The Board of DFMC would like to present to you the slate of candidates for the Board in 2017. We have 13 candidates for officer positions of Chair, Vice Chair, Secretary and Treasurer as well as for the rest of the board of 12. We have one more candidates than we have positions available for the board and a contested election for the position of Chair. Each candidate was asked to submit information on their work background, political background and vision for the coming year for Democracy for Monroe County. These submissions are presented in alphabetical order starting with the officer candidates.
The Election is on January 19th, at 6:30 at the Monroe County Public Library room 1b. If you have managed to pay dues through the mail, through Act-Blue, or Pay-pal by January 1 if already a member, or by December 20th for new members then we will have a ballot for you at the January 19th meeting allowing you to vote in our elections.
Candidates are as follows:
Tom Duffy, Chair Candidate
Background (non-political non-activist):
Retired faculty: Cognitive Science and Educational Psychology Indiana University
Board member, Indiana Progressive PAC (2009-2010)
Board Member, DFMC (2015-2017)
Active in supporting Democratic candidates since 2000 (hosting ‘meet the candidate’, phone banking, door knocking, spending time in Ohio door knocking (only wish the Ohio effort occurred this year too.)
Active in the Indiana Coalition for Public Education
Member Progressive Faculty and Staff Caucus, IU
Goals for DFMC
Overall I would like to see DFMC become a more activist organization, engaging members in promoting progressive efforts.
In particular, I would like us to expand our reach beyond Monroe County to support progressives and progressive policies Statewide. Too often I see us preaching to the choir – so we feel good and learn something, but are not learning about the other sides nor finding ways to identify common ground related to problems we all (progressives and others) agree on. Therefore, I strongly believe that we need to be engaging other towns/counties in the State in an open way. I also think we should be holding some meetings in different neighborhood locations to discuss timely issues.
While there are many progressive initiatives for DFMC to actively engage, I would argue that we focus on two areas – leveling the political playing field and addressing the needs of workers. This could include work in support of Ending Citizens United, redistricting, support for unions, minimum wage initiatives, and supporting Public Education (fight vouchers, charters, and high stakes, multiple choice testing). For direct DFMC action on issues we should be looking to partner with other progressive groups to identify common agenda and strategy, e.g. Moral Majority and Indiana Progressive Liberals. Of course we cannot do everything – the Board and membership will determine the specific directions.
Chaim Julian, Chair Candidate
Election Day 2016 was a terrible day for America. We now face four years with a racist, misogynistic narcissist occupying the White House. To make matters worse, the Republicans still control both houses of Congress, and they are already plotting to destroy some of our most cherished legacies of our Party. Let us not forget, however, that here in Indiana, we will have a Mike Pence clone in the Governor’s Mansion who is backed up by a legislature that is controlled by a Republican supermajority in both houses, and they will gleefully continue Pence’s most destructive policies.
Just about every issue that we care about is going to come under assault by the Trump and Holcomb Administrations. We in Democracy For Monroe County, therefore, need to be ready to fight for them. This is why I, Chaim Julian, am declaring my candidacy for Chairman of our great organization. I have a proven record of leading DFMC in political action. During our very first few months of existence, we went into poor neighborhoods and registered people to vote, and during the following year we led the fight here in Monroe County against George Bush’s attempt to privatize Social Security. During the fight for health care reform, we held a large rally in front of City Hall for a Public Option to be part of the reform. In 2010, we were the only organization in the entire state of Indiana to fight against Mitch Daniels’ property tax amendment to the State Constition.. Although that Amendment was victorious statewide, it was defeated here in Monroe County due in a large part to our efforts.
These are the kind of actions and much more that we will need to take on in the coming years, and I have the experience to successfully lead them. Therefore, I respectfully ask that you vote for me for Chair of DFMC at our Link-up on January 19.
Kaisa Goodman, Vice-Chair candidate unopposed
I am announcing my candidacy for Vice Chair of the board of Democracy for Monroe County. I’ve served on the board for most of 2016, most recently in the capacity of board Secretary.
I’ve been involved with progressive politics for most of my life, volunteering for my school referendum when I was in high school and for both the Obama campaigns. In this last election cycle, I served on the “Bloomington for Bernie” steering committee, worked with the official Bernie campaign, and volunteered for John Gregg and Glenda Ritz. While employed at Bloomingfoods, I was one of the primary union organizers, successfully working with many local, progressive organizations (including DFMC) and unions to garner community support for our effort. After we won our vote, I served on the negotiating committee for the initial contract, and later as a union steward with the UFCW Local 700. In 2015, I was Bloomington City Councilman Dave Rollo’s campaign manager. We ran an effective, low-budget, grassroots campaign against well-funded opposition, and he was successfully re-elected to the Council.
