Kathleen O’Halloran Blake retired in 2014 to care for a family member and is now eager to continue TakeAction’s work across all of Minnesota as a board member. As a TakeAction leader in the Grand Rapids area, Kathleen secured commitments from 7 legislators and over 100 residents to raise the minimum wage, support the Women’s Economic Security Act, and address health care access for all.Kathleen began organizing as a young mother, successfully developing a parent-cooperative Day Care Center on St. Paul’s West Side. She founded and directed Action through Churches Together in Itasca County, a 14 member faith-based coalition promoting social, racial and economic justice through local and regional issue campaigns. Kathleen was elected to the Board of Directors as an individual member in 2016.
Francisco Segovia has a 22-year track record of compassionate and effective asset-based service delivery and leadership within diverse communities. He brings experience in building networks and coalitions across sectors to change conditions that limit people’s choices. Francisco currently leads the Pillsbury-Waite House Community Center, a hybrid of human service-civic engagement organization that engages thousands of Minneapolis residents. He is also a co-founder of Mesa Latina, a statewide organizing strategy focused on system change through the empowerment of local leaders. He is an active member of Minneapolis based group working along with the City of Minneapolis on developing a racial equity blue print for the City of Minneapolis and is co-leading the Twin Cities Community Radio project—an initiative to open of Low Power FM community radio station.
Martha Skold lives with her husband and children in the West Seventh neighborhood of St. Paul where she is a middle school teacher. Martha’s political involvement really began in college at the Jane Addams School for Democracy, working with immigrant populations on personal, local issues. From there, she made personal connections that thrust her into more formal political organizing. While managing a 2007 St. Paul City Council campaign, Martha had the opportunity to work closely with Take Action Minnesota and found the organizing style meshed with her own passion for face-to-face, honest, community-based politics. She has been an active member of the organization since then. Martha has served on the TakeAction PAC Board since 2007 and has served as chair of the PAC from 2008 through 2013. Martha was elected to the Board of Directors as an individual member in 2009.
Grant Stevensen has been a Lutheran pastor for more than 20 years. He has worked in Taiwan, Papua New Guinea, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Grant is the immediate past president of the ISAIAH organization and served as the Faith Director for the MN United campaign to defeat the marriage amendment. Grant has recently finished his call to St. Matthews Lutheran church and is currently working in clergy and religious leader organizing through ISAIAH. Grant’s career has been focused on coalition building around social justice. Serving on the TakeAction Board is an opportunity to lead inside MNs premier progressive organization. Grant was elected to the Board of Directors as an individual member in 2014.
Mai Chong Xiong is the chair of TakeAction Minnesota’s board and a leader with TakeAction’s Change Team and PAC. She also serves on TakeAction’s Executive Committee and Finance Committee. Previous campaigns she has been on include winning Hmong American Day in Minnesota and defeating both the Voter Restriction and Marriage Amendments. She currently works as a Legislative Aide to Saint Paul’s first-elected Hmong American Councilmember, Dai Thao. While serving as legislative aide, Mai Chong helped win the strongest Earned Sick and Safe Time ordinance in the nation in St. Paul, removed police officers from St. Paul’s Civilian Review Board, and took on tobacco corporations for targeting youth of color. Mai Chong was elected to the Board of Directors as an individual member in 2013 and Board Chair in 2016.
Liz Asmus became committed to the labor movement and progressive politics in 2007 when hired as an Organizer in Training at SEIU Healthcare’s International Union, helping healthcare workers across the country to form their union. In 2008, Liz took an External Organizing position at SEIU Healthcare MN. In 2009 she became an Internal Organizer in the Allina Sector, and in 2012 became Director of the Sector. Liz was elected to her current position, Executive Vice President, in 2013 and since then has became the Metro Hospital’s Director and Clinic Director. She is also a current member of the Twin Cities Advisory Council to the Minnesota Federal Reserve. Liz is originally from Lebanon, Ohio and has a Master’s in Political Science with a focus on Political Feminist Theory from Ohio University. Liz was elected to the Board of Directors in 2016 as an organizational member.
