Formed in 2016, Guns Down America (GDA) is building a future with fewer guns by straining the gun industry and its lobby and building political and cultural support for policies that will keep us safe from gun violence. GDA is a community powered organization that brings together Americans from across the country to solve our national gun crisis in strategic and creative ways.
GDA runs two primary programs to build a future with fewer guns.
Our advocacy and campaigns program develops corporate-focused campaigns, including the successful efforts that pushed Walmart to walk away from gun sales, convinced two large insurers to stop underwriting a discriminatory insurance product offered by the NRA, and is driving major banks, Hollywood studios, retailers, and restaurants to lean into gun reform.
Our rapid response program builds powerful coalitions that drive a “fewer guns, safer communities” message in the media at critical junctures.
Guns Down America is uniquely positioned to quickly stand-up advocacy campaigns that are responsive to the moment and build the necessary coalitions, both within the gun violence prevention movement, and outside of it, to achieve success.
Founded by Igor Volsky in 2016, who spent 10 years working at the Center for American Progress building coalitions for rapid response campaigns across a range of issues, GDA has a history of quickly and strategically driving smart rapid response efforts that have a clear and compelling message.
WHY GUNS DOWN AMERICA IS UNIQUE
Federal legislative change takes a long time, but a hundred Americans are dying from gun violence every single day. That’s why Guns Down America is activating influential voices outside of the legislative arena to help build safer communities with fewer guns. Borrowing a page from the successful marriage equality movement, GDA is engaging corporations to weaken the gun industry and its lobby, create cultural change around the gun issue, and build surprising political coalitions that can actually pave the way for the bold legislative reforms we need to truly save lives.
Following this theory, Guns Down America has led large coalitions to execute successful campaigns that have forced FedEx to stop providing discounts to NRA members, drove two large insurers (Chubb and Lockton Affinity) to break their business relationship with the NRA’s Carry Guard insurance and helped push the NRA toward bankruptcy, pushed the nation’s largest banks to publicly back away from doing business with the gun industry, and convinced Walmart to significantly reduce their gun sales and begin actively lobbying for gun reform.
Meet the Team
Igor Volsky, Co-Founder and Executive Director
Igor Volsky is co-founder and the Executive Director of Guns Down America and author of “Guns Down: How To Defeat The NRA And Build A Safer Future With Fewer Guns.” Igor has appeared on MSNBC, CNN, Fox Business, Fox News, and CNBC television, and he has been a guest on many radio shows. In 2011, Forbes named Igor one of their top “30 under 30” in Law & Policy. Igor previously served as the Deputy Director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund and as Vice President at the Center for American Progress.
Zak Kozberg, Chief of Staff
Zak Kozberg is the Chief of Staff at Guns Down America. Ohio born and bred, Zak has worked on several campaigns for progressive candidates and causes, including Senator Sherrod Brown’s 2012 re-election campaign. He has also served as Scheduling Director to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and Captain Mark Kelly and as Deputy Director at the Pittsburgh Film Office, working to attract major film and television production to Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Silvina Alarcón, Advocacy and Campaigns Director
Silvina Alarcón is the Advocacy and Campaigns Director at Guns Down America. Originally from La Paz, Bolivia Silvina moved to the DC area in early 2000. She began her career as a community organizer for immigration reform during the DREAM Act 2010. For the past 7 years she has worked building field strategies for political campaigns including Obama 2012 and Hillary 2016. She most recently worked on taking back the house as part of the National Field Team at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
Clayton Spinney, Creative Coordinator
Clayton Spinney is a Digital Associate at Guns Down America. He grew up in Maine, where he started his career producing videos that highlighted the local opioid epidemic and rehabilitation programs for the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office. From there, he transitioned into social media and email marketing and has spent the better part of the last decade creating engaging web content.
Ethan Somers, Youth Coordinator
Ethan Somers is the Youth Coordinator at Guns Down America. He grew up in Evergreen, Colorado and in 2017 began organizing students there in response to extremist group, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners. After arriving in DC, Ethan led the founding of March For Our Lives chapter system in the District and the communications strategy as Communications Director for both MFOL DC and 50 Miles More. In 2019, he was accepted into the Giffords Courage Fellowship program and helped Giffords in the development of Gun Owners for Safety Colorado.
Mail: 718 7th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20001