I’ve been on the board of the Eugene V. Debs foundation for the last three years, and a member of the organization for most of my life. Recently, I was appointed Vice Precinct Chair of Perry 26 for the Monroe County Democratic Party. I’m currently a member of the 2016-17 class of the Indiana Democratic Party Emerging Leaders Project, which serves to build the bench through leadership development, skill training, and political mentoring of young, politically involved persons.
My interpretation of our mission is to provide a platform for civil discussion of important issues that are facing our community and country, promote and work for progressive policy, and educate and inform voters. Educating voters on the issues and on who is (or isn’t) working in their best interests is crucial to our mission, and we cannot wait until the next election cycle to begin that work. In addition to community education and outreach, we need to better connect with local unions and other political organizations with which we have common goals. I also believe that we need to become a more activist organization, increasing our direct participation in political actions and turning our membership out for political protests and events. DFMC has an excellent, core group of members who come to most of our linkups. But to cause real change, we also need to diversify whom our message reaches. This may include holding linkups in different spaces, (making sure that the venue is accessible to persons of all ages and income levels,) reaching out to people who don’t usually attend our meetings, and doing outreach to areas outside of Bloomington.
Maryll Jones, Secretary candidate unopposed
I am running for the position of DFMC board secretary.
I am a web application and reporting engineer by trade and would like to leverage those skills to help make DFMC a better, more efficient organization and believe I can do so effectively as board secretary.
As chair of the tech committee, I helped facilitate a process flow over the last year that has been effective in getting information to our members via the website and facebook page.
After serving a year as a board member, I have observed that DFMC needs to evolve. I would like to see more progressive action and outreach, particularly to surrounding areas so we aren’t just “preaching to the choir” with our Linkups. In addition, this year’s election was a shocking disaster and I feel the flaws in our endorsement process did not provide the desired result, leaving many seats unendorsed due to our bylaws requirements.
It would be my hope to be given the privilege of serving DFMC in the coming term to help move this organization forward with 2018, including help with strategizing and educating a more diverse demographic to increase awareness of progressive causes and hopefully help dissolve many of the misconceptions of what it means to be liberal or progressive.
Kevin Easton Treasurer Candidate unopposed
My name is Kevin Easton and I am declaring my candidacy for Treasurer of DFMC. I have served in this role for most of the previous year and am excited by the opportunity to continue. I believe now more than ever it is important for progressive democrats to regroup and continue to present a united voice in Monroe County against the assaults on our beliefs we are likely to witness at both the state and federal levels. It starts locally. Locally, DFMC is as important as ever to be a voice for progressives. Even without an election to focus upon, issues such as job and wage growth, education, fair housing, homelessness, transportation, and water quality, to name a few, will all continue to be front and center in the coming year. DFMC can be a voice to ensure these issues are addressed. As treasurer, the most important responsibilities are the filing of financial reports, at which I have experience both personally and for DFMC, and maintaining the budget and monitoring ongoing funds, which I updated and streamlined in 2016. I hope to continue in this role
Terry Amsler, Board Candidate
I am running, for the first time, for a non-officer position on the Democracy for Monroe County Board and I ask that you consider my candidacy at this particularly important moment for DFMC, for our democratic principles and practices, and for progressive policies and politics both locally and statewide.
I’ll provide a few hopefully relevant points of personal background and then explain my interest in running for a Board position at this time. As I am fairly new to Bloomington, and am known to only a very few of you, I’ll say a bit more than might otherwise be necessary about my background.
I am a lifelong and progressive Democrat having first volunteered with the Eugene McCarthy campaign in 1968. I supported Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Primary last year and voted for Hillary Clinton in the Presidential election. In terms of political philosophy, perhaps I can just say that I’ve been a supporter and reader of Dissent Magazine for many, many years.
I moved to Bloomington in 2013. I am mostly retired but teach, as an Adjunct Lecturer, a continuing course on public engagement and governance through the IU School of Public and Environmental Affairs. I was, most recently, the Program Director of the Institute for Local Government’s Public Engagement Program (in Sacramento CA) where I worked beginning in 2005 though my retirement in 2015 (working part-time after I moved to Bloomington). Prior to employment with the Institute, I was the Program Director of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Conflict Resolution funding area. Before that, I served as the Executive Director of both the Oregon Dispute Resolution Commission and the Community Board Program (a community mediation program) in San Francisco. In my much younger days I owned a very small business in upstate New York.
