Area(s) of Expertise
- Constitution, Courts & Other Democracy Issues
- Ethics & Accountability
- Gerrymandering & Representation
- Media & Democracy
- Money & Influence
- Voting & Elections
Heather Ferguson is a Director of State Operations for Common Cause. Her work focuses on developing policy initiatives, managing legislative strategy, elected official outreach, coalition-building, and media relations to advance the mission of the organization to uphold the core values of American democracy. She oversees operations in New Mexico, Texas, Hawaii, Oregon, Arizona, Indiana, Nebraska and Connecticut.
Since first joining Common Cause New Mexico as its Legislative Director in 2014, Heather led her team’s lobbying efforts to accomplish passing reforms that included: the creation of New Mexico’s State Ethics Commission, enhanced Campaign and Lobbyist Finance Reporting Requirements, Automatic and Same-day Voter Registration, and updating New Mexico’s Public Financing Program. As Executive Director, Heather led legislative strategy and lobbying efforts that recently expanded New Mexico’s public financing program to include district court judicial races (making New Mexico the first state in the nation with this program), created New Mexico’s first Citizens Redistricting Committee, and advanced campaign finance reporting reforms with the State Ethics Commission.
In both state and congressional hearings, she has testified as an expert witness for a broad spectrum of democracy issues including voting rights, lobbyist and campaign finance regulation, and ethics. She has appeared widely on television and radio, including local-affiliate newscasts of ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS and FOX; NPR’s All Things Considered; KUNM/NPR’s No More Normal; and Fox News Radio Affiliate, KKOB. She has been quoted by local and national media outlets, including: Albuquerque Journal, Santa Fe New Mexican, Las Cruces Sun-News, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Associated Press, The Fulcrum, ProPublica, and Politico.
She has worked on state and federal policy for the past 18 years, beginning by leading the Voter Protection Program for New Mexico’s Coordinated DNC campaign in 2004. Prior to joining Common Cause New Mexico, she led the legislative team for Animal Protection of New Mexico where they successfully passed legislation to outlaw cockfighting in 2007 and developed education programs for law enforcement teams across the nation through her founding work with the New Mexico Attorney General’s Animal Cruelty Task Force.
Heather graduated with honors from the University of California Los Angeles with a B.A. in Biogeography. She is also a graduate and class valedictorian of the 2007 EmergeNM program.