ACLU Sacramento Board of Director Nominees
NOMINEES FOR 2011-2012 BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Sacramento County Chapter has twenty (20) seats on its Board of Directors. All seats will be voted on at our Annual Meeting on September 25, 2011. The following list includes fifteen (15) nominees who are seeking re-election. Five (5) nominees responded to our letter of invitation, were interviewed by the nominating committee and recommended based on established eligibility criteria.
Allen Asch (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Chapter Representative to the ACLU/NC, and a former public defender in Placer County and Missouri. An ACLU member since 1983, and volunteer attorney since 1996, he helped the ACLU persuade the Missouri Department of Corrections that precluding the mentally ill from drug treatment violates the Americans with Disabilities Act. He wrote an ACLU amicus brief to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of the KKK’s right to advertise on government radio, and penned the ACLU-NJ policy on the confidentiality of adoption records and guidelines for physicians explaining a minor’s right to confidential reproductive health care. (Incumbent)
Mary Ruth Bell, (email@example.com) a veteran educator, counselor, and lifetime community advocate, brings a variety of experience and diverse perspective to the ACLU Board of Trustees. Her combined teaching and administrative roles in public education extend more than 33 years. Additionally, she has served 10 years as a Sacramento County Probation Officer Assistant, 10 years as an Adult Basic Education Specialist, and has experience as a group home counselor for teenage youth offenders. She was 2009 state president of the Juvenile Court, Community and Alternative School Administrators of California (JCCASAC) group and is a 1996 co-author of the California Task Force to Review Juvenile Crime and the Juvenile Justice Response. Her education doctorate degree from the University of Southern California (USC) is in Urban Leadership and Development. She says her favorite thing to do is to help others know their participation in a culturally diverse, democratic society does make a difference.
Kristoffer Berrien (firstname.lastname@example.org), current Board Secretary, has worked in the high tech industry for over 15 years. He is also a member of the Armed Forces which provides a unique perspective within the Sacramento ACLU board. Kristoffer has been a champion for LGBT rights for years and is a strong supporter of the separation of church and state. He believes one of the best ways to defend our civil liberties is to be vocal and not afraid to stand up for what we believe in. This courage can create a domino effect and an awakening within each community. (Incumbent)
Gary Blenner (email@example.com) has been a teacher of U.S. History and American Government at Rio Americano High School in Sacramento for the past 17 years, and a school board trustee for the Center Joint Unified School District in Antelope from 2006-2010. He believes the ACLU should have greater community outreach with educators, students and parents by empowering them with knowledge about their basic constitutional civil rights.
Daniel Costa (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a peace activist in the Sacramento area and Vice President of Veterans for Peace, Sacramento Chapter. He lives in mid-town Sacramento and has observed and photographed abuses against the homeless and mentally ill. Daniel wants to work with the ACLU to document and help stop these injustices. (Incumbent)
Lanette Davies (email@example.com) is a leader in the Medical Marijuana movement. She has established a patients rights organization in Sacramento and has participated in lobbying, grass roots organizing, and educating others. She has a love for civil rights issues and works exhaustively on upholding and maintaining our civil liberties. (Incumbent)
Basim Elkarra (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Executive Director of the Sacramento Valley Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV). Elkarra was re-elected in 2011 to the California Democratic Party’s Executive Board and Chairs its Arab American Caucus and Affirmative Action Committee. During the last seven years, Elkarra has run CAIR California’s Muslim Youth Leadership Program (MYLP) at California’s State Capitol. Elkarra, a San Francisco native, holds a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. (Incumbent)
Adriana Gianturco Saltonstall (email@example.com) is the Alternate Chapter Representative to the ACLU/NC, has been an ACLU member most of her life. She served as Director of the California Dept. of Transportation (Caltrans), and also of the Office of Statewide Planning in Massachusetts. In the 1970’s, she promoted mass transit, car-pool lanes, inter-city and commuter rail service and increased bicycle use. She is a former reporter for Time Magazine and currently is retired in Sacramento. (Incumbent)
Mario Guerrero (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Government Affairs Director for Equality California, the state’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights advocacy organization. Prior to joining EQCA, Mario served as the Deputy Director for Policy and Research for the Coalition for Clean Air where he was an advocate for clean air regulations and legislation. His professional experience includes working for BIENESTAR Human Services, Inc., where he engaged in policy, advocacy, communications, organizing, and development work related to HIV/AIDS and LGBT issues. Mr. Guerrero also worked for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund. Mario is a veteran of the United State Marine Corps and a board member of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.