Nick Faber is a National Board Certified elementary science teacher serving as Vice President for the Saint Paul Federation of Teachers (SPFT). SPFT represents 3,600 teachers and paraprofessionals in Saint Paul Public Schools where Nick has taught for 29 years. Nick is also the President of the National Parent/Teacher Home Visit Project which has trained teachers in cities such as Saint Paul, Washington DC, Denver, and Boston in how to build partnerships between home and the classroom where parents are viewed as an asset. Nick and his partner Sharon live in Minneapolis and have been individual members of TakeAction since the Progressive Minnesota days. Nick was elected to the Board of Directors as an organizational member in 2015.
Jamil Jackson is the Executive Director of C.E.O. (Change Equals Opportunity), a curriculum based program with targeted efforts to involve African American men ages 12-25 in interactive activities that reinforce positive behavior. Jamil is also the Founder and Director of a youth basketball league called Run and Shoot HSBL, which uses sports as a way to engage young men and women in fellowship and exposes and connects youth to civic engagement through their community. His work has been recognized by many, including Minnesota Public Radio and Minnesota Spokesman Recorder, as some of the most dynamic work being done with young people in North Minneapolis. Jamil lives with his wife, Gail, and is a father of three bright, intelligent, and ambitious children. Jamil was elected to the Board of Directors as an organizational member in 2016.
Mona Meyer lives with her husband and daughter in Little Canada. Mona has worked for AT&T for 29 years. She has also served the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union in many different roles and is currently the CWA Minnesota State Council President. She also champions the state legislative/political program. Mona has focused a her work on coalition building with partners who share the same goals as CWA. CWA led Minnesota in opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership free trade agreement and raising awareness about the dangers of this deal. CWA and its partners defeated the TPP. Mona became involved with TakeAction in 2012 and has served on the PAC. Mona was appointed to the Board of Directors as an organizational member in 2016.
Monica Meyer is Executive Director of OutFront Minnesota, a statewide organization working for equity for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. Under Monica’s leadership, OutFront Minnesota and Project 515 co-founded Minnesotans United for All Families, the electoral campaign which defeated the proposed constitutional amendment to limit the freedom to marry in 2012 and the legislative campaign, which won marriage equality seven months later. In 2014, OutFront led the Safe Schools for All Coalition effort to pass one of the strongest anti-bullying laws in the country. Monica received her master’s degree in public policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, Monica served on the founding Board and was elected as an individual member in 2006. Monica also served as Board Chair for 3 years.
Anthony Newby is the Executive Director of Neighborhoods Organizing for Change (NOC). Anthony began his organizing career in disaster relief, having helped to create an innovative social media platform to deliver aid in the wake of a tornado that devastated North Minneapolis in 2011. He then worked to leverage the local Occupy movement into what became Occupy Homes MN, a dynamic housing-justice based movement model. He has since worked to grow NOC into an intersectional movement hub and one of most compelling black and people of color lead community organizing organizations in the nation. Anthony was first elected to the Board as an organizational member in 2013.
Rose Roach is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Nurses Association. Rose has 27 years of experience in the labor movement having served as the Executive Director of the Minnesota School Employees Association and the Field Director for the River Delta Field Office of the California School Employees Association. Rose has been active in progressive, social and economic justice politics for the past four decades. Rose is a national speaker on single payer health care as the means to achieve health care as a human right. Rose is a member of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton’s Health Care Financing Task Force and recently served as a co-chair of the St. Paul City Task Force on Earned Safe and Sick Time. In August 2016 Rose was named one of Minnesota’s 100 influential leaders in health care. Rose was first elected to the Board of Directors in 2015 as an organizational member.
Mark Schultz has organized for social change since 1981, working with people taking on the issues of economic justice, corporate accountability, environmental stewardship, affordable housing, health care, rural development, and family farms. Mark is the Executive Director at the Land Stewardship Project (LSP), a primarily farm and rural organization based in Minnesota. As one of the founders of TakeAction Minnesota, Mark’s goal is to make TakeAction a powerful, statewide, multi-racial, and effective progressive organization, winning changes in our communities and in our public policy that improve the lives of people, the strength of our democracy, and the health of the land. Mark served on the founding Board and was elected as an individual member in 2006. Mark also served as the Board Chair for 5 years.
