Michael Kieschnick

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Michael Kieschnick

Michael Kieschnick donated $32,000 to the Secretary of State Project in 2006 and $10,000 in 2008. He is listed as a staff member for the Secretary of State Project. Kieschnick is a social entrepreneur based in San Francisco. He is also a board member of the League of Conservation Voters Education Fund, the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center's foundation and Sojourners, among other progressive organizations.* Michael is President of Working Assets, a company that provides credit cards and mobile phone services to progressive organizations.[1] He currently serves as board member for the American Environmental Safety Institute, Dads & Daughters,[2] The Beatitudes Society and Sojourners[3] among others.

Michael Kieschnick has a long history in advocacy and social change. He's the cofounder and former CEO of CREDO (previously Working Assets), a well known social change company launched in 1985.

In addition to his role with the Green Advocacy Project, Michael helped to found Real Justice Pac, which works to elect progressive district attorneys around the country. For 2016, Michael was the national campaign manager for NextGen Climate's $60 million federal election programs in 2016, including the largest independent millennial turnout program in campaign history.

President at Green Advocacy Project and works at National Campaign Manager at NextGen America.

Son of Bill Kieschnick

Bill Kieschnick, passed away, and I was grateful to be holding his hand as he relaxed and moved on. Born in Dallas in 1923, my dad was committed to a racially just Dallas at a time that was a dangerous idea, to respect among people of all faiths, to learning new dances, to camping and backpacking, and supporting and honoring creativity in both the arts and science. He took me to my first Aretha Franklin concert, introduced me to a Christianity that was anti-war and pro-justice, and set a great standard in hating to wear ties.


Green Advocacy Project leadership, November 2019.

Torie Osborn connection

Michael Kieschnick April 24, 2019 ·


Frannie and I were delighted to be part of recognizing a lifetime of joyous activism and progressive leadership from Torie Osborn at the Liberty Hill Foundation event last night. I met Torie when she ran the pathbreaking Redwood Records (Holly Near and others) four decades ago, and have seen her work wonders ever since. Plus, as a great bonus, we got to catch up with even longer time friend Sarah Pillsbury, who co-founded Liberty Hill. — with Torie Osborn and Frances Hall Kieschnick.

Hidalgo connection

Michael Kieschnick February 22, 2019 ·


Delighted to be with Lina Hidalgo, newly elected chief executive of Harris County (Houston - millions of people), Texas, who is shaking things up and changing priorities to meet the needs of everybody.

  1. ArenaAcademy in Des Moines

Beto supporter

Michael Kieschnick October 26, 2018 ·


A fond farewell to the Richardson pop up office led by the extraordinary Liam Clive. If you are on the fence about joining the early vote Beto campaign, just dive in. Great people, great candidate, and lots of excited voters. I spent five days talking to voters at the start of early voting, and as always, learned a lot. You will join a team led by a volunteer captain. Thanks to Matt Kennedy who drove all the way from the east coast and is the captain of the North Plano squad.

Alliance for Radical Change

The leading forum for radical thought at Stanford is the Alliance for Radical Change (ARCJ, founded in the spring of 1974 after the United Stanford Employees went on strike and united a group of people devoted to the idea of forming an activist organization. As one ARC member put it,"I looked around me and saw that out there in the 'big world' something was going wrong — things needed to be done — and nothing could change if I continued in the normal liberal 'patch up' type way." Three goals Since its inception, ARC] has been devoted to eradicating three principle "isms" — imperialism, sexism and racism. "We have a three pronged approach to these goals," said Larry Litvak, an active ARC member. "We want to educate people, involve ourselves in action and offer people alternative ways of living their lives." ARC itself is an alternative organization unlike other campus groups. "We're a supportive community for people who are dissatisfied with Stanford and want to integrate social activism into their everyday lives," explained Michael Kieschnick, another ARC member. [5]

Rally/mock funeral

February 20 1975, some 300 students attended a noon rally in White Plaza and then marched in a mock funeral procession protesting what they called "the death of undergraduate education" at Stanford. The demonstration was called to emphasize the impact on undergraduates of tenure cutbacks, innovative program and financial aid cuts and increased tuition, according to ASSU Sen. Debbi Silton.

Asst. Anthropology Prof. Michelle Rosaldo, a SWOPSI Policy Board member, said students should continue to voice their concerns for projects like SCIRE and SWOPSI because "someone wants to turn this place into a place more like a corporation than a school." Political Science Prof. Charles Drekmeier said the University faced "increased dependence on outside funding" which threatens its independence and, "most importantly," projects like SWOPSI and SCIRE. Ricardo Reyna, a junior representing a group called Students for Equity, noted his group supported the demonstration. Students for Equity, according to Reyna, is an "umbrella organization for all minorities" organized to oppose the Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid (C-UAFA) proposal to the Faculty Senate . "The University is trying to create a homogenized student population and destroy dissidents," Reyna charged.

