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Jean Walter, Chair

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Responsible for the overall political and strategic direction of the local Party.

A La Plata County local, Jean was born and has lived her entire life in La Plata County. She was a Park Pirate, a Smiley Demon, and a Durango High Demon.Jean didn’t take a break from La Plata County to go to college.  She went straight from high school to Fort Lewis (nickname then, the Raiders) and graduated with a degree in English.  Much later, she returned to Fort Lewis to work for the School of Business Administration, taking classes part-time and finishing a second degree in Southwest Studies (nickname now, Skyhawks).

Jean chaired the Dems from January of 2008 to the reorganization meeting of 2011 and is not sure that anything can top the exhilarating experience of Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign, but is sure that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters will give it a try.

Shauna Agnew, First Vice Chair

Responsible for the recruitment, management, and training of the appropriate precinct people; serving as liaison for precinct people and the Colorado State Democratic Party; management of state-mandated functions.

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Shauna grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, graduated from the University of Utah in Childhood Education and taught several years in Utah and Pennsylvania.

She moved to Evergreen, Colorado in 1973 and in 1984, she and her husband, Jer, moved to Oklahoma where they developed a racehorse breeding farm on 230 acres.  In 1988 they turned the property in to a Country Inn.  While in Oklahoma, she became the Washington County co-chairman of the Democrats, a rare breed in that part of the country.  She also led a 10-year fight against the siting of two toxic waste injection wells in northern Oklahoma.  In the late 1990s the case was dismissed.

After several years and several moves, she moved to Durango and became involved in the Obama campaign.  She has also been a volunteer at the Women’s Resource Center for six years.

In 2012 she became a precinct captain and joined the La Plata County Executive Committee in 2016.  She oversees the activities in the precincts as well as voter registration and is determined to do all she can to promote a progressive agenda that is all-inclusive for voters who choose to be Democrats, who are uncommitted and who want to move forward.

 


Dan Morgenstern, Second Vice Chair

Responsible for Events

Daniel Morgenstern brings a diverse background of experience and skills to the La Plata County Democrat’s Executive Committee. With two degrees in Music and as a skilled professional musician having been a soloist in the Aspen Music Festival and Principal Flutist of the Jerusalem Symphony. Dan has also had decades of Arts Management leadership experience bringing the knowledge of highly complex organizations and the integration of diverse passionately held points of view into harmony.

As the 25 year CEO of a multi-national manufacturer of Electrical Products, he has deep experience in every phase of business management and operations from product development and design, manufacturing technologies, sales, marketing and distribution and a history of successful customer and labor relations.

He retired early to Durango in 2000 where he has been very active in community affairs including co-founding the Affordable Housing Task Force leading to the creation of the Regional Housing Alliance. He has served on numerous Boards including Habitat for Humanity, the Women’s Resource Center, and the San Juan Symphony, and is a member of the Durango High Noon Rotary. He brings a wealth of knowledge of the community along with the wisdom and skills as a conflict resolving negotiator, to work for electing candidates that share his progressive democratic views.

Tom Morrissey, Third Vice Chair

Responsible for La Plata County Democrats communication between the Executive Committee and La Plata County voters. Also responsible for technical support: database, website, and newsletter.

Thomas (T-mo) has worked for over 25 years in the computer industry, including 13 years at Microsoft across 4 continents and 15 countries. He worked on the Obama campaigns in 2008 and 2012 doing data entry and Get out the Vote Lists, a role he also performed in the 2010 election. T-mo also played major roles in 2014 Elections providing communications and GOTV lists for local, state and federal campaigns, while still managing to support his wife Allison in her successful campaign for La Plata County Treasurer, get out the newsletters, and update the website.

T-mo is recently completed his 6th year on the Board of Directors of Animas Charter High School, where has served as both President and Vice President. Term-limited, Tom still serves on the Governance Committee. He also is on the Alumni and Marketing Committees for Leadership La Plata (LLP) where he helped design and launch the Mentorship Program with the YPOD (Young Professionals of Durango). Tom earned a Masters of Science in Statistical Quality Control from Eastern Michigan University and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Wayne State University. Tom has lived in Durango full time since 2007.

“A mind once stretched by a new idea never regains its original dimensions.”–Anonymous

Chris Dolphin, Treasurer

Responsible for all Party funds and all financial reporting.

I am a lifelong progressive since my vote for Gary Hart in the primary season of 1984. I was crushed then, and continue to be, when private issues obscure a person’s political values. Yet in this day and age, it seems that personal weaknesses are front and foremost. This makes those issues rise to such a level that makes our elected officials no longer respected and overshadows the issues that should top the news. As a member of the executive committee, I continue to support our democratic candidates that move us toward a better, more equitable society..

I have been involved in politics for a long time. I served as precinct captain for more than 15 years and have worked on campaigns, put up signs, run for county commissioner, and served in several capacities on the executive committee. My favorite event that we sponsor is the newly renamed Roosevelts Dinner. I am excited to support our local and state candidates through my work on the committee bringing passion and diverse issues to our work in moving our county forward.

