Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Welcome to new National Council members!

First, thanks to everyone who voted in our 2010 National Council election--a large percentage of members returned their ballots, making for an excellent overall "turnout."

Several members threw their hats in as "at-large" members, and we thank them for volunteering! Note that we have some open regional representatives seats still--for New England, New York, the Southeast, South Central and the Southwest regions--if you're curious about responsibilities and the election process, please contact the Alliance office at

Here's the results, with bios of those who are new to the council:

Co-chairs: David e. Delk, Portland OR, and Nancy Price, Davis CA
Vice co-chairs: Ruth Caplan, Washington DC, and Bonnie Preston, Blue Hill ME
Treasurer: Vikki Savee, Sacramento CA
Secretary: Peter Mott, Pittsfield NY

Regional Representatives:
Mid-Atlantic: Patricia Hammann, Gettysburg PA
Northern California: Steve Scalmanini, Ukiah CA
North West: Rebecca Wolfe, Edmonds WA

At-Large Representatives
Tom Abbott, Sacramento CA
Larry Britt, Pittsfield NY
Helen (Gilly) Burlingham, Portland OR
Lou Hammann, Gettysburg PA
Rick Staggenborg, Coos Bay OR

Look for bios at the "Read more" link!
Tom Abbott
Tom is a relatively new member of the Alliance for Democracy, who became acquainted with the program through our treasurer, Vikki Savee. Following a long career in international agricultural development and 15 years with the University of Arizona College of Agriculture, he became the founder and President of The Youth Now Foundation, a non-profit foundation organized to assist the college in raising funds for youth development activities. In this venue, Tom succeeded in acquiring a 4.4 million dollar gift for the College of Agriculture. He hopes to build up Alliance membership and resources.

Larry Britt
Larry is an active member of the Rochester (NY) Chapter, as well as national. He is an MBA, worked for 33 years in international business, 22 years with Xerox, specializing in finance and product development. He has written on political and economic affairs in newspapers and books (eg, the chapter on Fascism in "Political Power and the Global Economy", 2008), and has appeared on 25 radio talk shows. He is a board member of ACLU, Citizens for Public Education and Religious Freedom, and Amnesty International. Most recently, he gave a presentation on corporate personhood at the Rochester chapter regional convention.

Helen (Gilly) Burlingham
Helen studied journalism and anthropology, and lived in East Pakistan, Thailand and Argentina before retiring with her foreign service husband to his family farm in New York, and then to Portland, Oregon. After working with local schools, the arts council and on domestic violence issues, she turned her attention to peace, social justice and environmental activism. However, she felt that her efforts would not be effective as long as corporate money dominated politics and democracy. The need to focus on the corporate actor instead of individual campaigns led to her involvement with the Portland AfD chapter.

Rick Staggenborg
Rick is a board-certified psychiatrist with thirteen years of post-residency experience. He has been very active nationally, statewide in Oregon and locally on the southern Oregon coast for the single payer movement, playing the self-assigned role of networking with various and building coalitions with groups working on this and other projects. He is also founder of Take Back America For The People, the American arm of Soldiers For Peace International, a group of current and former service members of military organizations throughout the world whose goal is to establish worldwide, permanent peace through the peaceful promotion of democracy, beginning in America.

Rebecca Wolfe
After a career teaching English, French, and ESL, Rebecca earned her Ph.D. in Leadership Studies at Gonzaga University, and established The Language School of Spokane for studies in languages and cultures. Currently, she is University Intern Coordinator in the Woodring School of Education at W. Washington University, working in teacher education with pre-service K-12 teachers.

In addition to her academic life, Rebecca serves as Chair of the Snohomish Group of the Sierra Club (Cascade Chapter) in WA State. At the chapter level she works on issues related to conservation, water & salmon, forests, watersheds, and wildlife. As a Board member of the United Nations Association of Seattle, Rebecca focuses on "Ensuring Environmental Sustainability" (Goal #7 of the Millennium Development Goals). In the City of Edmonds Rebecca was recently appointed as a Commissioner on the Economic Development Commission, hoping to use her office to promote sustainable growth as her city faces redevelopment along the shoreline in a time of global warming and a failing economy. Helping preserve the pillars of democracy and a healthy planet are important to Rebecca, who says Alliance for Democracy is the spine that supports all of her other causes and activities.

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