Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Welcome to our new National Council members!

Thanks to the AfD nominating committee, to some members who gladly stepped forward to serve at our November Tucson convention, and to the many members who confirmed the slate through a recent ballot vote, we now have several new people on the Alliance’s National Council. We welcome the following new council members, who'll be serving through our next convention in 2009.

Susan Willis, of Tucson, attended the Alliance’s founding convention in 1996, and has been a member of AfD since. She's active with the local Democracy Organizing Group, which grew out of a Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) study group on corporate control and focuses on abolishing corporate personhood. She's also been active in border/migration issues, peace and social justice, and homelessness, and has recently become interested in peak oil, permaculture, and sustainability issues. She helped organize convention logistics, and participated in the Democracy School held prior to the convention.

David Whitty is a local organizer and activist from Ashland, Massachusetts, who's been active in AfD since 2004. He worked with Northeast Regional Representative Ruth Weizenbaum on organizing subject area "tracks" for the 2004 Boston Social Forum, and has participated in actions with both the North Bridge (Concord, Mass.) and Boston/Cambridge Alliance chapters. He's also volunteered computer services at the national office. He and his wife, Cynthia, work through the Friends of the Ashland Public Library to host twice-monthly documentary film showings, followed by discussion, at which Alliance materials and newsletters are available.

Joel West, an engineer from Houston, has been a member of the Alliance since 1997. He was a member of the Houston chapter, and most recently has been an active member of the Texas Green Party. He is currently a candidate for the US House of Representative's 22nd Texas district on the Green Party ticket.

Kyle Taylor Lucas, of Tumwater, Washington, is a consultant and executive for tribal and state governments. She is a former executive director of the Governor's Office of Indian Affairs, and served for nearly five years as the tribal affairs manager for the Washington Department of Natural Resources. Last year, she campaigned for the Washington state senate, with broad support from environmental, women's, labor, and civil rights organizations, but lost to the incumbent, a conservative Democrat who garnered Republican support. Kyle is a graduate of Evergreen State College and has professionally trained in mediation and dispute resolution. She’s a member of the Tulalip Tribes of Washington state and of the Lytton and Cook's Ferry Indian Bands of British Columbia.

Rand Kokernot is an activist from Western Colorado. His participation in the 1999 WTO protest in Seattle inspired him to work on bringing people together to effect change. He started an alternate currency in his community in 2000, the same year that he became a member of the Delta County, Colorado, Alliance for Democracy chapter. In 2004, to raise awareness of the Patriot Act, he circulated a petition to pass a county ordinance reaffirming constitutional rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights, which passed 3-2 and became law. He is preparing for a run for the local mosquito control board, and continues to believe "the power of connection with each other is the only thing that’s going to save us."

In addition to these new members, Bonnie Preston has been elected female Vice Co-chair, after serving as an at-large member last year.

Thanks also to Jean Maryborn, who stepped down from the council after many years of leadership, most recently as Vice Co-chair.

Note: The National Council has openings for a Southeast and a New York regional representative--please contact the national office if you're interested!

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