Free Speech For People, a national non-profit non-partisan organization, is a catalyzing leader in the country challenging big money in politics, confronting corruption in government, fighting for free and fair elections, and advancing a new jurisprudence grounded in the promises of political equality and democratic self-government.  Through our cutting-edge legal advocacy, public education, and organizing work, we are at the forefront of a movement across the country to defend our Constitution and to reclaim our democracy.

Since our founding in January 2010, on the day of the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC, we have launched innovative and groundbreaking legal actions to ensure people can participate equally and meaningfully in our democracy; advocated for model legislation to defend our core democratic principles and our Constitution; advanced new laws to end the big money dominance in our elections and promote political equality for all; worked with lawmakers at the federal, state, and local level to provide key legal expertise and analysis on matters related to our democracy; challenged corruption at the highest levels of our government; and engaged in public education and organizing in communities across the country to reclaim our democracy for we, the people.

Through all of this work, Free Speech For People is a leading force in the country for defending our Constitution and fulfilling the promise of political equality for all and the vision of self-government: of, by, and for the people.

Our Mission

Free Speech For People works to renew our democracy and our United States Constitution for we the people. Founded on the day of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling, Free Speech For People envisions a democratic process in which all people have an equal voice and an equal vote. We advance this mission with the following innovative, effective, and complementary strategies:

  • We catalyze and help lead the movement to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn the Supreme Court’s rulings in Citizens United v. FEC and Buckley v. Valeo, and the doctrines underlying those rulings;
  • We engage in legal advocacy in the courts to advance a new jurisprudence on money in politics and to confront the misuse of the U.S. Constitution to claim corporate exemptions from our laws;
  • We develop and advocate for model laws and other tools to challenge big money in politics and to make corporations responsible to the public;
  • We challenge corruption at the highest levels of our government and lead bold campaigns for accountability under the law;
  • We fight for free and fair elections, for reliable and secure voting systems, and for the bedrock principle that, in a democracy, all voters must have their votes properly counted.

Board of Directors

BEN BINSWANGER

DIRECTOR

View Bio

Ben Binswanger is a member of the Free Speech For People Board of Directors. He has held senior leadership positions in the government, business, and nonprofit sectors. Mr. Binswanger began his career as a political consultant for numerous Democratic candidates, and worked for more than five years as Senator Edward Kennedy’s senior political advisor in Washington.

After serving as the senior communications officer at Telespectrum Worldwide, a publicly traded direct marketing company, Mr. Binswanger joined America Online, Inc. (AOL) in 1999 as vice president for corporate communications. At AOL, he managed a variety of communications projects for Steve Case and other executives, launched the company’s first employee intranet, and then managed AOL and Time Warner’s employee giving and volunteer programs after the merger of the two companies.

In 2003, Mr. Binswanger became the Chief Operating Officer of the Case Foundation, a private family foundation focused on supporting social innovators and investing in the integration of civic engagement and social media.  He later joined the Skoll Foundation as Vice President for Program and Impact, managing a team dedicated to advancing the work of later stage social entrepreneurs from around the globe.

Mr. Binswanger has also served on the boards of Demos, the National Voting Rights Institute, Philanthropy for Active Civic Engagement and Network for Good.

JOHN BONIFAZ

CO-FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT

View Bio

John Bonifaz is a constitutional attorney and the Co-Founder and President of Free Speech For People.  Mr. Bonifaz previously served as the executive director and general counsel of the National Voting Rights Institute, an organization he founded in 1994, and as the legal director of Voter Action, a national election integrity organization. He has been at the forefront of key voting rights and democracy campaigns in the United States for more than three decades.

