We're excited to announce Lauren Coffee (she/her) and Matt Simpson (he/him) as the new co-directors of policy and advocacy for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas. Drawing on their extensive experience in electoral politics, community engagement, and legislative advocacy, Coffee and Simpson will lead the organization’s work in communities and at the State Capitol to advance civil rights and liberties in Texas.
“This role requires a vision for our policy future in Texas, leadership to engage diverse communities in our shared goals toward that vision, and management to direct staff and resources in this collective pursuit,” said Oni Blair, executive director of the ACLU of Texas. “Lauren Coffee and Matt Simpson are the right people for this role.”
Coffee spent more than a decade working in progressive politics before joining the ACLU of Texas as the senior political manager in 2020. She served in state leadership roles for multiple Democratic presidential campaigns and was the Texas state director for Organizing for Action. She has managed political campaigns in Texas and California, and was the campaign manager for Gina Ortiz Jones’ 2018 congressional race in South Texas. Coffee holds a bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University.
Simpson joined the ACLU of Texas in 2008 and most recently served as the senior government affairs manager. Across eight legislative sessions, he has advocated to stop the passage of Arizona-style anti-immigrant legislation, helped outlaw the dangerous and unnecessary practice of shackling incarcerated women during delivery and childbirth, worked against the school-to-prison pipeline, helped block the bathroom bill, and taken on some of the most onerous anti-abortion laws in the country. Simpson holds a law degree from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, and a bachelor's degree in political science from Baylor University in Waco, Texas.