Common Cause Announces Five New Board Members

Today, democracy watchdog Common Cause announced the addition of five new members to its National Governing Board, representing a diverse cross-section of allies and experts all deeply committed to safeguarding our democracy. 

 The newest Common Cause board members include: 

  • Chris Melody Fields Figueredo, The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Executive Director 
  • Vanessa Gonzalez, GIFFORDS Vice President, Political and Governmental Affairs 
  • Jennifer Gremmert, Energy Outreach Colorado CEO 
  • Peter Reinke, St. James Episcopal School in Los Angeles Head of School Emeritus 
  • Rev. Mark Thompson, Radio & TV Host, Political Analyst and Commentator

“I am grateful to these new additions to Common Cause, a diverse and talented set of leaders with decades of experience who represent critical viewpoints to strengthen our democracy for all,” said Virginia Kase Solomón, Common Cause President. “Each of these leaders understands we must all be democracy advocates first if we are to succeed in making the positive changes in any issue area. Together, these board members will explore new ways for us to grow and reach our goal of building a democracy that works for everyone, not just the few.”  

“These committed advocates offer new voices and fresh perspectives to the Common Cause National Governing Board,” said Martha Tierney, Common Cause National Governing Board Chair. “We are fortunate to be able to welcome such a strong and talented group to the ranks of our board as we chart a path forward for Common Cause in these turbulent times.”  

 The five new Common Cause National Governing Board members are: 

Chris Melody Fields Figueredo (she/her)
Chris has been Executive Director of The Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC) since June 2018, bringing two decades of experience in advocacy, creating collaborative spaces, and movement building. She has devoted her career to social justice and ensuring our democracy works for “We the People.” Chris leads the organization’s vision, strategic planning and fundraising efforts. Over her career, she has developed messaging and communications strategies at ReThink Media, led large-scale national programs to expand and protect the right to vote at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, worked on campaigns to end money in politics at Common Cause, and fought for DC’s children and families to have access to a quality education at DC ParentSmart.

To read her full bio, click here. 


Vanessa Gonzalez (she/her)
Vanessa N. Gonzalez, MSW, MPA, is the Vice President, Political and Government Affairs for GIFFORDS, one of the nation’s leading gun violence prevention organizations. She oversees a team that engages Congress and the Administration, state legislatures and candidates, pushing for common sense gun safety reform. She was formerly Executive Vice President, Field and Member Services for The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. Gonzalez previously served as Assistant Vice President for Outreach and Strategy at Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), the Director of Outreach and Engagement in the Office of Legislation and Congressional Affairs for the U.S. Department of Education in the Obama administration, and she was Director of Latino Leadership and Engagement for Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

To read her full bio, click here. 


Jennifer Gremmert (she/her)
Jennifer Gremmert is the CEO of Energy Outreach Colorado (EOC), a non-profit organization empowering people through energy security. Ms. Gremmert has worked for EOC for 24 years but has experience with organizations including the national office of Junior Achievement, Urban Peak, Up With People, and the University of Arizona. She served on the Board of Directors of the National Energy and Utility Affordability Coalition and as Chair of both the Governor’s Commission on Low-Income Energy Assistance and the Colorado Utility Consumer Board. She is currently the Chair of the Colorado Clean Energy Fund, Colorado’s Green Bank. Jennifer also serves on the board of Arrupe Jesuit High School in Denver, Colorado. Ms. Gremmert previously served as a board member and chair of the Colorado Common Cause state advisory board and has extensive experience with financial management and fundraising.

To read her full bio, click here. 


Peter Reinke (he/him)
Peter’s thirty-year career has included experience as Head of School, Assistant Head of School, Major Gift Officer and senior Diversity practitioner at highly respected educational institutions throughout California. He has also played key roles in public policy as an appointed local and state official on governance and ethics and on the legislative staff of a United States Senator, working on education policy and government ethics. Peter has lectured at both Stanford Law School and the Haas Business School on fiduciary obligations related to public pension funds. His views on public pension solvency have been quoted in Business Week and the Associated Press. A longtime expert on not for profit, corporate and public sector governance, Peter is a state advisory board member for Common Cause, the nation’s leading advocacy group for a high standard of ethics & transparency in government.

To read his full bio, click here.


Rev. Mark Thompson (he/him)
Radio & TV Host, Political Analyst and Commentator; Mark was honored at the 104th Annual NAACP Convention in Orlando in July 2013 “for 25 years of crusading journalism and outstanding leadership in furthering the work of civil and human rights.” Mark is a frequent analyst and commentator on cable news. He began his broadcast career in 1988 with Radio One, Inc. under the guidance of owner Cathy Hughes, for whom the Howard University School of Communications is now named. His ministry, broadcasting and activism have taken him to the streets of Sanford, Florida, Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, Maryland in the aftermath of the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray. He has broadcast from every Democratic National Convention since 1992 and from the annual Women’s March since 2017. For the past ten years, Mark has been the only broadcaster to provide gavel-to-gavel coverage of the NAACP Annual Convention.

To read his full bio, click here.