Mr. Bonifaz’s work has included: pioneering a series of court challenges, applying political equality principles, that have helped to redefine the campaign finance question as a basic voting rights issue of our time; helping to lead key election protection cases across the country; and helping to lead historic legal challenges, under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, to insurrectionists seeking to run for re-election.  He is the co-author with former American University Law Professor and now-Congressman Jamie Raskin of two seminal law review articles (Yale Law & Policy Review-1993 and Columbia Law Review-1994) and of The Wealth Primary: Campaign Fundraising and the Constitution (1994), which all argue that the current campaign finance system violates the Equal Protection rights of non-wealthy candidates and voters. Mr. Bonifaz is the co-author with Ron Fein and Ben Clements of The Constitution Demands It: The Case For The Impeachment of Donald Trump, published by Melville House in 2018, with a foreword by John Nichols.

Mr. Bonifaz is also the author of Warrior-King, published by Nation Books in 2004, with a foreword by the late Congressman John Conyers, Jr., which chronicles the 2003 case, in which he served as lead counsel, challenging the US military invasion of Iraq as illegal under the War Powers Clause of the US Constitution.  Mr. Bonifaz has also served as co-counsel in international human rights and environmental litigation, including litigation to hold the Chevron-Texaco oil company accountable for its widespread destruction of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Mr. Bonifaz is a 1992 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1999 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

BEN CLEMENTS

CHAIRMAN; CHAIR OF THE BOARD’S LEGAL COMMITTEE; AND SENIOR LEGAL ADVISOR

View Bio

Ben Clements serves as Chairman of Free Speech For People; Chair of the Board’s Legal Committee; and Free Speech For People’s Senior Legal Advisor.  Mr. Clements is an attorney, author, and advocate for political and governmental reform and the founder of the Boston firm Clements Law.  Mr. Clements has been an attorney in the private and public sectors for more than thirty years and his expertise includes constitutional law, criminal law, civil rights law, business law, campaign finance, elections law, and government ethics.  His clients have included victims of discrimination, victims of fraudulent business and financial practices, business executives and professionals, senior government officials, Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and the state and federal governments.

Before founding Clements Law, Mr. Clements practiced at a large Boston law firm, co-founded two boutique litigation firms, served as a federal prosecutor, and served as the first Chief Legal Counsel to Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick.

Mr. Clements is a member of the board and a legal advisor to the anti-gun violence organization, Stop Handgun Violence, and a member of the advisory committee to the Boston Lawyers Chapter of the American Constitution Society.  He has also worked closely and collaborated with a variety of other legal and advocacy organizations, including Common Cause of Massachusetts and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts.  Mr. Clements previously served as the Chair of the Massachusetts Governor’s Task Force on Public Integrity, a bi-partisan committee that led to landmark legislation overhauling the state ethics, lobbying, and campaign finance laws.

Mr. Clements graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College and summa cum laude from the Cornell Law School.  Following law school, he served as a law clerk for the Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.

CARLOS DUARTE

DIRECTOR

View Bio

Carlos Duarte is a member of the Free Speech For People Board of Directors.  Mr. Duarte is a leader who has furthered progressive social change over the past 25 years within the United States and Mexico.  He has strengthened the democratic process by mobilizing youth, fighting against electoral fraud, founding coalitions, organizing workers to form labor unions, leading multiple grassroots campaigns across the nation and fundraising multi-millions for his organization.  Mr. Duarte is currently the Chief Development Officer of Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, a leading national civic engagement non-partisan organization that unites Latino, immigrant, and allied communities to promote social and economic justice.

As a member of several local, state and national coalitions, he has actively organized to overcome efforts that hinder our democracy.  Mr. Duarte has served in Complete Count Census Committees in 2010 and 2020, helped form important pro-democracy, immigrant and environmental organizations, and currently serves on numerous boards, advisory councils, and coalitions including Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston, Vote Riders and the Houston 2036 Taskforce on Equity.

Mr. Duarte holds a Master’s degree in Social and Industrial Psychology, a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Social and Cultural Anthropology.  He is a proud Mexican immigrant and currently resides in Houston with his wife and is the proud father of four children.  Mr. Duarte enjoys canoeing, running and serving his community to ensure that their voice is heard.

