Board nominees - Rights and Democracy

Board nominees

Rights and Democracy Project (c4) Board


Sylvia E. Gale, Co-Chair (NH) - For more than forty years Sylvia has worked on behalf of women and children and their families throughout the State of New Hampshire. Her work has focused on victim/survivor advocacy and support for program development and implementation on behalf of victims of crime. Sylvia has served as a member of the NH House of Representatives from 2012 - 2014, as well as served as the Executive Director of the NH Commission on the Status of Women. In 2016, she was a member of the Steering Committee for the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign in New Hampshire.   

Brittany Nevins, Co-Chair (VT) - Brittany grew up in Waltham, VT. She is a member of the Chittenden Organizing Team and has been on the board of RAD for over a year, playing a significant role in the political vision of the organization. She completed a MA in Sustainable Development, with a concentration in Policy Advocacy & Analysis, while working with homeless populations as an AmeriCorps member in Burlington. Brittany is a 2016 Emerge Vermont Graduate and would like to build focus on increasing accessible pathways for members to run for public office and build political leaders for the long haul. She has been working as the Northern Field Coordinator for Let's Grow Kids, raising awareness about child care challenges in the Northeast Kingdom of VT. Starting in January, Brittany will be the Executive Assistant for the Superintendent of the Burlington School District, Yaw Obeng, and is excited to make a direct impact on her community in such an important time for Vermont’s children and the future of our community. She lives in Burlington, VT.

Jade Fitzgerald, Secretary (NH) -  Jade is a long time technology professional with a background in computer security and data analytics; and is a cloud engineer at the moment. She finds her hobby in volunteer work having co-founded both DrawnCon Incorporated and Lunar Solis Corp; both of which are educational 501(c)(3) organizations in support of Animation and the Arts. She has additionally spent time volunteering as an EMT, and began her political organizing with Bernie Sanders NH campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016. She believes in the people's ability to influence the government they live in, and will assist that fight in any way she can.

Traven Leyshon, Treasurer (VT) - Traven has been a long time supporter of independent working class political action. He currently serves as Communications & Community Engagement Coordinator for the Vermont State Labor Council (AFL-CIO), as President of the Green Mountain Labor Council, and as a member of the Vermont Workers Center. He hosts a weekly radio program, Equal Time, on WDEV that focuses primarily on questions of social, economic and climate justice. He lives in Middlesex, VT.

Mary Gerisch (VT) - Mary is a retired human rights attorney and past President of the Vermont Workers’ Center. She is a task force member of the U.S. Human Rights Network (USHRN) International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and as the Co-Chair of the Universal Periodic Review task force for USHRN. She sits on the board of the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, Healing Winds Pow Wow, and Bennington Farm to Plate. She is a representative on the Greater Bennington Interfaith Council, which has established and supports the Bennington Free Health Clinic, as well the Bennington Vermont Food Bank Distribution Center. She has been actively organizing for clean water in Bennington with RAD and Water Warriors.  She is currently the Chair of the Bennington Town Democratic Party.

Mari Cordes (VT) - Mari is a registered nurse and union and community social justice activist. She is the former local president of Vermont Federation of Nurses and Health Professionals. She co-led on a number of policy issues such as an effort to remove discriminatory health insurance practices for transgender individuals, to strengthen public and regulatory oversight of not-for-profit hospital assets, and in the effort to establish publicly funded health care with no barriers to access for all Vermonters. Her first academic degree was in Natural Resource Management, Economics and Policy, and she serves on the 350VT board and Vermont Progressive Party. She lives off the grid in the mountains with her husband David.

John Moran (VT) - Former 4-term state representative, past vice-chair of the House General committee and co-chair of the Working Vermonters Legislative Caucus.  Committed to economic growth and equality, universal healthcare (Medicare for all), livable wage, guaranteed employment, environmental protection, housing for all, strong labor and worker rights, full livable benefits for the disabled, expanded social security, equitable taxation, and an economic system that is the servant of all Vermonters. Co-founder of Rights & Democracy.  

Elizabeth Ropp (NH) - is a Community Acupuncturist in Manchester, NH and a founding member and volunteer for The People's Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) since 2011. Since the Occupy Movement, Elizabeth has been involved with local activism in New Hampshire regarding campaign finance reform, ending the revolving door of lobbying, and ending the immigrant detention quota system. Elizabeth was on the New Hampshire Steering Committee for the Bernie Sanders Presidential campaign, and also organized grassroots efforts to promote Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. She lives in Manchester, NH 

Jan Schaffer (NH) - Jan works for the national AFL-CIO. She is currently the Governance, Organizational and Leadership Development Coordinator for the Northeast. She works with State Federations, Central Labor Bodies and affiliated unions to assist with planning, governance, leadership development and training. From 1989 through 1997 Schaffer was the Political Director for the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. In the 1980s Schaffer was an organizer for the United Auto Workers (UAW) Technical, Office and Professional Workers Department, primarily organizing workers in the academic sector. She has been a member of the United Auto Workers and the American Federation of Teachers. Currently, she is a member of the Communication Workers. She lives in Warner, NH.

Peri Stockinger (NH) - For more than three decades, Peri has specialized in data management, reporting, and operations for a variety of businesses. She was a super volunteer on the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign working on data and events. She lives in Concord with her son, who also worked on the Sanders Campaign. Peri is passionate about traveling, gardening, crafts and has a newfound affinity for political poster making.  

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