Seventeen years ago, I had lunch at a suburban diner with Rena Steinzor, then a stranger to me, now an old friend. She'd found me through a colleague at the Natural Resources Defense Council, who'd suggested to her that I might be able to work with her and the other founding members of what was then the Center for Progressive Regulation as they sought to add some media know-how to their fledgling organization. If you've ever met Rena, you might know that her full-court press is second only to LBJ's. I took the gig, coming on board as a consultant, and have been here ever since.
Today, I take my leave after 17 terrific years. During that time, the organization has grown to be a true player on the issues we care about, producing smart, hard-hitting, idea-rich reports that create powerful intellectual ammunition for the progressive cause. Our Member Scholars and staff are frequent contributors to op-ed pages and opinion-leading blogs, and they're quoted on a daily basis in media outlets of all sorts. Certainly by comparison to CPR's founding and second-generation leaders, I played a comparatively small role in the growth of the organization, but even still, I count my work helping propel it to its current state as one of my most meaningful contributions to our civic life.
I'm leaving for the simple reason that it's time – time for me personally to step back from some commitments, and time for CPR to bring in new blood.
I'm especially grateful to the CPR family for demonstrating what true issue and policy expertise looks like. Such expertise is egregiously undervalued these days; indeed, it's under outright assault from some quarters. I particularly appreciate CPR's eagerness to dig into complex issues of regulatory process, taking on problems that don't lend themselves to bumper-sticker solutions but that nevertheless have enormous impact on health, safety, and the environment in people's daily lives. It's essential work, and when done the right way, as CPR has always done it, it empowers people and communities to fight back against those who would sacrifice lives and livelihoods to corporate profit.
Going forward, I'll be putting my shoulder to that same wheel, just elsewhere.
Thanks for the journey, CPR. All the best.