New editions of the State Legislative Tracker and The Policy Tracker available now!

Tracy Westen

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tracy Westen was the Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Governmental Studies. In the 15 years from 1984-1999, Westen and CGS directly wrote or "helped to shape dozens of state and local ballot measures, laws, and ordinances seeking to bring about campaign-finance reform."[1] He is a part-time teacher at USC's Annenberg School and at the UCLA School of Law, and has co-authored 10 books on campaign finance, ballot initiatives, and judicial and media reform.

Westen was an official of the Federal Trade Commission during the Carter administration who has been described as an "agent provocateur, Web-based political organizer, former Federal Trade Commission official, and part-time professor at USC."[1]

Westen managed the campus radio station at Pomona College and was a "law student and activist" at Berkeley in the 1960s. In the 1970s, he formed Public Communication Inc., which billed itself as the nation's first public-interest law firm and advertising agency. Public Communications Inc created the 1972 Chevrolet engine-mount-recall spot featuring Burt Lancaster.[1]

Westen founded the California Channel in 1989. It provides C-SPAN-like coverage of California's state government.[1]

He says that his goal is " shape the architecture of democracy."[1]

Westen founded the Democracy Network in 1996 as a joint venture between the Center for Governmental Studies and the League of Women Voters.

Aspen Institute

Westen was appointed to join the Aspen Institute Communications and Society Program as a senior fellow on February 1, 2001.[2]


Westen founded, described as a "premier Internet political action destination."[3] later became "Grassroots Enterprise," and was acquired in November 2009 by Edelman, a for-profit public relations agency that represents major corporations such as Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Kraft, Microsoft and Royal Dutch Shell.[4]