Making Democracy Work

League of Women Voters of Los Angeles Board of Directors

2015 - 2016 LWVLA Board of Directors

Maria Montero, Co-President

Marķa Montero received a BA from UC, Berkeley and a MA from CSULA, both degrees in Political Science. She teaches American government and global politics in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Prior to joining CSUDH, she taught politics at Santa Monica College and was a bilingual teacher at LAUSD. Originally from San Francisco, Marķa has lived and worked internationally, including several years in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ecuador. She is a member of the Western Political Science Association and has served as a consultant with various organizations. Marķa became an active member of League of Women Voters of LA in 2011 when she worked on the Common Core Consensus and the Realignment Program. She served on the LWVLA board as secretary and chair of the Program Committee before becoming co-President of the League of Women's Voter of Los Angeles in 2015.

Martha Sklar, Co-President

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Martha Sklar was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to Detroit, MI when she was eight and a half years old. Martha has a BA and MA in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Mathematics Education. She taught mathematics at high school and community college levels. Later she entered administration and was Dean of Academic Affairs at Los Angeles City College until her retirement eleven years ago. Upon joining the League she served on both the LWVLA and the LWV Ed Fund Boards. She previously served as Treasurer of LWVLA for six years and is currently co-President of the League with Maria Montero. She has two sons, Benjamin and Jonathan.

Mona Field, 2nd Vice President/Development

Mona Field has taught California Politics, writes a textbook on that subject (14th edition, California Government and Politics Today), and has served four terms (16 years) in public office as a member of the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees. During that time, she served twice as Board President and chaired numerous committees. Mona is a relatively new member of the League and has been involved for several years with the YES committee. Her focus on the League board will be Development (aka fundraising) and Action, working closely with those who have been working on these issues. On behalf of the League, she has identified a development training program which could assist in future fundraising.

Ann Rushton, Secretary

Michelle Dennis, Treasurer

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Michelle Dennis participated in the local government public policymaking process in varying roles and policy arenas for 38 years: at Los Angeles County (1965-1978) as urban planner; public welfare budget analyst and director of welfare research; budget analyst in a county CAO's office; Health Department contracts administrator; budget director of a county mental health agency; and as a private sector financial consultant to various public agencies (1979-1983). She was also Director of Finance/City Controller for the City of Santa Monica, California (1983-2003).

She served as president of the League of California Cities Fiscal Officers Department during FY 2000/2001. She was on the Board of Directors of the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO), and she is a Past President of the statewide Utility Users Tax Technical Task Force.

She has a BA in Political Science (1964), an MPA (1965) from UCLA, and completed all requirements except dissertation for a doctoral program in Public Administration at the University of Southern California (1981). She is also a Certified Public Finance Officer. Michelle studied under Professor A.G. Ramos at the University of Southern California and assisted him in the preparation of his book, The New Science of Organizations: a Reconceptualization of the Wealth of Nations. She has published in Administration & Society, the National Tax Journal, and her article "Beyond `Root' and `Branch': Towards a New Science of Policy Making" was published in Brazil in the book Politicas Publicas E Desenvolvimento, Bases epistemologicas e modelos de analise [Public Policy and Development: epistemological grounds and frameworks for analysis]. She has taught public administration at the University of Southern California, the Universidade Federal De Santa Catarina, Brazil, and at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA (2004- 2015). Michelle Dennis is transgender and formerly was Charles M. (Mike) Dennis.

Susannah Baxendale, Director-at-Large

Susannah F. Baxendale has been a member of the League of Women Voters for more than 25 years. She has served in PTA for 16 years at unit (elementary, middle and high school), council and district levels--her most active roles have been as Recording Secretary, in membership, and on bylaws committees; she has experience in membership and communications as well. She has been honored with PTA Honorary Service Awards at every level she has served on.

A board member of the Culver City Education Foundation since 2006, Susannah served first as chair of the Grant Committee and then Secretary. Her years as an active member of the Board Development Committee have added to her depth of experience with bylaws, organization structure, employee job descriptions, and recruitment of new board members and volunteers. Susannah's years of leadership positions in two 501 (c)(3) non-profit organizations have given her experience in the following areas especially: governance, bylaws and standing rules, organizational structure and evolution, parliamentary procedure, strategic planning and the like. Her experience on multiple committees as chairman and member has given her considerable experience working with diverse colleagues to achieve consensus. As Director at Large, Susannah would bring her strengths and experience to the service of the League of Women Voters, an organization she believes in strongly.