I am a special education teacher working with kids on the lower end of the spectrum. I teach English, math, and career readiness skills to help them be successful after high school. I have lived in La Plata County since 1987. I am married and have two grown children living out of state.


Tiare Pitts-Flora, Secretary

Responsible for record keeping for the Executive and Central Committees.

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Carol Cure, At-Large Member

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Before retiring to Durango in 2008, Carol Cure practiced business, employment and government relations law in Arizona for 30 years, representing clients in Court and before the Arizona Legislature.  She served on the Arizona Bar’s Board of Governors and in the American Bar Association (ABA) House of Delegates.  She is a past president of the ASU Law Society and was an adjunct professor at the law school.  Carol was also chosen as a judge pro tem for the Arizona Court of Appeals and was a member of the Advisory Council of the National Judicial College in Reno, Nevada.

Carol has also been involved in a number of civic and community causes including, in Durango, serving as President of the La Plata County Humane Society and on the board of the Sustainability Alliance of Southwest Colorado.  She previously was a board member of various non-profit groups in Arizona including the Arizona Council of the Blind Social Services and Rehabilitation, Phoenix Children’s Theatre, the Arizona Division of A.A.U.W., and the Arizona Central Credit Union.  She was selected to participate in the 1996 Class of Leadership America and was chosen as a participant in the Aspen Institute’s Justice & Society Seminar.

In 1994, Carol was the Democratic Congressional Candidate for Arizona’s CD-3 and in 1996, she was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in Chicago.  She also chaired Maricopa County, Arizona’s Democratic Nucleus Club for a number of years.  She is a lifelong Democrat.

 Patty Dionne, At-Large Member

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Ken Francis, At-Large Member

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I have been a Democrat my entire adult life.  After University of Colorado graduate school, and working as a city planner in the Denver region, I returned to Durango in 1976 for my 10th high school reunion.  Fortunately I also had a new job with the Colorado Department of Local Affairs working with local governments and non-profit organizations throughout SW Colorado.  I transitioned to working for Fort Lewis College and retired in 2012 as the Director of the Office of Community Services and Interim Director of the Center of SW Studies.  The highlight of my career was working on several successful regional land conservation and historic preservation projects.

My wife Susie and I have a daughter working as a nurse in San Diego.  She will soon complete her Nurse Practitioner graduate studies.  Our son is a professor of ecology/conservation biology at Cal Poly and lives with his family in San Luis Obispo, CA.

I have served on several boards, including the City of Durango Planning Commission, Natural Lands Advisory Board,  and the early Animas River Task Force that kicked off serious work on what is now our beautiful Animas River Greenway and Trail.

Tim Guill, At-Large Member

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Nelson McKinley, At-Large Member

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Denise Null, At-Large Member

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Karen Pontius, At-Large Member

Personal vision: I’m a firm believer in the power of grassroots action. I’m a democratic socialist, and believe we don’t have time for half-measures or ‘baby steps.’ It’s time for bold progressive action, and I’m ready to ‘put my body upon the gears’ (see my favorite quote below) – becoming active locally in my new town of Durango. I’m currently applying for several local boards, to get local experience before I run for City Council. I’m in touch with and inspired by many groups and leaders: Gloria Steinem and all feminists, the founders of Black Lives Matter, Campaign Zero (an effort to combat police brutality), Veterans for Peace, and Codepink: Women For Peace. I’ve become involved here with activists at Fort Lewis College on several issues. I’ve been a supporter of Ralph Nader’s lifelong efforts to inspire citizens to take action in their communities. Then, after Bernie Sanders conceded to Hillary Clinton last year, he asked all his supporters to get involved. So, here I am!

 Personal/Career background: I’m a native Los Angeleno, and celebrate the diversity of cultures my upbringing afforded me. My personal mantra is Equality for All, and I’ve spent my life working towards it. I am married, with eight grandkids ages 2-23, and a 1yo great-granddaughter! Since they were born I have worked towards a better world for all of them. In 1991 I moved to Virginia to be with my second husband, and my bubble was burst – I saw up-close the injustices of race, sex, income, and class I’d not experienced in lovely California. Living in Northern VA for 25 years gave me the opportunity to learn about national and world politics. In 2006 we retired to live on a lake in Central VA – it was there I got involved with local Democrats. We stay connected with our family in VA and in Southern California. My early work life of various jobs and 10 years with Pacific Bell phone company served to prepare me for a huge career move when the Air Traffic Controllers strike happened in 1981 and Reagan fired over 13,000 controllers. I applied for a job I knew little about – and got it! I worked from 1982-2004 as an Air Traffic Control Specialist/Supervisor at six control towers, and 4 years at Federal Aviation Administration Headquarters in Washington DC. The best career ever!

 

 Lisa Hlavinka, Young Democrat

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