VENU GUPTA

DIRECTOR

View Bio
Venu Gupta is a member of the Free Speech For People Board of Directors. Ms. Gupta is a leader with 15+ years of experience building strong teams, turning around fundraising to achieve multi-million dollar wins, and implementing strategy for focused, forward-thinking nonprofits. Ms. Gupta is currently the CEO of Venu Gupta & Associates, an equity forward organizational and revenue design consultancy. Prior to this, Ms. Gupta was Director of Development for the Midwest at Mother Jones and Vice President of Development at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, where she led a team that increased revenue 70% over 4 years. She came to fundraising from a career building diverse, equitable, and inclusive environments for racially and ethnically diverse lawyers. Ms. Gupta was the Executive Director of the Chicago Committee on Minorities in Large Law Firms for seven years, and before this, the Director of Diversity Education & Outreach at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.  She practiced briefly at Sachnoff & Weaver (Reed Smith LLP) after clerking for The Honorable David H. Coar of the Northern District of Illinois.
 
Ms. Gupta is a graduate of both Harvard Law School and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, and she is a certified mediator. She lives in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago and shares a home with her husband, two kids, and the best au pair in the world, and she lives two blocks away from her parents and father-in-law. Ms. Gupta hopes to support communities of color and live in radical love, communal healing, and collective power for as long as possible.

 

JOIA MUKHERJEE

DIRECTOR

View Bio

Dr. Joia Mukherjee is a member of the Free Speech For People Board of Directors. Dr. Mukherjee is a physician, clinical researcher, and educator trained in Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, and public health at the Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the Division of Global Health Equity and in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She founded and directs the Masters in Medical Science in Global Health Delivery at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Mukherjee mentors residents in the Global Health Equity program at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and fellows from Children’s Hospital and other Harvard teaching hospitals.  She teaches infectious disease, global health delivery, and human rights to health professionals and students from around the world. She is the author of Introduction to Global Health Delivery: Practice, Equity, Human Rights, a textbook published in 2017 by Oxford University Press. Dr. Mukherjee’s academic scholarship focuses on the treatment of HIV, TB, mental health and the strengthing of health systems in impoverished settings.  She is also a sought after teacher in human rights.

Since 2000, Dr. Mukherjee has served as the Chief Medical Officer of Partners In Health, an international medical charity with programs in the United States, Haiti, Rwanda, Lesotho, Malawi, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Peru, Mexico, Russia, Kazakhstan and the Navajo nation.  As Chief Medical Officer of PIH, Joia coordinates and supports PIH’s efforts to provide high quality, comprehensive health care to the poorest and most vulnerable. She advises various grassroots organizations throughout the world and has consulted for the World Health Organization and other international agencies on health systems strengthening, human resources for health, the treatment of HIV, and the treatment of drug resistant tuberculosis in impoverished settings. She has won numerous awards for her teaching and health delivery work, and holds four honorary degrees. Dr. Mukherjee is an activist, singer, and mother who believes the world can and must change.

DEBORAH HAYES STONE

TREASURER

View Bio

Deborah Hayes Stone serves as the Treasurer of Free Speech For People’s Board of Directors.  Ms. Hayes Stone is a clinical psychologist who received her BA from Brown University in Comparative Literature, and PsyD in Child-Clinical Psychology from Yeshiva University.  She has a private practice in the Boston metro-west area in which she sees adults and teens.

In addition to serving on Free Speech For People’s Board of Directors, Ms. Hayes Stone also serves on the Board of Trustees of Partners In Health, an international non-profit organization working in settings of poverty around the world to build health systems and provide a preferential option for the poor in health care.  As a Trustee of Partners In Health, Ms. Hayes Stone is engaged with the organization’s mental health work in Haiti, Rwanda, and across its other sites.  Further, Ms. Hayes Stone serves on the Board of Poetry in America, a new public television series and multi-platform digital initiative that brings poetry into classrooms and living rooms around the world.

(Board of Directors listed in alphabetical order by last name.)

Staff

JOHN BONIFAZ

CO-FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT

View Bio

John Bonifaz is a constitutional attorney and the Co-Founder and President of Free Speech For People.  Mr. Bonifaz previously served as the executive director and general counsel of the National Voting Rights Institute, an organization he founded in 1994, and as the legal director of Voter Action, a national election integrity organization. He has been at the forefront of key voting rights and democracy campaigns in the United States for more than three decades.

