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Heather McGhee

Heather C. McGhee is President of Demos. Previously, as Vice President of Policy and Outreach, McGhee led in the substantive development of all of Demos’ issue areas, in addition to overseeing the advocacy and communications strategies. In 2012 she helped spearhead Demos’ strategic planning process, resulting in a new organizational structure, rebranding, and mission realignment. The process created a new communications framework and sharpened the organization’s focus on four areas of work that examine the connections between political, economic and racial inequality.

McGhee is also an influential voice in the media and frequent contributor to MSNBC. 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, where she crafted a domestic policy platform that was widely praised for being the most ambitious and detailed in that election cycle. 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. She serves on the boards of Public Campaign, the Center for Working Families and Consumer Reports.

Entries by Heather McGhee

Delaware Citizens Deserve Easy Access to the Polls

(0) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 11:55 AM

The most sacred right in our democracy is the right to vote. In days to come, Delaware has the opportunity to make that right stronger than ever before.

State Senator Margaret Rose Henry has introduced a bill in the Delaware Senate that would introduce Same-Day Registration to the state....

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Making Inequality the Center of the 2016 Debate

(0) Comments | Posted April 7, 2015 | 6:30 PM

Last Thursday, Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray had a diverse group of 15 progressive leaders, from Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison to U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, over to their home for lunch. The agenda: chart a course to make inequality the defining issue of the American...

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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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