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Heather McGhee

Heather C. McGhee is the Vice President of Policy and Outreach. She helps to set Demos’ strategy organization-wide and oversees the Communications and Advocacy Departments.  She is a frequent writer, speaker and media commentator on issues of democracy reform, economic opportunity, racial equity and financial regulation.  In 2010, she became a contributor to Countdown with Keith Olbermann on Current TV.  She is also a regular guest on MSNBC, Fox News and CNN.  Her opinions, writing and research have appeared in numerous outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, National Public Radio, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.  She is the co-author of a chapter on retirement insecurity in the book Inequality Matters: The Growing Economic Divide in America and its Poisonous Consequences (New Press, 2005).

In 2009, she co-chaired a task force within Americans for Financial Reform that helped shape key provisions of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  In 2008, she served as the Deputy Policy Director in charge of Domestic and Economic Policy with the John Edwards for President campaign, helping craft that campaign’s agenda-setting policies to end poverty, halt global climate change, reform financial services, and other far-reaching aims.  She holds a B.A. in American Studies from Yale University and a J.D. from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law.

Entries by Heather McGhee

A Movement of Love and for Non-Violence

(0) Comments | Posted December 23, 2014 | 10:59 AM

Like all of us at Demos, I read the news of the killings of two NYPD officers and the attempted killing of a Baltimore woman with a feeling of horror. In a society so riddled with violence, access to guns and mental illness collide all too often in America, and in...

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Uniting in the Face of the Ferguson Tragedy

(2) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 1:10 PM

Last night's police violence against citizens of Ferguson, MO was an affront to democracy. There is nothing more American than a community uniting in the face of tragedy, than ordinary people organizing to peacefully protest injustice. The police reaction--to protests of their own violence--has been more violence, less transparency, and...

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Why the Minimum Wage Vote Failed

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2014 | 7:20 PM

Wednesday, Senate Republicans filibustered a proposal to gradually raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. That filibuster may seem like a big surprise considering opinion polls -- 72 percent of the public are in favor of the proposal -- but it makes a lot of sense when you...

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Politics Belongs to All of Us

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2012 | 2:52 PM

As the last campaign of Barack Obama drew to a close last night, I found myself emotional, not for the candidate or even the presidency, but for the campaign. As a young activist in the 1990s, I would dream of an America in which everyday people believed that politics mattered...

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Settlement Is First Step Towards Foreclosure Relief

(6) Comments | Posted February 9, 2012 | 4:00 PM

The mortgage servicing deal reached today between a coalition of state attorneys general and five major Wall Street banks is an important stepping stone in the effort to secure justice for homeowners victimized by the fraud and abuse behind the foreclosure crisis.

This settlement is perhaps most valuable...

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A Message to Millennials: We Are the Children of Dr. King's Dream

(2) Comments | Posted January 17, 2012 | 6:24 PM

Few of us recall that the full name of the march where the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech was the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." Jobs, even before freedom. Today, Dr. King would be calling our generation to action because...

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Why Occupy Wall Street? 10 Reasons Protestors Picked the Right Target

(6) Comments | Posted October 17, 2011 | 7:46 PM

The protesters seeking to "occupy" the financial district in New York and other cities have been widely depicted in the media as having no coherent rationale for their protests. In fact, though, these protesters have chosen the right target: a set of institutions and actors who not only played a...

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Congress Needs to Do Its Job: Pay America's Bills, Put Americans Back to Work

(2) Comments | Posted July 27, 2011 | 3:53 PM

Never in our nation's history has our government defaulted on our debts. Through war, Depression, financial crisis and stagflation -- and in periods where the national debt was far higher in relative terms than it is today -- the full faith and credit of America has gone unquestioned....

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Who's Budgeting for a Middle Class?

(307) Comments | Posted May 9, 2011 | 5:22 PM

For the first time, the majority of Americans believe that their children won't be better off than they are. If current trends continue -- in just a few categories: wages, benefits, retirement income, personal debt, job creation, job quality, job security, and costs for education, child care and...

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President's Deficit Plan Recaptures the Fiscal High Road -- Almost

(9) Comments | Posted April 13, 2011 | 6:28 PM

Today, the President of the United States laid out his vision for restoring fiscal responsibility in a way that does not impede our fledgling recovery or violate the core inter-generational promises made during the American Century. Demos applauds the President's leadership.

First, the positives. The President reaffirmed his...

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It's Time to "Out-Jobs" the Conservatives

(381) Comments | Posted November 5, 2010 | 11:39 AM

A national referendum on the economy went badly for incumbents on Tuesday, but there's a clear way for the President to be true to progressive values and regain the political momentum. It's time to "out-jobs" the conservatives.

I imagine my anxious, unemployed aunt looking up at the TV from the...

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