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

Ann Rushton, a long-time Sherman Oaks resident, graduated from Stanford University in political science and from UCLA Law School. She worked with the California Attorney General's office for two years doing criminal appeals before moving overseas with her husband who was a bureau chief for Time magazine. In Hong Kong she worked for an international law firm, before moving to Bangkok where her oldest son was born, and where she enjoyed a mid-career break. Back in LA, she worked eight years as the staff counsel for the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy handling acquisitions of parkland and open space, including Fryman Canyon, Solstice Canyon, Towsley Canyon, Circle X Ranch, and Paramount Ranch. She rejoined the Attorney General's Office in the Environment Section and spent 20 years dealing with cases related to toxics, Superfund, and the California Environmental Quality Act. Now retired and with her two sons through college, she is happy to do volunteer work with the League. She has been involved with various League activities including: co-chairing the Voter Service Committee, working with the League's Climate Committee, organizing candidate forums, speaking on Pros and Cons, presenting the "Voting Basics" program, doing write-ups of Pros and Cons of state ballot measures, and participating in the League study on the Initiative and Referendum policy in California.

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.

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.

Ida Mae Windham, Program 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.

Harriet Borson, Unit Chair

Harriet Borson graduated from UCLA with a degree in education and from CSUN with an MA in Child Development/Education Psychology. She taught in LAUSD and in BHUSD. She was a member of the LWV in Los Angeles and then in Beverly Hills in the sixties and seventies. She has always been an involved advocate for the education and health of children and families. Harriet was a long time member of the California State PTA Board serving on the Legislation Action Committee and was Director of Legislation for eight years. During that time she chaired the CSPTA participation in many State Ballot measures. Since rejoining LWV in 2009 she chaired the National Education study 2010-2011, has presented ballot Pros & Cons, been active with the Voter Service Committee and the Program Committee and is a member of the Education Committee. Harriet served on the LWVLA Board and LWVLA Education Fund Board 2013-2115. She has two sons and is grandmother of two grandsons who attend Eugene Oregon Public Schools.

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.

Carol Eisner, Communications 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.

Crissi Avila, Board Director

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Crissi Avila has been an active Real Estate Agent in the City of Los Angeles since 2004 and is now working with Deasy/Penner & Partners. In the last few years she also started her own company CnC Group LLC partnering with other investors to provide above average returns in real estate during the financial downturn. Crissi has been a resident of LA since her beginnings and has volunteered with many local community groups and organizations. She started in the 1990's with the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Political Committee and helped elect local officials. Later she worked with the California Clean Money Campaign as the Pasadena Coordinator, sat on the Board of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council and now volunteers with the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council. She also has volunteered with the Southern California Biodiesel User's Group, Amnesty International among others. She is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, earning a BA in Communications and is very excited to be a member of the Board of the League of Women Voters!