisman
Miles Rapoport, former Connecticut Secretary of the State, state legislator, and nonprofit leader to take reins of venerable public interest organization
Miles Rapoport, whose long career in public service has been devoted to strengthening democracy and achieving economic fairness at every level, has been named president of Common Cause.
“Miles brings us an incredible combination of intellect, energy and experience,” said Robert Reich, chair of Common Cause’s National Governing Board. “His commitment to our mission of holding power accountable, and his understanding of the challenges we face in executing it, is unparalleled.”
Rapoport will start at Common Cause on March 10.
President of Demos since 2001, Rapoport led that organization’s transition from a small start-up to a significant public policy research and advocacy shop. “Demos has become a wellspring of innovative thought,” Reich said, “and Miles is among its and our country’s best thinkers. Under his leadership, Demos has led the way in identifying and spotlighting the damage being done to our democracy by the growing gap between the wealth of the richest Americans and that of our shrinking middle class.”
In addition to leading Demos through a period of tremendous growth, Rapoport has been a regular writer and contributor to its studies of income inequality, campaign finance, and voting rights. He serves as a director of The American Prospect magazine and was its president from 2010-12.
At Common Cause, Rapoport will succeed Bob Edgar, who died suddenly last April after six years as the organization’s president. Edgar was a former Pennsylvania congressman, college president and general secretary of the National Council of Churches.
“I am tremendously excited to have the chance to lead Common Cause, build on its remarkable history and strong organizational platform, and expand on the major initiatives led by Bob Edgar,” Rapoport said. “Common Cause’s work has never been more important, and the stakes have never been higher. More and more Americans understand now that economic inequality, big money, and barriers to participation have distorted our democracy, and they are ready to roll up their sleeves to reclaim it. No organization is better positioned or better qualified than Common Cause to lead that effort.”
Prior to joining Demos, Rapoport served 10 years as a Connecticut state representative (1985 to 1995) and then four years as the Secretary of the State of Connecticut (1995 to 1999). As Secretary, he was a leader in efforts for voting rights, effective election administration, and campaign finance reform. His work, side by side with Common Cause, helped lead to Connecticut’s passage of strong public financing legislation. He served in the leadership of the National Association of Secretaries of State. Earlier, Rapoport served in leadership roles in two state-based advocacy groups in the 1970s and 80s, as Boston director of Massachusetts Fair Share and executive director of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group.
Founded in 1970, Common Cause is the nation’s original “citizens lobby,” a non-partisan, non-profit organization with more than 400,000 members and supporters and offices in 35 states. Throughout its history, Common Cause has been an advocate for increased citizen engagement in politics and government and effective controls on the political power of major institutions and the wealthy.
Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest, and accountable government that works for the public interest, and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.