Committee Members -
California's Plan for Voting in the 21st Century



Rob McKay

Rob McKay (Chair)
McKay Foundation

Mr. McKay is the President of the McKay Foundation, a family foundation that awards grants to community groups working for social and economic justice. He is also the managing partner of the McKay Investment Group, which provides venture capital for early-stage technology and consumer product companies. He is well-known in California for his work in promoting participation in the voting process. He was the proponent of Proposition 52 on the November 2002 ballot, a bi-partisan measure to establish Election Day Voter Registration in California.

Michael Alvarez

R. Michael Alvarez
Professor of Political Science, Caltech Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project

R. Michael Alvarez has taught political science at Caltech since December 1992. He received his B.A. in political science in 1986 from Carleton College; he received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University in 1990 and 1992, respectively. He has focused most of his research and teaching on the study of electoral politics in the United States. Professor Alvarez is co-director of the Caltech/MIT Voting Technology Project, researching technological solutions to electoral problems. He is a Principal Investigator for the Secure Electronic Registration and Voting Experiment (SERVE), which is studying Internet voting for overseas civilians and military personnel through a contract with the Department of Defense. Alvarez has just completed a new book project with Thad Hall on the feasibility of Internet voting called "Point, Click and Vote."

Harley Augustino

Harley Augustino
Coalition for a Living Wage

Harley Augustino is the Field Organizer for the Coalition for a Living Wage, a labor-community coalition in Santa Barbara that advocates for economic justice policies while building the power and leadership of low-income residents. A graduate of UCSB, he has led several campus and community-based voter registration and participation efforts. He co-founded the Isla Vista Tenants' Union in 1998, and was elected to a four-year term as a Director of the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District in 2000.

Robert Balgenorth

Robert Balgenorth
State Building and Construction Trades Council

Robert Balgenorth is President of the State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, AFL-CIO since 1993. The Council, which represents more than 200 building trades local unions and regional councils, works to improve the economic condition, health and job safety of approximately 400,000 working men and women in the state's construction industry. In 1999, he was appointed to the Governor's Commission on Building for the 21st Century of which he serves as co-chair for the Facilities and Finance Committees. In 2002, he was appointed to the Workforce Investment Board and to the California Transportation Commission where he serves as Vice-Chair.

Ardis Bazyn

Ardis Bazyn
California Council of the Blind

Ardis Bazyn is currently Treasurer of the American Council of the Blind based in Washington, D.C.; Secretary for the California Council of the Blind; First Vice President of Independent Visually Impaired Entrepreneurs and Board Member of Randolph Sheppard Vendors of America. She is a motivational speaker, coach and writer with Bazyn Communications. She has published numerous articles and Books. In 2001, she compiled a booklet for Blind Students of California, "A Guide to a Successful College Experience." She has owned several businesses and has been active in a variety of business and consumer organizations.

Miguel Contreras

Miguel Contreras
Los Angeles County Federation of Labor AFL-CIO

Miguel Contreras is the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO. He is the first Latino elected leader of the 107 year old Federation of 350 affiliated unions representing more than 750,000 members. He serves on the Boards of the L.A. Convention and Visitors Bureau, United Way of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Airport Commission, and the California Narcotic Addicts Evaluation Authority. He has been listed in Hispanic Business Magazine's "100 Most Influential Hispanics" for the past three years.

Francisco Estrada

Francisco Estrada
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)

Francisco Estrada is a Senior Policy Analyst in the Sacramento office of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) working on educational and land use issues. He represents MALDEF on the Steering Committee of the California Futures Network. Before his employment at MALDEF, he was a long-time staff member to Congressman Bob Filner. At the local and federal government level, he has worked on a number of issues including water, wastewater, transportation infrastructure projects, immigration, energy, and environmental protection.

HAVA-Photo-Feng

Kathay Feng
Asian Pacific American Legal Center (APALC)

Kathay Feng is the Program Director of the Voting Rights Unit at the Asian Pacific American Legal Center. She has worked in a variety of civil rights areas including voting rights and redistricting, hate crimes, police accountability, and anti-discrimination. She is currently involved in APALC's efforts to build a statewide network of advocates on key policy issues such as voting rights, language rights and consumer rights. Ms. Feng serves, or has served, on the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council, the California Secretary of State's Advisory Committee on Voter Participation and Outreach, LA County Human Relations Commission, LAPD Police Chief's API Forum, the Asian Pacific American Police Advisory Council, Organization of Chinese Americans, and the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum's Los Angeles Board.

