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Steve Phillips

Steve Phillips

Steve Phillips is a national political leader, civil rights lawyer, and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.


He is the author ofNew York Times and Washington Post bestseller Brown is the New White.

Active in political and social change for thirty years, in 1992 he became the youngest person ever elected to public office in San Francisco and went on to serve as president of the Board of Education, where he authored pathbreaking legislation making San Francisco the first school district in the country to incorporate books by writers of color into the required reading in the literature curriculum.

He is the co-founder of PowerPAC.org, a social justice and advocacy organization that conducted the largest independent voter mobilization efforts backing Barack Obama, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris. In 2014, he co-authored the first-ever audit of Democratic Party spending and was named one of “America’s Top 50 Influencers” by Campaigns and Elections magazine.

Phillips has appeared on multiple national radio and television networks, including NBC, CNN, Fox News, and TV One. He was a featured speaker at the City Club of Cleveland in 2014, and his address on race and politics was nationally broadcast on C-SPAN. Phillips has written extensively, with his work appearing in Campaigns & Elections, the Huffington Post, San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco Examiner, and the Cleveland Plain Dealer, among other national and state publications.

Phillips holds a JD from Hastings College of the Law and a BA from Stanford University. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and two cats.

Brown is the New White

Despite the abundant evidence from Obama’s victories proving that the U.S. population has fundamentally changed, many progressives and Democrats continue to waste millions of dollars chasing white swing voters. Explosive population growth of people of color in America over the past 50 years has laid the foundation for a New American Majority consisting of progressive people of color (23% of all eligible voters) and progressive whites (28% of all eligible voters). These two groups make up 51% of all eligible voters in America right now, and that majority is growing larger every day. Failing to properly appreciate this reality, progressives are at risk of missing this moment in history and losing.

Steve Phillips, a leader in national politics for 30 years, from the Jesse Jackson for President campaigns in the 1980s to establishing the country’s first SuperPAC to help elect America’s first Black president in 2008, has had a front-row seat to these extraordinary political changes. A civil rights lawyer and senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, Phillips draws on his extensive political experience to unveil exactly how people of color and progressive whites add up to a new majority, and what this means for U.S. politics and policy. A book brimming with urgency and hope, Brown is the New White exposes how far behind the curve Democrats are in investing in communities of color while illuminating a path forward to seize the opportunity created by the demographic revolution.

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