Nominations 2019 Profiles

Green Party of Pennsylvania 2019 Nominee Profiles

Presenting your 2019 state leadership nominees!  (Listed in alphabetical order.) 

A substantial amount of time and effort will be required from every member of the new leadership team in order to achieve the goals we set in November. Just by accepting their nominations, these dedicated and accomplished candidates have shown their commitment to our party's success. Review their profiles and get to know them; they are all leaders within our party - those not elected will likely take on prominent roles in committees and campaigns. Elections will be held at the January 13th state virtual meeting. 

 

Tom Bailey (Westmoreland)

International Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

I grew up outside Mechanicsburg, in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania.  My family fled our home in 1979, when one reactor at Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant melted down. I practiced law for five years as a Public Defender and in private practice.  Then I taught public and private high school for 26 years, retiring in June, 2018.  My subjects were American Government and Economics. Currently I'm working with fellow Green Party members to raise awareness of ongoing radiation releases and resulting human rights violations in Japan.  These are caused by continued operation of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station. I've been a Green since 1992.  My wife and I have three kids ages 27, 23 and 20.  We don't like having an "empty nest."  We live in Scottdale, Westmoreland County.

Jacob Belmonte (Chester)

Diversity Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

jacobbIn 2017, I completed a Masters of Arts in Humanities at Arcadia University. My primary focus throughout my educational journey has been the importance of storytelling and how through those stories we are able to connect, imagine, and envision positive relationships with the many people and the planet around us.  As a queer male, I am no stranger to adversity and have firmly solidified the belief that a healthy people and planet must be willing to empower and listen to the voices of the marginalized.  Empathy, Kindness, and the willingness to challenge and grow our own perspectives must be the forefront of all the work we do here in the Green Party. For the past two years I have served as a State Delegate for the Chester Country Green Party and I would be honored to serve on the Diversity Committee for GPUS.

 

Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick (Delaware)

Steering Committee Member at Large

Background, Experience, Skills

Jocolyn_Bowser-Bostick_for_the_web.jpgI was born in North Philadelphia and raised mostly there until the age of 11. I attended public middle school and high school in Media, PA which is the county seat of Delaware County. I took college courses at CCP and Yale University and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Biology from Temple University. I've had several different jobs such as a field an office worker for the U.S. Census, nursing home aide, and lifeguard for the YMCA and Philadelphia's Dept. of Recreation in which I also taught children how to swim. I worked for 24 years as a Laboratory Technician at Coriell Institute for Medical Research. Volunteering with the Green Party I have become better and more comfortable at public speaking. I've also become quite good at collecting petition signatures and comfortable talking to people when canvassing.

I’m strongly committed to and willing to work at increasing the diversity and membership in the Green Party. I want to increase the collaboration between the Green Party and other activist groups that have a progressive agenda. I believe I can put my writing and research skills to good use in advancing the goals and values of the Green Party and helping its candidates get elected.

 

Stuart Chen-Hayes (Bucks)

National Delegate

Background, Experience, Skills

schStuart is a current GPUS National Delegate from PA and member of the Lavender Greens caucus finishing his first year. His goal for this next year for the National Committee is continuing to end chaos and inappropriate conflicts and move to an effective and inspiring organizational structure for delegates to contribute to meaningful organizing as Greens and not waste precious time as the planet precariously tilts toward the point of no human return . He is Judge of Elections in Newtown Township having been elected in 2016. He is newly elected secretary of the Bucks County Green Party where he has led @Twitter communications for @BCPAGreens.  He was part of the 2016 PA recount effort. He contributed to Jill Stein’s successful lawsuit challenging archaic PA recount laws. He is a member of SAVE Bucks Votes and active in educating the public on why we need not only paper ballots but no barcode readers, which do not allow for verifiable audits. He is a member of the PSC-CUNY union and organizing with @CUNYSTRUGGLE agitating for a strike until NYS agrees to $7K per class salaries for part-time faculty. Stuart is professor and coordinator of the M.S.Ed. program in Counselor Education at City University of New York/Lehman College. Stuart’s second book, Double Dads One Teen: A Queer Family’s Trailblazing Life in the USA and Taiwan, will be published this Spring by DIO Press, Inc. Stuart and his family are the subject of a documentary also to be released this Spring, “My Rainbow Family.” Stuart has worked as a professional counselor in addiction, college counseling, couple and family, mental health, middle school, and sexuality settings. He has done extensive professional speaking on social justice and anti-oppression issues.  He is a proud eco/socialist and can be reached @schenhayes on Twitter.

