Skip to content


Courage California, California’s largest progressive organization, welcomes new board members Shay Franco Clausen, Angie Jean-Marie, Michael Lighty, and Lauren Windsor, who will join Aimee Allison, Gillian Morshedi, Pablo Rodriguez, and Sal Rosselli as members of the Courage California Board of Directors. Additionally, Michael Lighty will join as a board member of the 501(c)(3), Courage California Institute.

Since Courage California’s rebrand in 2020, the organization hired Irene Kao as the Executive Director, launched new and reimagined access and accountability tools for California voters, and now further solidifies its commitment to the state and to organizing for change by expanding its board of directors to include these new and dedicated members.

“I am excited to welcome Shay, Angie, Michael, and Lauren to Courage’s boards, at a time when we are battling for the soul of our state and nation, between the January 6 insurrection and the upcoming recall election of the governor,” said Irene Kao, Executive Director of Courage California. “Californians survived an unprecedented year of unrest and life in a pandemic, and strengthening our board with these four political and community leaders positions Courage California well to continue to build towards our vision of equity and justice for all communities.”

Courage California New Board Members:

Shay Franco Clausen: Shay is a political powerhouse who has worked on several statewide campaigns and legislative fights, and currently serves in senior leadership at IGNITE National and as a director on the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. Shay is based in the Bay Area.

Angie Jean-Marie: Angie is an astute strategist with a long track record of leading initiatives based on strong coalitions. She recently established herself as an independent consultant, after directing organizations such as Time’s Up and Civic Nation. Angie is based in Los Angeles.

Michael Lighty: Michael is a keen political strategist who knows California politics well from advocating for single payer healthcare for decades. He’s led campaigns at all levels on several issues, and he is currently the President of the Healthy California Now coalition. Michael is based in Oakland.

Lauren Windsor: Lauren is a political force, as an activist who holds elected officials accountable and exposes Republican operatives. She is the executive director of American Family Voices, a partner in Democracy Partners and Mike Luxe Media, and executive producer of The Undercurrent. Lauren is based in Washington, DC and LA.

The new board members will join Courage California, and Courage California Institute, immediately — in time for Courage’s “Power of Courage” fundraiser on July 29, which will raise funds to help build a state that is more equitable, just, and representative of the people it serves and fight against the recent surge in white supremacy, recall efforts, and disinformation.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Shay, Angie, Michael, and Lauren to Courage’s board,” said Gillian Morshedi, Interim Chair of Courage California’s Board of Directors. “The depth and variety of their expertise and experiences and their commitment to our mission will no doubt strengthen Courage’s ability to work against corruption throughout the state and lead the nation toward a more equitable and representative democracy.”

“Under Irene’s leadership, Courage California is fighting for the interests and values of our nearly 1.5 million members,” said Lindsay Gardner, Chair of Courage California Institute’s Board of Directors. “I’m grateful that our illustrious new board members are bringing their energies, relationships and counsel to this fight.”

Courage California, formerly Courage Campaign, works to unite communities organizing for progressive change, fight the forces of corruption, and hold our representatives to account in order to ensure that California’s elected officials act with courage. Our community of members envision California as a model of progressive, equitable, and truly representative democracy that sets the standard for our country.


Angela Chavez