Denise Specht was elected president of Education Minnesota in 2013. Denise, a fourth-generation teacher, served the previous six years as Secretary-Treasurer of the statewide educators’ union. Denise has served as president of the Centennial Education Association, vice president of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT), and a member of the political action committee for the National Education Association (NEA). She serves on the Minnesota AFL-CIO general board and executive committee and as a board member of TakeAction Minnesota. Denise was elected to the Board of Directors as an organizational member in 2015.
Mihiret Abrahim is the Senior Navigator at Health Access MN, a MNsure Navigator outreach and enrollment agency that serves the Twin Cities and Southeast MN. Previously, Mihiret worked for Rainbow Health Initiative on tobacco research and as a youth advisor for East Metro Integration District. Mihiret lives in Saint Paul with her elementary aged children. Her passion for advocacy continues to grow and learn about the complex ways people’s lives are positively impacted by policy change. The work she has done has been incredibly rewarding, and she has helped many people who’ve gone without health care become insured. Despite this great work, she believes there is more to be done and is excited to work alongside others to take action on healthcare, criminal justice reform, and improving education for our youth. Mihiret was elected to the Board of Directors as an individual member in 2016.
Christina Bowstring works as a Freelance Consultant for Eagle Eye Vision Consulting, an organization that supports Native people in a variety of capacities. Prior to that, she worked as a Family Support Specialist for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe’s Indian Child Welfare Department. Outside of work, Christina serves on Chippewa National Forest Resource Advisory Committee, the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce’s Forestry Affairs committee, Circle of Healing, Chair of the Executive Council for Spark, Outreach Officer Itasca County DFL and the Eighth Congressional District. Christina is a graduate of Blandin Foundation’s reservation leadership program and Northwest Area Foundation’s leadership training program. She is the proud mother of five children and lives in Deer River, Minnesota. Christina was elected to the Board of Directors as an individual member in 2016.
Frank Brown joined TakeAction Minnesota during the Renew Minnesota campaign in 2009. He was a founding member of the Justice 4 All program, and worked for TakeAction as an organizer. Frank has participated in many actions, including organizing a rally in Target’s corporate headquarters. Frank owns a printing business in Minneapolis, hiring people with records. Frank is the vice-chair of TakeAction’s board, serves on TakeAction’s finance and executive committees, and is the chair of TakeAction’s political committee. Frank was elected to the Board of Directors as an individual member in 2015.
Annie Harala is an engaged resident of Duluth and northeast Minnesota. Having worked in nonprofits and county government for the last 9 years, Annie brings experience working in greater Minnesota’s rural and urban communities in health policy and youth engagement. Annie is currently the Northeast Minnesota Regional Coordinator for Healthy Northland, a movement of coalitions in Northeastern Minnesota working in the areas of active living, healthy eating, and tobacco-free living. She also serves as a member of the Duluth School Board. Annie is passionate about walkable communities, great public education for students, being a present member of her family, Lake Superior, and enjoying a deep laugh at least twice daily. Annie was elected to the Board of Directors as an individual member in 2015.
Mónica Hurtado grew up in Colombia, where she was trained as a family medicine doctor. Upon arriving to the US in 2001, she worked with a clinic based Latino Youth Development Program. In 2009 she joined other members of communities of color to lead efforts around Race, Ethnicity and Language Data to achieve equity. Since 2014, Monica has been the racial justice and health equity organizer for Voices for Racial Justice, where she brings skills in policy, public health and community organizing. As a board candidate, one of Monica’s main interest is to support TakeAction in fostering partnerships with communities of color and American Indians to advance racial justice in Minnesota. Mónica was elected to the Board of Directors as an individual member in 2016.
Veronica Mendez Moore has been an organizer with Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL) for over seven years. As a part of CTUL, Veronica has organized thousands of low-wage immigrant workers from across the Twin Cities to stand up and win justice in their workplaces. Veronica became a leader with TakeAction Minnesota in 2010, working to ensure that the Latino community could organize and have its voice heard in electoral politics. Since then Veronica has chaired Take Action Minnesota’s Change Team, providing leadership to move the organization to build transformative relationships with organizations of color. Veronica was elected to the Board of Directors as an individual member in 2013.