 

Kristin Combs (Philadelphia)

Core Team Leader, National Delegate, Accreditation Committee, Media Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

Tim_Maloney_for_web.jpgMy home is in Port Richmond, Philadelphia with a house full of chosen family. I've served on the state Steering Committee for the past three years, and in 2015 secured over 11,000 votes as our candidate for city council at-Large in Philadelphia. In my day job, I work as a Executive Director for the School District of Philadelphia.

Why Candidate Would be Effective in this/these position(s)

The Green Party has so much going for it! We have thousands registered across the state but only a handful are actively engaged -- think of that potential! We'll win and grow by effectively organizing our base. I'm a trained organizer. My skill set is behind the scenes facilitation, leadership development, and strategic planning. I want to use these skill to continue to build the party.

 

Lon Diffenderfer (Juniata)

Ballot Access Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

My background customer service management and telecommunications where my focus was to be an advocate for the customer – rather than a representative of the company. At times this caused friction with those in upper management. However, I learned how to resolve such conflicts to the benefit of the customer with no detrimental effect to the company nor my own position with it. Politically, although an independent or unaffiliated voter for most of the past 30+ years, my views have always been closely aligned with the Green Party. Since becoming a member, I have become more active in promoting Green causes and candidates, and especially in working to gain equal ballot access in Pennsylvania and throughout the rest of the country. As someone with chronic health conditions, I have also developed a strong interest in expanding and improving Medicare for all people. I am currently a member of the Communications Committee and the Ballot Access Committee for which I have been again nominated. It is my intention to serve wherever I can be most effective.

 

Neal Gale (Montgomery)

Eco-Action Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

nealgNeal’s civic engagement includes serving as an Associate Member of the Abington Township Energy Advisory Council since March 2016, a member of the Montgomery County Green Party since July 2016, a Delegate to the Pennsylvania Green Party and Member of the National Green Party EcoAction Committee, where he has been actively pursuing the reduction of  greenhouse gas emissions, including submitting revisions to the Green New Deal, a comprehensive plan for addressing climate change with an emphasis on the transition to a clean energy economy.

Neal’s professional experience includes nearly four decades in the energy efficiency and conservation field, beginning in 1978, when he formed a company with a childhood friend, becoming Gale and Giffen, Authentic Chimney Sweeps. This  enterprise quickly evolved from sweeping chimneys into installing multifuel heaters and eventually solar domestic hot water systems.

Since then, Neal has continued in the energy efficiency world, conducting energy audits for commercial,  government and religious buildings throughout New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and Maryland. In 1996 he began managing field operations in a comprehensive, low-income energy affordability program for homes and apartments throughout New Jersey. Under the Clean Energy Program, mandated by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities, he interacts daily with representatives of the seven investor-owned utilities in the state.

 

Jason Jackson (Chester)

Core Team Leader

Background, Experience, Skills

I registered Green shortly after my eighteenth birthday, senior year of High School in 2004. However, I briefly changed my affiliation in 2016 to vote in the closed primary for Bernie Sanders. During the primary, I worked on my own to hold Voter Registration events at West Chester University, where I was a student in Computer Science. Soon after the primary season ended, I was contacted for the first time about a local county green party chapter being started, by contacts I had made while holding and participating in voter registration, canvassing, and phone-banking for Bernie Sanders. During the first meeting, I assumed the responsibility of taking meeting minutes. I was voted secretary during the short term from October of 2016 to April of 2017, when I was re-elected for a 2nd term. While on the board for Chester County Green Party, I was elected as a state delegate, a position I have held since CCGP was officially recognized by the state. I participated in canvassing events for Cheri Honkala in Philadelphia, and was a regular contributor to the petitioning and canvassing efforts of Jules Mermelstein for Superior Court Judge, and Nate Craig for Mayor of Phoenixville. I have helped to build my county party by networking with local political and activist groups, surrounding green party county chapters, organizing county fundraising events, and helping to table events to aid local candidates elections and increase party visibility.

Why Candidate Would be Effective in this/these position(s)

Recognizing the large number of state Green Party members with computer science backgrounds, as Operations Divisional Team Leader, I plan to try to organize and leverage these talents to help give Green Party of Pennsylvania the digital tools and presence to continue to grow, while decreasing the party's operating costs.

 

Hillary Kane (Philadelphia)

National Delegate, Coordinated Campaign Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

hillary.jpg

Hillary Kane is the proud parent of Jeremy, 7, and Lailah, 4. Her day job is the Director of PHENND, a nonprofit organization that supports and promotes campus-community partnership.