Mr. Bonifaz’s work has included: pioneering a series of court challenges, applying political equality principles, that have helped to redefine the campaign finance question as a basic voting rights issue of our time; helping to lead key election protection cases across the country; and helping to lead historic legal challenges, under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment, to insurrectionists seeking to run for re-election.  He is the co-author with former American University Law Professor and now-Congressman Jamie Raskin of two seminal law review articles (Yale Law & Policy Review-1993 and Columbia Law Review-1994) and of The Wealth Primary: Campaign Fundraising and the Constitution (1994), which all argue that the current campaign finance system violates the Equal Protection rights of non-wealthy candidates and voters. Mr. Bonifaz is the co-author with Ron Fein and Ben Clements of The Constitution Demands It: The Case For The Impeachment of Donald Trump, published by Melville House in 2018, with a foreword by John Nichols.

Mr. Bonifaz is also the author of Warrior-King, published by Nation Books in 2004, with a foreword by the late Congressman John Conyers, Jr., which chronicles the 2003 case, in which he served as lead counsel, challenging the US military invasion of Iraq as illegal under the War Powers Clause of the US Constitution.  Mr. Bonifaz has also served as co-counsel in international human rights and environmental litigation, including litigation to hold the Chevron-Texaco oil company accountable for its widespread destruction of the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Mr. Bonifaz is a 1992 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School and a 1999 recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.

OSKE BUCKLEY

DIRECTOR OF ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE

View Bio

Oske Buckley is the Director of Administration and Finance for Free Speech For People. Ms. Buckley has served as the Administrative Assistant for Voter Action. Prior to joining Voter Action, Ms. Buckley worked as the Development Associate and Administrative Associate for the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri, where she managed the organization’s donor database, engaged in event planning, coordinated and supervised volunteers, and carried out numerous administrative responsibilities. Ms. Buckley received her BA from Hendrix College in 2005, MPA from Evergreen State College in 2013, and holds a Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional (CNAP) certificate.

EDWARD ERIKSON

COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT

View Bio

Edward Erikson is a Communications Consultant for Free Speech For People. He is the Founder and President of Erikson Communications Group.  Mr. Erikson specializes in the integration of social, earned and paid media across all platforms in order to tell stories, engage people and advance issues. He has been featured in CNN, Politico, Huffington Post, TechPresident, Bill Moyers and other outlets. He has taught courses in Political Theory, American Political Thought, Media and Politics at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and was the recipient of the 2012/2013 Distinguished Teaching Award. He received his MA in Communication, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University.

RON FEIN

LEGAL DIRECTOR

View Bio

Ron Fein is the Legal Director for Free Speech For People. He litigates campaign finance, election protection, government accountability, and other constitutional democracy cases in courts across the United States.

Mr. Fein has appeared on MSNBC and CNN to discuss this work, and has published commentary or been quoted in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other national news publications. He regularly testifies before state and local governments around the country, and is an author of The Constitution Demands It: The Case for the Impeachment of Donald Trump (2018).

Previously, Mr. Fein served as Assistant Regional Counsel in the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s New England office, where he received the EPA’s National Gold Medal for Exceptional Service. He clerked for the Honorable Kermit Lipez of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and the Honorable Douglas Woodlock of the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Mr. Fein graduated Order of the Coif from Stanford Law School and summa cum laude from Harvard College.

Twitter: @ronfein

ALEXANDRA FLORES-QUILTY

CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR

View Bio

Alexandra Flores-Quilty is the Campaign Director for Free Speech For People. Ms. Flores-Quilty previously served as the Executive Director of By the People, a pro-democracy grassroots campaign that organized to impeach and remove Donald Trump from office. Ms. Flores-Quilty got her start in organizing as a student when she served as Chair of the Oregon Student Association (OSA) where she was a part of winning instate tuition for undocumented Oregonians and developing OSA’s electoral program that broke records around the country in voter registration and turnout. Later she served as the elected President of the US Student Association (USSA) where she worked with Senator Bernie Sanders’s office to introduce federal legislation for free higher education and organized the 2015 Million Student March. Ms. Flores-Quilty was a co-founder of #AllofUs, that built political power behind progressive candidates. Ms. Flores-Quilty is a Lead Trainer at the Momentum Training Institute where she has trained and supported social movements in the US and around the world.