I joined the DFMC more than two years ago and have attended many of the Link-ups. I’ve also sat in on two recent Board meetings as an interested observer. DFMC is an important organization locally and may be even more important now given recent Republican electoral gains.
I would bring no grand agenda to the Board if elected. At the most basic level, and especially given the political world we are living in, I wish to be involved in political work that is both useful and in sync with my own values as well as in service to progressive and democratic political means and ends. If elected to the Board, I would certainly support the values and purposes of the DFMC including its Link-ups and its support for progressive political participation, policies, candidates, and leadership development. I have been particularly impressed with the quality, timeliness and importance of many of the Link-ups.
At the same time, it seems to me that DFMC reaches too few residents in Monroe County and is too often talking mainly to itself. I wonder if the Board might work with members to grow membership and to bring more than the usual attendees to our Link-ups. This would likely require more targeted and proactive outreach and partnership development.
This may also be a good time to think about a somewhat broader public educational agenda for DFMC. There will be a number of contentious policy debates forthcoming at the local, regional, and state level that will have significant impacts on people living in Monroe County. Therefore I wonder if DFMC should make some effort to draft short, informative and accessible educational materials on some of these issues, perhaps working with academic, political, union and other partners to do so, that would be directed to people across the political spectrum and disseminated widely in the County, both online and in hard copy.
These are a few thoughts that come to mind. If any of this makes sense to you, please consider voting for me as a DFMC Board member. Thank you.
Rob Deppert, Board Candidate
Personal Experience: includes eleven years in sales management running four insurance sales agencies though both Western and Southern Financial Group, Universal American, and my own small company Senior Solutions.
Political Experience: Includes working fulltime for both a US Senatorial Campaign of JacK Wickes, Congressional Campaign of Frank McCloskey, Three and a half years as a Union Business Agent with Hotel Employees Restaurant Employees Local 12, two years as a Subcontractor organizer of Pew Charitable Trusts on renewable energy issues, three years as a full-time paid organizer with Indiana Coalition on Housing and Homeless Issues, three years as chair of Democracy for Monroe County, and finally I was chosen as an at-large Delegate to the Democratic National Convention by the Bernie Sanders Campaign.
As far as the direction of the organization, I am all for the organization becoming more action oriented group, and believe this year will be crucial in battling regressive changes favored by elected republicans. Our opposition has promised to roll back health care reform, are committed to public school privatization, and cutting Social Security and Medicare while massively lowering taxes on the wealthy and corporations.
Thanks. I have prepared the following basic statement:
Manuel Diaz-Campos, Board Candidate
I am a Professor of Hispanic Linguistics at Indiana University, Bloomington. I have lived in Bloomington for 18 years and I have participated as a volunteer in several activities to help educational causes and those in need in our community. While I don’t have political experience as a member of an organization, the current political climate requires our participation to promote tolerance, acceptance, diversity and inclusion.
Thanks again for the opportunity,
Professor and Interim Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Spanish and Portuguese.
Nic Sigler, Board Candidate
I am announcing my candidacy for the board of Democracy for Monroe County. I have always had an interest in local politics, but never quite knew where to start. This fall, I volunteered for the John Gregg and Glenda Ritz campaigns. That experience was great, but I wanted a more consistent way to be involved. After attending a few linkups, I realized the DFMC would be a great place to start.
I am currently in my third year at the Indiana University School of Social Work. While not directly related to politics, there is a lot of overlap. It was during one of my shadowing assignments, for a class called Human Services, that I realized how much more had to be done to help people in need. The person I shadowed did homeless outreach for Centerstone. It was great that he was able to do anything for them, but I ultimately felt like his job was merely a bandage for a gaping wound. The people I witnessed at the shelters I went to needed more than just charity, there needed to be some policy changes. I’m really interested in helping people at both the policy level and the hands-on level.
My intentions with this position would be to increase outreach for the DFMC. The few linkups I went to, while great, were sadly not as populated as I would have hoped. I want to increase our membership, as well as make DFMC’s presence more known in southern Indiana. I would like to get the organization more involved with the community and in political events such as protests, charity events, and meet-ups with other likeminded organizations.
Board Candidates with statements Include (with Chair Description):
Current board member and Bernie Sanders Campaign Activist
Deputy City Clerk, District Delegate for Bernie Sanders Campaign to the DNC
AFSCME Organizer former SEIU Organizer and Researcher, Former DFMC Board Member and Bernie Sanders Campaign Activist
Bloomington City Council member and Environmental Activist