Scott B. Swenson is the Vice President for Communications for Common Cause. He oversees strategic communications and messaging for the nationwide network of democracy experts, advocates, and activists, promoting pragmatic solutions to strengthen democracy that Common Cause is winning at the local and state level. Throughout his career, Scott has told stories translating complex public policy issues so people get the information they need to make informed decisions. At Common Cause he’s telling the story of a growing people’s movement to strengthen democracy so it works for all Americans. Town-by-town, state-by-state, Republicans, Democrats, small party and independent voters are working together in response to unprecedented challenges democracy faces from wealthy special interests, politicians manipulating maps and other rules to give their party an advantage, and systemic barriers to participation that result in white men, only 31% of the population, holding more than 71% of all elected offices from county-to-president.
Before joining Common Cause in July of 2015, Scott built and led the Piper Fund’s Communications Collaborative at ReThink Media on Money in Politics and Fair Courts, a network of more than 50 national organizations. His work coordinating public reaction to the McCutcheon v FEC Supreme Court decision took a wonky case and made it one in which thousands of Americans protested starting two hours after the decision and throughout that day at more than 160 events in 40 states. He brought the advocacy community together around a comprehensive set of policy objectives and reframed them into principles that brought unprecedented collaboration to the community and helped broaden its reach.
Scott worked as director of strategic and legislative communications for the ACLU; founding-editor of RH Reality Check (now Rewire.org); executive director of the Death with Dignity National Center; communications director at the Gill Foundation; and honed his communications craft at Communications Consortium Media Center in Washington, DC, Public Agenda in New York, and on Capitol Hill for Congressman Dan Glickman. Scott worked on numerous issue and candidate campaigns in his home state of Kansas and remains a die-hard Jayhawk basketball fan.