Michael Kieschnick, one of the student organizers of the rally, concluded, saying, "We should be angry with people like Dean [of Undergraduate Studies James] Gibbs, President [Richard) Lyman and Provost [William F.j Miller, but we should remember that they were carefully trained for the roles they're playing."Kieschnick received the loudest applause of the day when he concluded his speech by calling on the students to "work to have Dean Gibbs fired." [6]

Open town meeting

Student speakers Michael Kieschnick, Brett Cook, Terry Bright, and Larry Litvak, address White Plaza crowd in an "open town meeting."

Contending that October 14 1975 Board of Trustees meeting was closed to "meaningful student participation." the Alliance for Radical Change (ARC) sponsored an open town meeting to discuss the role students have in shaping the character of the university. Approximately 150 people assembled on the grass in White Plaza to hear three student speakers address the implications of the Board's closed meeting on student power. Following the presentations, there was an open forum. ARC member Terry Bright questioned whether trustee interests are geared to student needs. She said. "The Board is composed almost entirely of corporate businessmen. There are 30 trustees who collectively hold some board of directorships in this nation's corporations." She admitted that some Board members are sympathetic to student needs but they "clearly are not in the majority." She asked, "How long are we going to let them control this power?"

Brett Cook, the only non-ARC member who formally addressed the gathering, outlined areas in which students might concentrate in the future. She included University land use policy, saying "Students should be involved in such planning as whether or not the Stanford Shopping (.center will receive funds from the endowment." She predicted another "round of campaigning" if Provost William Miller decides to terminate the SWOPS I and SCIRE programs which were dealt severe economic cut-backs last year. Michael Kieschnick, an ARC' member, told the group that "radicals of the past made the mistake of centering all their discontent on the Board of Trustees." Urging the group to take a broader look at where power if concentrated, he opined that the trustees indirectly control power through the faculty and the administration. 'A deal' "The faculty and trustees have a deal," claimed Kieschnick. "The faculty understands that the trustees give the University funds to pay them and, in turn, they give the trustees what they need." The trustees benefit from the faculty's technological research and professional skills, he said.

Anti Shah protest

May 13 1975, about 350 demonstrators sat in the lobby of the Old Union for over an hour, protesting a University research contract with Iran and changes in financial aid programs for minority students. About 150 of the protestors, including many Iranians, chanted and marched in a picket line outside the building. They later joined the others in the lobby. Inside the building, the relaxed crowd sang protest songs, listened to speeches, and cheered at the arrival of a "lemonade brigade."

Earlier, at least 600 persons, mostly students, marched across White Plaza and rallied outside the Center for Research and Development in Teaching (SCRDT), in which the Board of Trustees was holding its monthly meeting. Co-Sponsors The protest was co-sponsored by three groups: the Alliance for Radical Change (ARC), the Iranian Students Association (ISA) and the Revolutionary Student Brigade (RSB). Other campus groups, including Students for Equity, endorsed the rally. Through University officials ARC issued a statement asking the trustees to terminate a three-year, $1 million contract to develop a satellite system for National Iranian Radio Television, and to restore "cuts made in minority student financial aid."

The demands were presented to the trustees' Committee on Academic Affairs by President Richard Lyman. The trustees asked Lyman some questions about the issues but took no action, said Robert Rosenzweig, vice president for public affairs. Rosenzweig said the trustees probably did not discuss student demands or the protest at their afternoon meeting "because it wasn't on their agenda." No Response The trustees' failure to respond to the demands influenced the decision to march on the Old Union, an ARC source said. A "Tactical Committee" apparently planned and directed the demonstration. "The Committee is made up of three people from ARC and two people from each of the other [co-sponsoring) groups," the ARC source said. Seth Foldy, an undergraduate who functioned as the Tactical Committee's press secretary, said its official policy was "to avoid confrontation with police and to avoid arrests." Various factors, including the size and composition of the crowd, influenced the Tactical Committee's decisions about which of several contingency plans to use, the ARC source said.