Rosalind Gold

Rosalind Gold
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund

Rosalind Gold serves as Senior Director of Policy, Research and Advocacy with the NALEO Educational Fund, where she has worked for over a decade on policy analysis and research for the naturalization and Latino political empowerment efforts of the organization. Her areas of expertise include election reform, the decennial Census and the restructuring of the nation's immigration bureaucracy. She received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and her B.A. from Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Margaret Jakobson

Margaret Jakobson
Protection & Advocacy, Inc. (PAI)

Margaret Jakobson has worked for California Protection and Advocacy, Inc. (PAI) for sixteen years. She was a staff attorney serving clients with developmental disabilities for six years and then an attorney serving clients with physical, mental and sensory disabilities. Her specialties include special education issues, developmental disabilities service system eligibility, and Americans with Disabilities Act litigation, including public transit litigation. She became the managing attorney in the Oakland regional office in 1999 and held that position until her move to San Diego in 2001. In San Diego she set up a new PAI regional office, is the managing attorney of that office, and specializes in special education, Americans with Disabilities Act litigation, transportation law, voting rights and other service and civil rights advocacy for people with disabilities.

Cyndi Jones

Cyndi Jones
Exploding Myths, Inc.

Cyndi Jones is President of Exploding Myths, Inc. She draws on over 40 years of experience as an advocate for disability rights. As publisher, she promoted the growth of MAINSTREAM Magazine from a four page local newsletter to an award-winning glossy national magazine serving people with disabilities. She has served on many national panels on media and disability issues, including the New Directions for News conference at the Freedom Forum on underrepresented groups in the media in 1993.

Laura Kerr

Laura Kerr
California State Student Association

Laura Kerr is the Director of Governmental Relations for the California State Student Association. She has been actively involved in statewide student advocacy and higher education policy since 1998. She is the registered lobbyist for the association and closely monitors the public policy developments, personalities, and institutions that affect CSU students and shape higher education politics in California. In this capacity, she coordinates the association's voter registration, voter education and get-out-the-vote campaigns and is the staff liaison to the California Youth Vote Coalition. She graduated from Humboldt State University in 2001.

Geoffrey Kors

Geoffrey Kors
Equality California (EQCA)

Geoffrey Kors is the Executive Director of Equality California (EQCA), California's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender lobbying organization. (Equality California was formerly known as California Alliance for Pride and Equality (CAPE).) Mr. Kors is a graduate of Stanford Law School and has been active in the LGBT community for twenty years. Prior to joining EQCA, he was a partner in the law firm Wotman, Kors & Clouiter, LLP where he primarily handled gay rights matters. He has served as Director of both the Gay and Lesbian Rights and AIDS and Civil Liberties Projects of the ACLU of Illinois and as Chief of Staff to San Francisco Supervisor Leslie Katz. Mr. Kors originated San Francisco's Equal Benefits Ordinance which is now the basis of AB 17, a bill in the California Assembly.

Cynthia McClain-Hill

Cynthia McClain-Hill
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)

Cynthia McClain-Hill is founder and principal of the law firm McClain-Hill Associates in Los Angeles. The law firm specializes in Land Use, Planning and Environmental Law, Public and Administrative Law and public policy development and advocacy. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Health Foundation, is President Elect of the National Association of Women Business Owners-Los Angeles, a member of the UCLA Foundation Board of Councilors, and supports a host of charitable organizations aimed at enhancing opportunities for women and minorities. Ms. McClain-Hill has previously served the State of California as a member of the California Fair Political Practices Commission and now serves as the Governor of California's appointee to the California Coastal Commission.

Conny McCormack

Conny McCormack
Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk

Conny McCormack is the Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk of Los Angeles County. As Registrar of Voters, she is responsible for conducting elections for the largest electoral jurisdiction in the U.S., with over 4 million registered voters and 5,000 voting precincts. She conducts federal, state and county elections and, via contract, conducts or supports local elections for 88 cities, 100 school districts and 149 special districts. Prior to becoming Registrar of Voters in Los Angeles, she served as Registrar of Voters for San Diego County from 1987 to 1994 and was Elections Administrator in Dallas County, Texas, from 1981-1987. Additionally, she has served as an international elections consultant in five countries.