Tamra Edwards-Pink, Membership Chair

Marca Gay, Event Chair

Marca Gay currently provides management consulting services. Before joining the LWVLA Board, Marca served six years as Executive Director of Kehillat Israel ("KI") in Pacific Palisades, the largest Reconstructionist synagogue in North America. Prior to KI, she served as executive director of a nascent nonprofit organization and produced the organization's first awareness-raising educational program at the VA's Wadsworth Theatre. She has also held executive positions at HUC-JIR, an education nonprofit, both nationally and locally, and co-owned a for-profit business. An engaged citizen, Marca is a trained member of LA's Community Emergency Response Team. She provided volunteer assistance to advance efforts of the L.A. County Commission on Human Relations and was recognized by the L.A. City Council for her courageous actions during L.A.'s 1992 civil unrest. Born in Little Rock, Arkansas, Marca was appointed an ambassador of goodwill by then Governor Bill Clinton. She attended Princeton University, and lived and worked abroad before moving to Los Angeles. Marca serves on the League's Strategic Planning, Finance, and Budget Committees and has oversight responsibility for the League's Election Management Services program.

Carlos Medina, Action Chair

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Carlos Medina has lived in Los Angeles for the past 28 years. He has worked as a bookkeeper for local small businesses. For the past seven years he has been active with the Los Feliz/Silverlake unit of the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles and has most recently served on the LWVLA Board as Secretary. He will now serve as a Board Director. Locally, Carlos is a member of the ACLU, Library Foundation and Society of Architecture Historians, and is on the Board of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. He and his partner Denis Cagna have lived in Los Feliz for the past 19 years.

Brenda Riddick, Program Chair

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Brenda Riddick is the Director of the Mervyn M. Dymally African American Political and Economic Institute at California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) and has been a lecturer for Political Science and Public Administration at the university since 2006. She received her Bachelor degree in Business Management from Saint Mary's College and her Master of Public Administration degree from California State University San Bernardino. She is currently pursuing doctoral work at University of La Verne. Ms. Riddick has an extensive 30 plus years in the public, private, and non-profit sectors holding leadership and management positions in various organizational functions for administrative, human resources, project, product, budgets, regulatory, and grant funded programs to name a few. In addition she is politically oriented to the needs of the CSUDH campus, surrounding communities, student population, local government, and service learning projects. In her spare time she has volunteered for political campaigns and in the local district offices of our elected legislative officials. As an academic, Ms. Riddick engages her students in critical analysis by having them work through individual or group projects to solve wicked public problems. She is an advocate of civic duty + community service learning initiatives and high impact practices in and out of the classroom environment and believes life is an ongoing learning process. As a community organizer, she rallies others to exercise their voice through activism and voting as she holds community forums to discuss relevant issues, ballot initiatives and referendums. Lastly, she has written on the topics of Voter ID Card legislation proposed and or implemented across the U.S. and on transactional and transformational leadership in higher education and thus is a proponent of leadership by example.

Rosalind Tyson, Voter Service Chair

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Rosalind Tyson has been active in LWV Los Angeles for the past three years, variously working with Jean Thomson on sentencing reform in the advocacy arena, serving as the SmartVoter coordinator and most recently, as Chair of the Voter Service Committee. Roz retired in 2012 from a 30-year career as a lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission; she was the head of the agency's 175-person Los Angeles Regional Office from 2007 to 2012. She is a graduate of Georgetown University, University of Hawaii and Stanford Law School. Roz frequently commutes to northern California visiting her two grandchildren, children, father and brother in Sacramento and San Francisco.

Ida Mae Windham, Unit Chair

Ida Mae Windham is a graduate of U.C.L.A. Her active participation in the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles began following her retirement from the Los Angeles Unified School District after 31 years. Ida Mae was a classroom teacher, a guidance counselor, an Administrative Dean, an Assistant Principal and a high school Principal for her last seven years with the district.

In 2007 she became a member of the League's Education Committee and is still active with that committee. Ida Mae has served as Program Committee Chairperson, is a member of the Internship Committee and has worked on several Running and Winning Forums. In 2012 the Internship committee became the YES! Committee and she served as a member of its Leadership Team.

This year Ida Mae will serve as the Unit Coordinator for the League and will assume the position of Unit Chair for the University-Westside Unit.