ASSU Sen. Maria Echaveste of Students for Equity said, "The organizers of the rally put the financial aids issue on the bottom. The Iran contract was the main issue." However, another speaker, Michael Kieschnick of ARC, said the issues are related because both show the University's interest in "education for profits, not for people." At 1 p.m. the crowd formed a column and marched in the direction of the SCRDT building. They were met by 120 Iranian students from Southern California and San Jose, in the middle of a march from Los Angeles to San Francisco to protest the Shah's upcoming visit to the U.S. Members of the ASSU Council of Presidents escorted some trustees to the building. "The Council of Presidents took no part in planning the demonstration," Foldy said. Once all the trustees had entered the building, the marchers convened on a nearby lawn, where speakers read prepared statements and compard the Stanford protest to others around the nation.

Growth Pains

Growth Pains: Dialogues on Employment, Equality and Environment, was convened at the University of California, Berkley, Feb. 16-19, 1984. It was sponsored by Democratic Socialists of America and Socialist Review. Michael Kieschnick, Vice President Dimensional Credit, former economic adviser to Gov. Jerry Brown spoke on the "What kind of economic policy" panel.

"The visionary, tactical, and strategic issues involved in the development of a progressive industrial policy for the US"[7][8]

Working Assets

Kieschnick serves as the President and CEO of Working Assets Funding Service, a long distance, credit card, Internet and broadcasting company that donates a portion of its revenues to progressive nonprofit groups. He has played a key role in all aspects of the company's products, and he leads the company's political efforts by selecting the Citizen Actions that are featured in the monthly phone bill.[2]

Economic Advisor to Governor Jerry Brown

Kieschnick served as economic advisor to former Governor Jerry Brown.[2]

United for Peace and Justice Affiliation

In July 2007 Michael Kieschnick representing Working Assets was affiliated to United for Peace and Justice.[9]

Ella Baker Center supporter

In 2009 Michael Kieschnick and Frannie Kieschnick were financial supporters of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights in Oakland, California.[10]

The Organizers' Forum

As at Jan 28, 2010 Michael Kieschnick was on the Board of Directors of The Organizers' Forum, a group with the mission of strengthening grassroots organizations by increasing capacity and stability of their democratic structures, to link organizing networks, and to improve on the skills and strategies employed by both community and labor organizers.[11]

Social Policy

As at Jan. 29, 2010 the Social Policy Organizers' Forum Board included:[12]

Deepak Bhargava, John Calkins, Tho Thi Do, Mary Gonzales, Ken Johnson, Michael Kieschnick, Drummond Pike, Mark Splain, Andy Stern, Pat Sweeney, Mary Rowles, John Hoyt, Gustavo Torres.

New Politics Institute

Kieschnick is an alumni member of the New Politics Institute.[3]

Ballot Initiative Strategy Center

Michael Kieschnick is a board member of the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center Foundation.

Democracy Alliance

In 2013, wireless provider with ties to the secret dark money group the Democracy Alliance is pushing back against the Obama administration’s surveillance of customers. CREDO Mobile cofounder Michael Kieschnick said on Thursday he was “deeply disturbed” by the administration’s invasion of individual’s civil liberties.

“As the CEO of a mobile phone company, I’m deeply disturbed by the Obama administration’s growing record of executive power grabs at the expense of constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties,” Kieschnick said in a statement to CNN Money.

Kieschnick is a member of the invite-only progressive Democracy Alliance. The exclusive group since 2005 has funneled more than $500 million into liberal organizations such as the pro-Obama Super PAC Priorities USA Action and the Center for American Progress, the influential liberal think tank.

Kieschnick has contributed millions to pro-Obama special interest groups through CREDO Mobile’s liberal activism network, CREDO Action, including the League of Conservation Voters and Planned Parenthood.

CREDO has contributed $73 million to progressive causes since its inception in 1985. The nonprofit is funded through Working Assets Funding Service, which generates revenue from a 1 percent donation from all CREDO Mobile service charges.[13]

"Bernie generation" takeover


Democratic Socialists of America - Knoxville shared a post. June 21, 2016:

Becky Bond June 20, 2016

the secret's out. a bunch of bernie's best organizers are working to orchestrate a campaign that if successful will represent a sea change in how college students turn out in elections (and i hope will hasten the take over of democratic politics by the super diverse, super progressive "Bernie generation.")

Big thanks to Michael Kieschnick, Heather Hargreaves, Ben Wessel, Zack Malitz, Lynn Hua, Hannah Fertig, Maximilian Cotterill, Samson Ghazey, Cole Edwards, Sam Briggs for making this possible.

Kieschnick support


Michael Kieschnick August 12 2019.

I am excited that Cristina Tzintzun Ramirez has joined the race to win the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate to take on and defeat the odious John Cornyn. Both campaigns will be arduous. The rising new electorate of Texas will be excited by Cristina. As an aging but proud Texan, it is time for a change.