SUSAN GREENHALGH

SENIOR ADVISOR ON ELECTION SECURITY

View Bio

Susan Greenhalgh is the Senior Advisor on Election Security for Free Speech For People. Ms. Greenhalgh has previously served as vice president of programs at Verified Voting and at the National Election Defense Coalition, advocating for secure election protocols, paper ballot voting systems and post-election audits. Recognized as an expert on election security, she has been invited to testify before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and has been an invited speaker at meetings of the MITRE Corporation, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the Mid-West Election Officials Conference, the International Association of Government Officials, the Election Verification Network and the E-Vote-ID conference in Bregenz, Austria. She is a frequent source for reporters from TheNew York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Politico, USAToday, Associated Press, National Public Radio and other leading news outlets. She has appeared on CNN and MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, and various other television news shows. She has a BA in Chemistry from the University of Vermont.

ROSEMARY HAMINGTON

ADMINISTRATIVE AND DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANT

View Bio

Rosemary Hamington is the Administrative and Development Assistant for Free Speech For People.  Ms. Hamington has a Masters in Music from the University of Illinois and a B.M. from Western Washington University.  After hurricane Harvey hit in Houston, she decided to focus more on helping her community.  This is why she started volunteering at the Houston Food Bank as a Data Entry Assistant for their donor services department.  She also served an AmeriCorps term of 1,700 hours as Volunteer Engagement Specialist with Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity in the Seattle area.  Some highlights of this role were conducting volunteer orientations, and planning volunteer appreciation events, week-long volunteering trips for college students nationwide, and a film series with discussions about affordable housing.  Her other administrative experience includes working for H&R Block as a Client Service Professional.

COURTNEY HOSTETLER

SENIOR COUNSEL

View Bio

Courtney Hostetler is the Senior Counsel for Free Speech For People. Previously, Ms. Hostetler served as staff attorney for South Coastal Counties Legal Services, where she helped low-income clients recover damages for wage theft and employment discrimination, and obtained special education services for traumatized children. Ms. Hostetler also worked at Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein LLC and ACLU Massachusetts, where she focused on eliminating discriminatory discipline practices in public schools. Prior to attending law school, Ms. Hostetler managed the Close Up Foundation’s national youth voting program and worked as a research analyst for the Genocide Intervention Network. Ms. Hostetler clerked for the Honorable James L. Dennis of the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Ms. Hostetler graduated with a J.D. from Yale Law School, an M.Phil from Oxford University, and a B.A. from Colgate University.

Christopher Vines

CAMPAIGN ASSOCIATE

View Bio

Christopher Vines is the Campaign Associate for Free Speech For People. Mr. Vines has previously served as a Campaign Manager & Strategist for various political and non-profit campaigns across the country, and served as the National Field Director for the SisterDistrict Project: a national grassroots organization supporting progressive state legislative races with the goal of flipping state legislatures. With over a decade of experience in organizing and being a part of over 50 successful electoral & non-profit campaigns Mr. Vines has been instrumental in building progressive bases in several states and is passionate about mobilizing people and getting them the tools needed to bring about progressive political change. Mr. Vines has also been invited to and guest lectures at Columbia University and SUNY Hunter College on topic: Political Advocacy Strategies.

(Staff listed in alphabetical order by last name.)
If you would like to join the Free Speech For People team and work to advance our mission to ensure all people have an equal voice and an equal vote in our democracy, check out our employment opportunities.

 

Resources

Key Press Coverage

To read press coverage of Free Speech For People’s current initiatives, visit our blog!

Photo: Jordan Krueger, Flickr