Blog: Issue Advocacy


Twenty-five years ago, qualitative researchers at John Hopkins University began following a group of 800 first-graders in Baltimore, Maryland. By conducting frequent interviews with the children and their families from first grade through adulthood, Karl Alexander and his team of researchers were able to map the socioeconomic trajectories of their young subjects.

A family’s resources and the doors they open cast a long shadow over children’s life trajectories. This view is at odds with the popular ethos that we are makers of our own fortune.”

The study’s findings contradict the long-held American ideology of rugged individualism – the belief that we are makers of our own fortune – by clearly showing that a child’s life trajectory is almost entirely determined by the resources of the family he or she is born into. Among the study’s findings, most sobering are the absence of children from low-income families in higher education and the disparity along racial lines of job opportunities for low-income men, with white men being employed at a rate 3 times that of their black counterparts.

Click here to read more about the study, or dive into the details of the findings in Alexander’s book, The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood.


“I know that many suggest we are going down a slippery slope that will have no moral boundaries. To those who truly harbor such fears, I can only say this: Let us look less to the sky to see what might fall; rather, let us look to each other … and rise.”

-Judge Michael McShane, U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon

Christian, Cameron and the Freedom to Marry team are masters of earned/viral social media. As the debate rages over organic reach and images vs post shares, etc for campaign’s Facebook Pages – they continue to deliver high-impact visuals that drive engagement and help win historic campaigns.

We are lucky to work with (and win with) them on marriage and discrimination here in Oregon.



Last September, we built an interactive website for Class Size Counts, a non-profit, statewide organization of parents, teachers, students and voters advocating for smaller class sizes in Washington’s public schools. As part of a grassroots effort to raise awareness about the size of Washington’s public school classes – Washington currently ranks 47th in the nation – volunteers, teachers, parents, and others counted students in their classrooms and submitted their findings, and personal stories, to the site. Over the course of just a few months, more than 5,000 classes were counted, making for an astounding visual on the state of Washington’s class sizes.

The site that the Winning Mark team developed for Class Size Counts created just the kind of buzz and interest we were hoping for as we launched a grass-roots project.  With very little paid promotion, the site attracted over 35,000 unique visitors, and 5,300 of those signed on as supporters our campaign.

Class Size Counts has just filed their initiative and is now collecting signatures to get I-1351 on the ballot. To learn more about the initiative (and if you’re in Washington, to submit a class size) visit

School District Database

Class Size Counts Website

Oregon Women's Campaign SchoolHave you ever thought about running for office? Are you an activist wanting to make a change? Or are you just interested in learning more about Oregon politics?

The Oregon Women’s Campaign School (OWCS) is just for you. As a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization, the OWCS has helped to organize women, and any pro-choice person, to run for office or work on an issue or candidate campaign for over 30 years.

By learning what it means to be a candidate or working as a staff member on a campaign, the Oregon Women’s Campaign School gives you the tools and guidance needed, from networking to fundraising, for a successful campaign.

The next Oregon Women’s Campaign School is coming up on March 15th – 16th at the World Trade Center in downtown Portland – there’s still time to register!

As one of this year’s sponsors, we think that this is a great opportunity to not only learn about Oregon politics, but also a great chance to meet the people that help shape them.

Register for the event here.