Former Mayoral Contender Yvette Simpson Takes Director Role at National Progressive Organization

Simpson will lead Democracy for America, a progressive group with more than 1 million members

click to enlarge Yvette Simpson (center) at a march last year in downtown Cincinnati - NICK SWARTSELL
Nick Swartsell
Yvette Simpson (center) at a march last year in downtown Cincinnati

Former Cincinnati City Council member and mayoral contender Yvette Simpson will be the new leader of a national progressive group.

Burlington, Vermont-based Democracy for America today announced that Simpson will be the organization's new chief executive. She's already heavily involved with DFA, having spent this year as its federal elections director. 

"We know that the future is female and that our country is becoming more diverse," Simpson said in a statement. "The leadership of our country, from City Hall to the White House, needs to reflect the life experience and strategic vision of these changing demographics. Representation matters, particularly within political and movement organizations."

DFA, which is focused on issues around racial, gender and economic justice, says it has more than 1 million members and has raised more than $62 million and helped elect more than 1,000 candidates for federal, state and local offices across the country. The group says it is focused on helping defeat President Donald Trump when he seeks reelection in 2020.

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean founded DFA in 2004 as he sought the Democratic Party's nomination for the presidency. His brother, Jim Dean, serves as its current chair.

"After an election year defined by historic firsts and the profound impact women of color played in delivering them, I couldn't be more excited about Democracy for America's future with Yvette Simpson as its new Chief Executive," Jim Dean said in a statement.

Simpson served on Cincinnati City Council from 2011 to 2017. She challenged fellow Democrat Mayor John Cranley in the 2017 mayoral race. She bested Cranley in the primary but later lost the general election. An attorney by trade, Simpson will continue to live in Cincinnati as she leads DFA. 

Current Executive Director Charles Chamberlain will become chair of the group when Simpson takes the director role Jan. 1.

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