State and local voices

Ken Colburn, Symbiotic Strategies LLC, NH

Kenneth (Ken) A. Colburn advises energy and environmental regulators on air quality and climate-related issues, as well as on opportunities associated with regulatory compliance, energy efficiency, renewable energy, distributed generation, integrated resource planning, and other energy policy matters. Mr. Colburn has led several state climate planning processes and provided strategic assistance to foundations, progressive companies, and nongovernmental organizations in their efforts to address climate and energy issues. (more…)

Rebecca Whitley, Moms Clean Air Task Force, NH

Rebecca Whitley is the field organizer for Moms Clean Air Force in New Hampshire. She received a B.B.A. from George Washington University and a J.D. from Vermont Law School. Becky has always been committed to social justice and children’s health. She comes to Moms Clean Air Force after many years of practicing public interest law, representing adults and children on important disability rights issues and participating in policy advocacy. She is thrilled to utilize her skills to mobilize parents and others in New Hampshire and advocate for children’s right to clean air. Becky and her family love to spend time exploring New Hampshire’s outdoors. She lives in Hopkinton, New Hampshire with her husband and their young son.

Walter Deville, DRC and Ft. Berthold POWER, ND

Walter Deville is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation also known as Three Affiliated Tribes on Fort Berthold Reservation. He has lived his whole life in Mandaree with his wife, five children and two grandbabies. Currently, he serves with the Citizens for Change group as well as the Mandaree Community Board Treasurer. He assisted in creating the grassroots group Fort Berthold Protectors of Water and Earth Rights (POWER) where he is a member. He is also a member of Fand and the Dakota Resource Council (DRC). In the winter of 2010, Walter, along with his wife and family, realized the impacts oil and gas development were having on Mandaree and the other Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara communities. Walter believes that Native American are connected to their ancestral lands and that as caretakers of Mother Earth and future generations to come, it is their responsibility to protect the water, land, and air as well as continue to pass this notion on in order to thrive as a people.

Lisa Deville, Vice President, Ft. Berthold POWER, ND

Lisa Deville is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation also known as the Three Affiliated Tribes on Fort Berthold Reservation. She has lived her whole life in Mandaree with her husband, five children and two grandbabies. She holds a Master of Management, a Master of Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Mary. (more…)

Nicole Donaghy, Dakota Resource Council, ND

Nicole Donaghy is a community organizer for oil and gas issues at Dakota Resource Council in Bismarck, North Dakota. She is a native North Dakotan and was raised in Fort Yates on the northern side of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Erica Lighthiser, Moms Clean Air Force, MT

Erica Lighthiser a research scientist, mama of three, wife, homeschooler, adventure cyclist, hiker, skier, lover of local food, tiny houses, large open spaces and most things wild and outdoors. Her family lives in a windy western town in the Rocky Mountains of Montana where she works for a non-profit community organization that aims to protect rugged wildlands, wildlife, fresh waters, and the people that enjoy them.

Robert Wilson, Rancher/Landowner, MT

Robert Wilson’s life has been divided between teaching college English and operating the family cattle ranch near Bainville, Montana–an unorthodox pairing, but that’s how it was. For the last ten years or so, he has been in the midst of the Bakken oil boom, which transformed both the community and the countryside. He is 67 years old and in the process of transferring the ranch to his son, who will be the fourth generation in Robert’s family to own it.

James Harrison, Senior National Representative, Utility Workers Union of America, MI

James Harrison is a Senior National Representative for the Utility Workers Union of America, assigned to Region IV (Great Lakes/Midwest) and live in Michigan. He is a former Local Union President for a large electric/gas utility, and a former UWUA National Executive Board member. James is on the BGA Steering Committee and a Board member of the BlueGreen Alliance Foundation.

Chaz Tedesco, Adams County Commissioner, CO

Commissioner Charles “Chaz” Tedesco grew up and attended school in Adams County. He has been married to Bernadette Padilla since 1996 and they have a daughter, Amber. After serving honorably in the United States Navy, Chaz was a Master Mechanic for 23 years as well as a member of the United Steelworkers Union. He has been an officer of the union since 1996 and president of United Steelworkers since 2005. This role has enabled him to experience a wide variety of circumstances requiring the need for strong leadership, while balancing the needs of workers and corporations. Chaz was elected as Adams County Commissioner, District 2, in November 2012 and was sworn into office on Jan. 8, 2013. He currently serves as chairman of the Board of Commissioners.

Nita Gonzales, Principal of Escuela Tlatelolco, CO

Nita Gonzales is the President/CEO of Escuela Tlatelolco Centro de Estudios, a nationally recognized model for Chicano/Mexicano and indigenous education located in Denver, CO. Escuela Tlatelolco was originally founded over forty four years ago to provide culturally competent and socially conscious education to predominantly Latino youth. Nita also has a long record of supporting causes and activities that promote the economic, political, social, and educational strength of Latinos and underserved populations. (more…)

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