Eliseo Medina

Eliseo Medina
Organization of Los Angeles Workers (OLAW)

Eliseo Medina is International Executive Vice President of Service Employees International Union (SEIU) based in Los Angeles. He has helped to make SEIU the fastest-growing union on the West Coast and the largest union in California and the nation. In 1996, he made history when he was elected as the first Mexican-American to a top leadership post at the 1.5 million member SEIU. He has helped strengthen ties between the Catholic Church and the labor movement to work on common concerns such as immigrant worker rights and access to health care.

Vigo G. (Chip) Nielsen, Jr.

Vigo G. (Chip) Nielsen, Jr.
Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinelo, Mueller & Naylor, LLP

Chip Nielsen is a prominent specialist in federal and California campaign, initiative, lobbying, conflict of interest and non-profit laws. His firm represents clients in campaign, lobbying and gift laws in all 50 states. He is Co-chair & Co-editor of Practicing Law Institute's annual seminar and case book on "Corporate Political Activities," (1978-Present). He serves on the Advisory Board, Institute of Governmental Studies, University of California, Berkeley, (1993-Present). He has served as Legal Counsel to Governor Pete Wilson Committee (1989-1999); Senator Pete Wilson Committee (1981-1991); Art Agnos for San Francisco Mayor (1987-1991); George Moscone for San Francisco Mayor (1975-1978).

Art Pulaski

Art Pulaski
California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO

Art Pulaski is the Executive Secretary Treasurer of the California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO. During his tenure in office, the rank and file members in the Federation have doubled. As President of "We Do the Work," he helped craft the successful, nationally televised PBS series. He serves on the boards of the Council for Economic and Environmental Balance, the Labor Project for Working Families, State Workforce Investment Board, Governor's Commission on Building for the 21st Century and Potomac Board of Governors.

Ann Reed

Ann Reed
President, California Association of Clerks and
Elections Officials and the Shasta County Registrar of Voters

Ann Reed is currently President of the California Association of Clerks and Elections Officials. She is the elected Shasta County Clerk/Registrar of Voters, having first been elected in 1982. Prior to her election, she had been the Assistant County Clerk/Recorder of Voters since 1978, and had worked in the office since 1963.

Steve Rodermund

Steve Rodermund
Orange County Registrar of Voters

Steve Rodermund is the Orange County Registrar of Voters. Orange County is California's second most populous county with 1.3 million registered voters, requiring language support in English, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese. Orange County is currently replacing its punch card voting system with the Hart DRE system, with countywide implementation in March 2004. Mr. Rodermund retired from the military in 1992. Since then he has served in various positions with the Orange County Transportation Authority and in Orange County's County Executive Office.

Arturo Rodriguez

Arturo Rodriguez
United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO

Arturo Rodriguez is the President of United Farm Workers of America, AFL-CIO. As President, he is carrying on the work of the union founded by Cesar Chavez, who died in 1993. Mr. Rodriguez succeeded Mr. Chavez to the presidency. He has been active with the union and its mission since 1969. In 1995, he was elected to the AFL-CIO's governing Executive Council.

Marion Taylor

Marion Taylor
League of Women Voters of California

Marion Taylor is Government Director for the League of Women Voters of California. A member of the League of Women Voters since 1968, she has been active in the League's Voters Service work, particularly making presentations on pros and cons of statewide ballot measures and moderating candidate forums. She contributes information to Smart Voter, the League's online guide which provides access to a ballot customized for a particular address and integrates information from elections officials, candidates, newspapers, and nonpartisan websites.

Ted Wang

Ted Wang
Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA)

Ted Wang is the Policy Director for Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), where he overseas advocacy on civil rights issues affecting Asian Americans and supervises job training for low-wage workers. Mr. Wang has drafted a number of immigrant and civil rights laws and policies at both the state and local levels in California, litigated cases under the federal Voting Rights Act and National Voter Registration Act, and helped develop local plans to implement the language assistance requirements of Section 203 of the VRA, as well as procedures for allowing eligible prisoners to vote in San Francisco county jails. Prior to joining CAA, Mr. Wang was staff attorney with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Dr. Geraldine Washington

Dr. Geraldine Washington
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

Dr. Geraldine Washington is President of the Los Angeles NAACP. She has served as NAACP Branch President and Vice President, President and Vice President for Women In NAACP and Win Coordinator for Region I, which consists of nine western states, Japan, Germany and Korea. She serves on the Los Angeles County EEOC Advisory Council, Media Image Coalition (Human Relations Sub-Committee), and African American Jewish Leadership Connection.


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