National organization envisions a prosperous and inclusive America powered by thriving democracies within each state.
Senator Spencer Coggs was elected by unanimous vote to the position of National Treasurer of the Progressive States Network (PSN) at their July 9th board meeting in Washington D.C. Founded in 2005, PSN is a national, nonpartisan, non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country. They are instrumental in advancing state policies that deliver on issues that matter to working families: strong wage standards and workplace freedom; balancing work and family responsibilities; health care for uninsured and under-insured people; smart growth and clean energy; tax and budget reform; technology investments to bridge the digital divide; and clean and fair elections.
“I am both honored and humbled to be elected by my fellow board members and to have them entrust me with the position of PSN Treasurer,” said the veteran legislator. Sen. Coggs has been a board member of PSN since 2005, and proudly stands with PSN as they seek to ensure America’s promise to politically become a just and equitable democracy. To this end, in the fight for fair elections, in 2011, Sen. Coggs stood firmly against a massive voter suppression bill by introducing five thoughtful amendments. Sen. Coggs noted that, “My amendments would have (1) increased residents’ access to the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to obtain state-issued ID cards, (2) returned to a 10- day residency requirement rather than the proposed 28 days, (3) allowed student IDs to be more flexible in voting, (4) required maps to be posted in Milwaukee polling places to clearly show voters their proper polling locations in order for them to vote, and (5) added $200,000 to assist the public education campaign.” Over Sen. Coggs’ objections, the voter suppression bill was passed but was later found to be unconstitutional when challenged in court.
Sen. Coggs is a member and former Chief Steward of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Local 1091. Having served in the State Legislature for 29 years, he was first elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly in 1983 and served there until winning a special election for the State Senate in 2003. Sen. Coggs then won a full term in 2004 and reelection in 2008, when he ran unopposed. On April 3, 2012, Senator Coggs made history by becoming the first African American to win a city-wide election for the position of Milwaukee City Treasurer. It is Sen. Coggs’ wealth of legislative and fiscal experience that has brought him to the treasurer’s post at PSN. He served on the State Legislature’s powerful Joint Finance Committee for nine years, and previously served as the elected treasurer for the National Labor Council, National Black Caucus of State Legislatures and the African American Male National Council. In a relentless effort to make society more inclusive, Sen. Coggs served as the former co-chair of the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) Advisory Committee to the Marquette Interchange Project and I-94 reconstruction. Rebuilding the Marquette Interchange in downtown Milwaukee became the largest public works project in state history. Under Senator Coggs’ leadership, the project generated over $100 million in business for minority contractors.
Sen. Coggs says that he is ready for both the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for PSN. “When I was elected Treasurer of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, the organization had a $1.5 million deficit. I established policies and practices that erased that deficit in the first year. I am currently in my first few months as Milwaukee’s City Treasurer. I will continue to employ sound management practices and cost effective innovations for both the city of Milwaukee and as Progressive States Network’s National Treasurer,” Coggs concluded.