Julie Martínez Ortega, J.D., Ph.D.

President and Co-Founder

Dr. Martínez Ortega is a national leader in progressive politics and policy, and an expert on the New American Majority voters, organized labor and employment matters, and health care policy. She has undertaken landmark research for numerous leading national foundations, major donors, the federal government, and labor unions on a variety of issues, including mapping the new electorate, targeting and modeling progressive voters, protection and enhancement of workers’ rights, health care access, quality and equity, and economic policies that mitigate income inequality. She is the creator of the New Majority Index, an innovative tool for donors, political operatives, and candidates to use when assessing viability in congressional districts and states.

Dr. Martínez Ortega serves as Senior Advisor to the Democracy Alliance on research and data about voter behavior and has advised its Latino Engagement Fund as it developed a research agenda and quantitative metrics for the program work conducted by its grantees.  She co-founded and served as president of PowerPAC+, an innovative fundraising vehicle that supports progressive candidates in states and cities where changing demographics can flip political power from Red to Blue. As Research Director at American Rights at Work she led all aspects of the advocacy organization’s research efforts. As a Visiting Scholar at DHHS, she designed and implemented cutting edge quantitative research on racial, ethnicity, national origin, citizenship, and language use in the area of health care cost, finance, and access.

Dr. Martínez Ortega is a Tejana from South Texas, graduated from Stanford University as a first-generation college student, earned a law degree from UCLA, and a Ph.D. from the Heller Graduate School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. Her dissertation, “Health Insurance Enrollment Patterns of Mexican American Children,” won the Minkoff Prize in Health Economics.  

 

Lisa García Bedolla, Ph.D.

principal AND CO-FOUNDER

Professor Lisa García Bedolla is Chancellor’s Professor in UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education and Travers Department of Political Science. She studies why people choose to engage politically. She has used a variety of social science methods – field observation, in-depth interviewing, survey research, field experiments, and geographic information system (GIS) – to shed light on this question. She uses the tools of social science to reveal the causes of political inequalities in the United States, considering differences across the lines of ethnorace, gender, class, geography, sexuality, et cetera. She believes an intersectional approach is critical to recognizing the complexity of contemporary U.S. politics and creating a more representative electorate.

She has published four books and dozens of research articles exploring these questions, earning five national book awards and numerous other awards. She has consulted for presidential campaigns and statewide ballot efforts and has partnered with over a dozen community organizations working to empower low-income communities of color. Through those partnerships, she has developed a set of best practices for engaging and mobilizing voters in these communities, becoming one of the nation’s foremost experts on political engagement within communities of color. 

Professor García Bedolla earned her Ph.D. in political science from Yale University and her B.A. in Latin American Studies and Comparative Literature from the University of California at Berkeley.