Hillary has been active in the Green Party since 2000, when she became active in Ralph Nader’s Presidential campaign.  She has held numerous leadership positions at all levels of the party since that time including secretary, treasurer, and chair of both her local (Philadelphia) and state (Pennsylvania) parties, as well as various roles on candidate campaigns.  

Hillary is currently the national treasurer and is the former co-chair of the Coordinated Campaign Committee. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies.

 

Sheri Miller (Adams)

Annual National Meeting Committee, Dispute Resolution Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

Tim_Maloney_for_web.jpgMy background is in technology and nursing. I have a strong general background in computers with some programming and web design skills, and an excellent knowledge of office software and tools. For the past 15 years, I've worked in healthcare informatics (computer software and documentation in healthcare) and consulting, coordinating multiple teams for complex implementations. A large part of my job is to serve as a liaison between lay people and IT experts in a busy ER and trauma center. My background has given me skills in communication and team-building, as well as trouble-shooting problems and making quick decisions when needed. As a part of our ER's leadership team, I have developed an understanding of how systems and processes drive motivation and success and have applied that knowledge to my work with the Green Party over the past year and a half.

Why Candidate Would be Effective in this/these position(s)

As Co-Chair of ANM and DRC over the past year, I have proposed and promoted many positive changes in our structures and processes. I would like to continue in a leadership role for at least one more year to help nurture these new ideas that can help bring excitement, motivation, and needed funds to our party. I've worked in a leadership role in my hospital for 15 years. My focus has always been to support people through processes and tools that make their work more organized and easier. In my ER role, I am continually guided by policies and procedures that direct my practice and am accustomed to checking the policies before acting in unclear circumstances. I've also learned, through many state inspections, that our policies (or Rules) are there to protect us but they also legally hold us to whatever standards we enact, so if not written carefully, they can limit our own flexibility or even ability to meet our goals. I believe this experience can help me facilitate judiciously as we progress through our Rules revisions process. Over the past year I've demonstrated my commitment and reliability by attending meetings regularly, following up on assignments, and getting things done.

 

Alex Noyle (Montgomery)

International Committee, Peace and Action Committee

Background, Experience, Skillsalexnoyle

  • Foreign policy wonk
  • maintainer of @GreenPartyofPA on Twitter
  • delegate to GPPA
  • leader of the Montco Greens Left Unity Committee

Why Candidate Would be Effective in this/these position(s)

I’d like to inject new energy into GPAX which is disorganized despite the fact that Peace is a key value of our party. I also want to use my "foreign policy wonk" skill on the International Committee.

 

Dave Ochmanowicz (Bucks)

Media Committee, Merchandise Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

David Ochmanowicz is the exiting Chair of the GPUS Merchandise Committee and has served in the various roles within that committee since or before 2015. Dave is an elected Green in Quakertown, PA and serves as Vice President of his School District. "As an acting chair or co-chair within the committee I have been responsible for various degrees of duties ranging from website maintenance to merchandise ordering and inventory. I have been helped the merchandise committee support the national party by collaborating on sustaining donor drives with FundCom using our party inventory and introducing access to our official GPUS literature for download from the store, increasing traffic and a annual boost in donations from those that download them. I look forward to helping support the committee in a new roles through 2019."

 

Benjamin Pegg (York or Erie)

Eco-Action Committee

 

Shane Rielly (Lackawanna)

Steering Committee Member at Large, Communications Team Leader

Background, Experience, Skills

Shane_Reilly_for_web.jpgI graduated from the University of Scranton with a MS in secondary education in 2012. I've worked in the field of international adoptions for the past 9 years. I am currently a Senior Program Coordinator for an international adoption agency based in Scranton. I would like to see the Green Party help PA to raise its minimum wage, convert itself to renewable energy, and establish single payer type healthcare so that everyone in Pennsylvania has access to top level care whenever they need it.

Why Candidate Would be Effective in this/these position(s)

I am dedicated to helping grow the Green Party of Pennsylvania, and its stance against corporate funding. If I am chosen to serve I will do my best to represent our values while working with the rest of our state party to advance our mutual goals.

