The Texas Research Institute (TRI) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research shop.
We work with non-profit groups by providing research and strategic communications for issues such as:
Marijuana policy reform
Federal court vacancies
Accountability in government
As the face of Texas changes, so do our public policy priorities. Our goal is to provide the kind of public relations that help increase civic engagement in our state.
500 San Marcos St.
Edward Espinoza, Executive Director
Ed brings state and national credentials to the team with more than 20 years of experience on state and national campaigns. He has written for Politico and is a frequent guest political analyst for CNN and other broadcast outlets. Ed's professional background also includes work for public relations firms Golin/Harris and Fleishman-Hillard, providing communications and media support to Fortune 500 brands including Nintendo of America and Sony Computer Entertainment of America.
Originally from Long Beach, he went to school at UCLA and the London School of Economics. He runs, travels, and collects cocktail books. He also loves football (both kinds). Little known fact: as a kid, he appeared in an episode of Doogie Howser, M.D.
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Sarah Gutierrez, Manager of Finance and Operations
As Manager of Finance and Operations, Sarah Gutierrez works to make sure the trains run on time. She comes from the political operations and campaign finance world, beginning as a finance assistant for the House Democratic Campaign committee in 2005, then to the Texas Democratic Party for 6 years as Comptroller. Sarah has also expertise in campaign finance reporting and operations for Texas political committees and candidates.
Sarah grew up in Colleyville, Texas and graduated from Texas Christian University. Outside of work Sarah is a Pilates enthusiast and loves reality TV cooking shows. She and her husband Anthony live in south Austin.
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Phillip Martin, Deputy Director
Issue Areas: Health Care, Voter Rights, Marijuana Policy, Federal Courts
Phillip brings a long record of research and policy expertise to the team. His professional experience includes serving as Chief of Staff for State Representative Garnet Coleman and work with the Texas campaigns. Prior to joining our team, he served as Policy Director for the Legislative Study Group – where he helped lead a team of analysts in evaluating every bill that came to the floor of the Texas House and completing projects like Texas on the Brink – a biennial report detailing quality statistics on how state policy is affecting the lives of Texans.
Born and raised in Austin, he is a graduate of UT-Austin and holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. A former senior writer for the popular Texas political blog, Burnt Orange Report, he enjoys the Longhorns, the NBA (#RedNation) and live music. He and his wife, Kaiba, were married at Barton Spring Pool in 2011.
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Lucy Stein, Advocacy Director
Issue Areas: Abortion, Income Inequality, LGBT Rights, Government Accountability
Lucy brings a unique combination of policy and communications experience to our team. She received her undergraduate and law degree from UT- Austin. Before joining Progress Texas, she worked on the investigative research team with DC-based government watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. She has also served as a legal fellow for the US Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee for multiple high-profile congressional investigations, and, during the 2012 cycle, as press secretary for a nationally targeted congressional campaign. While in law school, she engaged on a range of state policy issues with Texas Watch, ACLU of Texas, and the office of Texas State Senator Judith Zaffirini.
Originally from Dallas, Lucy has long considered Austin home. When she’s not hard at work, she enjoys playing with her dog, listening to live music, and attempting to master silly yoga poses.
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Mark Corcoran, Digital Director
Mark is the geek of the team and has been with Progress Texas since it’s launch in 2011. As one of the most experienced digital and online creative experts in Texas politics, Mark does a little bit of everything from graphic design and website coding to video editing and social media strategy.
Before joining Progress Texas, Mark was the New Media Manager for the Texas Democratic Party. During the 2008 cycle he worked as an assistant political media buyer at GMMB in Washington, DC. He has also worked internationally in South Asia and Europe for various non-profits.
Mark was born and raised in Richmond, VA but moved to Texas with his wife (a native Texan!) in 2008. When not obsessing about politics and geeky technology, Mark enjoys torturing himself as a die-hard sports fan of DC teams.
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Marissa Jones, Digital Creative Associate
Marissa is the video enthusiast of the group and is the newest member to Progress Texas. A fresh graduate from college, Marissa has been lucky to work with non-profits such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Austin Film Society. She’s worked to be a jack-of-all trades in media with experience in newspaper, video, and web design. Armed with her degree in Multimedia, Marissa takes on projects ranging from motion graphics to infographics, videography to typography.
Marissa recently moved to Austin from her hometown of Abilene, TX. You can go ahead and blame her for Austin's increase in traffic and housing prices, but she loves this city. There are few things in life that make her happier than chowing down on good food, trying to keep her succulents alive, or being overly competitive when playing a board game.