Brigitte Jaensch (email@example.com) has been an ACLU member since 2003 and joined the Sacramento ACLU board in 2010. A civil rights and human rights advocate, among her particular concerns are: the spate of recent US laws which impinge on our civil liberties, the reckless promotion of hostility against groups portrayed as the “Other” among us, and the US government’s cafeteria approach to international law. Other boards on which she does or has served include: the Renaissance Society, Sacramento Area Peace Action, SacramentoBethlehem (Sister City) and The SHARE Institute. (Incumbent)
John Kraintz (JohnKraintz@yahoo.com) As co-founder and President of SafeGround Sacramento, I am committed to fighting for the rights of our homeless citizens. We have currently gained a victory in Federal court on a lawsuit involving illegal seizure and destruction of homeless peoples property. In addition, I am a member of the Interagency Council Executive Committee of Sacramento Steps Forward; I also sit on the ICEH (Interagency Council Ending Chronic Homelessness), am a board member of EFSP (Emergency Food and Shelter Providers), and am a board member of S.H.O.C. (Sacramento Homeless Organizing Committee).
Bill Lackemacher (firstname.lastname@example.org) works on progressive political and issue-based campaigns in the Sacramento area. He is the ACLU Sacramento Webmaster and the Communications Director and Webmaster for Sacramento for Democracy, an organization devoted to civil rights, peace and justice. He is also concerned about the status of our civil liberties in light of current and past administrations’ attacks on our Constitution and the Bill of Rights through the Patriot Act and other legislation. (Incumbent)
Nikos Leverenz (email@example.com), current vice chair, is the former director of the Drug Policy Alliance in Sacramento and a graduate of McGeorge School of Law. He has an extensive background in legislative and media advocacy. His policy writing has appeared in local and national media outlets. He currently works with various community groups to advance individual rights, evidence-based public policy, and secular civil government. He became a proud card-carrying member of the ACLU during George W. Bush's first term. (Incumbent)
Rev. Ashiya Odeye (firstname.lastname@example.org) is Sacramento director of the Justice Reform Coalition, co-founder of the Neighbors Building Village and former community outreach chair for the Sacramento NAACP. A longtime civil rights and social justice activist, he was co-organizer with the Free Geronimo Pratt project, the Black Panthers as well as other civil rights and anti-war actions, from Fort Dix and Kent State in the Vietnam War years to today. He is Reverend Director of the Order of the Olufunmi – the first Rastafarian organization West of the Mississippi. (Incumbent)
Debra Reiger (email@example.com) is the current chair of the Sacramento County Chapter of the ACLU. She is a social justice advocate in the Sacramento community, and as an anti-war activist has planned numerous local events to oppose the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan. She currently serves as a director on the board of a national non-profit organization and is active at a statewide level in promoting progressive issues. (Incumbent)
Dianne Segura (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a recognized Latina entrepreneur by the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. A California native, she calls Sacramento home via the now-President Barack Obama campaign. Dianne has a long-history of social justice and coalition work; her efforts include state and federal legislative and policy work addressing various inequity issues, working for the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation, as well as developing collaborative efforts throughout the state that focus on community empowerment. A proponent of social and civil justice endeavors, Dianne’s national efforts also include collaboration work with the Mexican Legal Defense Fund and National Council of La Raza. She enjoys traveling, time w/her labradoodles and meeting new and inspiring people, places and things! (Incumbent)
John Tjaden (email@example.com) joined the national and Sacramento Coalition to Stop the Patriot Act, and worked with the ACLU to convince the Sacramento City Council to pass a virtually unanimous resolution against the USA Patriot Act. He is a member of Sacramento for Democracy, participates in local civil rights activities, and notes that he is “one of the many watching the watchers.” (Incumbent)
Eric Vega (firstname.lastname@example.org) Born in Sacramento. Graduated from California State University, Sacramento and New College School of Law. Heber Smith Fellow, Legal Services of Northern California, State Analyst, Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Executive Director, Human Rights and Fair Housing Commission of City and County of Sacramento. Lecturer, Ethnic Studies Department, CSUS; Chair, Sol Collective and Sacramento Activist School.
Carol Velarde (Cavelarde@aol.com), current Board Treasurer, has been an ACLU member for decades. She is president of the local chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church & State, and California Legislative Liaison for that organization. The on-going efforts to “institutionalize” religion in government, the erosion of reproductive and privacy rights, and criminal/juvenile justice reforms are among her priorities. A longtime community activist, Carol has held several offices on the Sacramento Jewish Community Relations Council, and served as Field Representative for the late Congressman Bob Matsui. (Incumbent)
Cres Vellucci (email@example.com) is a former daily newspaper reporter for many publications, including the Sacramento Bee and a wire service at the State Capitol. He attended law school and was a law school assistant dean. He has worked as the executive director of a civil liberties group, and filed several federal civil rights suits against police. Currently, he is a strategic media relations consultant for local, state and national social justice organizations and progressive political candidates. (Incumbent)