 

Chris Robinson (Philadelphia)

Communications Team Leader

Background, Experience, Skills

CRobinsonThank you to Sheri Miller for this nomination. I believe I have half of the background, experience and skills needed to chair or to co-chair the Communications Team. I have a BA in Philosophy from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA, and I have been a writer and editor my whole life. (Believe me, that's a long time!) I have had articles appearing in too many publications to list, and I published the RECON Newsletter ("keeping an eye on the Pentagon") from 1973 through 1991. I also published "How We Won the War" by General Vo Nguyen Giap in 1976 (11,000 copies sold). My neighborhood and political organizing history can be traced back to 1970, with the October 4th Organization in Kensington, Philadelphia. My experiences there are fully explained in "Plotting Directions: An Activists Guide," published in 1982. (Don't buy it from Amazon. I will sell you an autographed copy for ten bucks.) My life with the Green Party date to 2000, when I learned of Ralph Nader's candidacy. I have volunteered for Green Party candidates since then. I was elected to the Green Party of Philadelphia City Committee (think "steering committee") in 2011, as part of a renewal slate, and I served on the GPOP City Committee through 2017.

Why Candidate Would be Effective in this/these position(s)

I will be effective in getting publicity for GPPA through regular News Releases to the media. I have learned how to write and edit interesting News Releases, and I know how to work collectively and how to make decisions by consensus. Unfortunately, I have very limited experience with social media (FaceBook, Twitter, etc.), and I will have to find a co-chair or volunteer to pick up the slack there. Also, I have found NationBuilder to be much too complex. I would like to see GPPA transfer to a different platform. By the way, there is a lot more when this came from -- especially some fantastic stories, best told by the campfire.

 

Cheryl Rougeux (Erie)

Steering Committee Member at Large

Background, Experience, Skills

I would like to do all I can to help the Green Party to be seen and heard as the only real party 'of the people' with real solutions for the many issues we face today. I have been a Green Party member since around 2004 or so. But have been 'Green' all of my life. I have some computer skills and a BS in Environmental Resource Management from Penn State. Thank you for this opportunity.

 

Carl Romanelli (Luzerne)

International Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

  • carlrFounding member and Co-chair of Luzerne County Green Party, 2001-present
  • Member of USGP Media Committee, 2002-2018
  • Member of USGP International Committee, 2003-present
  • Lead researcher on study of overdose death in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Research compiled for Dr. Ernest Drucker, Einstein Institute of Medicine, Bronx, NY, 2002-2003
  • GPUS representative of special International Summit on Colombia, Bogota, Colombia, 2005
  • GPPA candidate for US Senate, 2006
  • Chair, GPPA, 2012
  • Co-chair of GPPA Legal Committee, 2013-present
  • Petition Coordinator, Jill Stein for President, 2012
  • Petition Coordinator, State Campaign Organizer, Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka, 2016
  • Recount Consultant and Coordinator, PA, Jill Stein recount effort, 2016-2018

 

Tim Runkle (Lancaster)

Finance Team Leader, Banking and Monetary Reform Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

timrunkleI am chairman of the Lancaster County Green Party and serve as county delegate to the Green Party of Pennsylvania. I am the current Treasurer of the Green Party of Pennsylvania and during 2016 ran for elected office in Elizabethtown Borough. I have a B.S. in Geology from Millersville University and for the past 12 years have successfully managed environmental remediation projects in the northeast United States. These projects involve complex environmental conditions which require a firm handle of regulatory, business, and stakeholder knowledge.

Why Candidate Would be Effective in this/these position(s)

During the past two years as serving Treasurer, I have facilitated the design and approval of two annual budgets for the Green Party of Pennsylvania. I have developed tools and training resources to share with others so that they can be successful financial planners within their local, state, and national campaigns. My primary focus as Treasurer and part of the Finance Team has been identifying cost savings opportunities within the Party expenditures and commitments which can then be used for fundraising efforts. I intend to work within the Finance Committee to increase the Party’s fundraising abilities and share success and accountability with the general membership.

 

Beth Scroggin (Chester)

Steering Committee Secretary, National Delegate

Background, Experience, Skills

bethscroggin2019Beth Scroggin graduated from Boston University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Math Education, and obtained her Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Penn State in 2009. She has been teaching math at a public high school for 11 years, and has been an active member of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, the state’s largest union. Beth has been an Advocate for Children and Education (ACE) and has attended training on how to effectively organize within one’s local union, as well as lobby government officials.

Politically, Beth became involved in the Bernie Sanders campaign in February 2016, making 3500 calls across the country and knocking on 1000 doors in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Afterward, Beth registered as a Green and co-founded the Chester County Green Party in October 2016. Since then, Beth has inspired Nate Craig to run for Mayor of Phoenixville as a Green and has assisted in organizing his campaign, and has served as the Chester County coordinator of statewide Green campaigns in 2017 and 2018. Beth has successfully connected the Chester County Greens with other Green Party locals and local activist groups.

Why Candidate Would be Effective in this/these position(s)

Beth organized the GPPA Summer Retreat in 2018 and has been on the GPPA Steering Committee since 2017, first as an at-large member and then as Secretary. If re-elected, Beth hopes to continue her work in connecting local Greens to make events as big and successful as possible and help the state party to grow.

 

Charles Sherrouse (Philadelphia)

National Delegate, Ballot Access Committee, Bylaws Rules Policies & Procedures Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

charlessI am Charles Sherrouse of Philadelphia.  I have been involved with the Greens since the late 1980s.  I have had various roles in the local Green Party, which include serving on the City Committee in 2003, 2004 and 2006 through 2010.  I served on the state Steering Committee in 2011 and 2012.

I have been a member of the national Bylaws Rules Policies and Procedures Committee from 2007 till present; and of the Ballot Access Committee from 2013 till 2018, serving as co-chair for 2017 and 2018.  I have served on the Election Tabulation Committee in 2017 and 2018, and have been a NC Forum Manager since 2015.  I have been a delegate to the National Committee in 2009, 2011, 2014, 2015, and an alternate since then.

Why Candidate Would be Effective in this/these position(s)

I bring a perspective of history of the Green Party, and a strong commitment to the Four Pillars.  I have learned much about varied ballot access requirements in different states over the years.  I have paid attention to shortcomings in the national bylaws and rules, and have a sense of what changes may might gain broad support.  I have good communication skills, and a willingness to communicate on the national committee and state committee email lists, as well as on 'slack' and by conference calls.

 

Alan Smith (Chester)

Steering Committee Co-Chair, Diversity Committee, Peace and Action Committee

Why Candidate Would be Effective in this/these position(s)

alansmithArtist, philosopher, educator, and peacemaker, Alan Smith has spent his life nurturing in himself and others a passion for peace and justice. Also a long distance runner, Alan knows the value of patience, perseverance, persistence and pacing and uses these tools in all endeavors. From tutoring young people in the poverty stricken south Bronx to running a summer aquatics camp for persons with disabilities, he treasures the work of empowering the marginalized.

While his family has spent the last 40 years in Pennsylvania, he has traveled to 47 U.S. states, and 23 countries on all 7 continents. Holding a bachelor's degree, three master's degrees and currently finishing a doctorate, he is a passionate advocate for life-long learning. Having taught students from kindergarten to university, his philosophy of education begins with the idea that we are all teachers and learners. Thus cultivating horizontal relationships rather than hierarchical ones has been his lifelong pursuit. "We cannot see eye to eye until we see eye to eye," he says.

This idea also drives his art as he draws and paints portraits. For Alan, the artist is not a special kind of person, rather every person is a special kind of artist. The Green Party's commitment to grassroots democracy reflects this. His recently passed mother always told him, "Leave a place better than when you found it." Alan's dedication to the work of the Green Party is rooted in this statement. Drawn to the Green Party by its 4 Pillars and 10 Key Values, he is excited about facilitating the birth of a world where people, planet and peace replace profit as the driving force for human existence.

Background, Experience, Skills

Political activism/campaigning from the anti-war protests in the 2000s, to the Obama campaign, to Occupy Wall Street, to Bernie Sanders' campaign, to Jill Stein's campaign. Currently Chester County Green Party state delegate.

 

Alan Smith (Chester)

Peace and Action Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

antoniosAs a person who has seen the impacts of violence, from smaller to systematic forms of violence, I have deeply rooted myself in the idea of "ahimsa" which is the Sanskrit word for non-violence. It is also the active practice of bringing love and peace to every situation. I believe that speaking truth and bringing awareness of different forms of oppression is one of the most powerful weapons one can have. As an active artist and fine arts student of Arcadia University I will bring creative ideas to the Peace Action Committee. I've been very active with my participation in the Green Party and I would love to see the Green Party grow.

 

Garrett Wassermann (Allegheny)

GreenWave Team Leader, National Delegate, Banking and Monetary Reform Committee, Platform Committee

Background, Experience, Skills

  • garrettwassRegion 2 (Southwest PA) Green Wave coordinator for 2017 & 2018
  • Vice-chair of Allegheny County Green Party, 2018
  • Volunteer/organizer for Jay Walker campaign, 2018.

Why Candidate Would be Effective in this/these position(s)

I would use the knowledge I've developed over past couple years as Region 2 (Southwest PA) Green Wave coordinator and working on a few campaigns to help develop good training materials and strategy on identifying and training candidates as well as identifying and training campaign staff, a sometimes overlooked important aspect of the campaign. I believe 2019 should be a "grassroots" year where we try to turn out lots of Greens for small township offices and grow our local parties' membership and capabilities.

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