Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Tamar Yager also wants to be a co-chair

Tamar is from Virginia. She posts regularly and also, in my estimation, reasonably, to the GNC email lists. It may be that I find the another rep from Virginia, Audrey Clement, so incendiary and abrasive that Tamra shines by comparison, but either way I have a positive impression of her.

Her notice to the GNC is posted behind the "Read more!" link below.


NC Delegates:

Here is a bio and answers to the questions Greg Gerritt asked SC candidates to answer if they thougth they should. I hope I will get your vote in Reading.

Bio for Tamar Yager

I am 48 years old and a life-long progressive. Most of my activism in recent years has been working with a progressive, Catholic Church reform group with a paid membership of 25,000 (Call to Action - www.cta-usa.org). I became involved in 1996, formed a local group in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky and was named to the 12 member board of directors in 2001. I have or currently serve on several committees including fundraising, personnel and finance and I currently serve as Treasurer. CTA
has a paid staff of 14 so even though the board is a working one, it is not overwhelming. Most work is completed at the 4 board meetings which are held on weekends throughout the year and at our national conference.

In the early 80s I was active in a number of local policitical endeavors including an effort to defeat the merger of Louisville and Jefferson County governments (we prevented the merger but it subsequently passed some 15 years later). I also worked running phone banks for several local Democratic candidates in the early eighties. Overall Louisville is a pretty progressive city in a red state and most of the Democrats there lean left rather than center. There was not an active Green party and while I was a registered Democrat, I found out years later that I resonated more with Green values. As an aside, I have never missed voting in an election since I turned 18. I believe that one can never complain about an elected official or a referendum unless one votes.

I have long been active in the local peace movement in Louisville, Kentucky, largely through my involvement with my church, which is a very well-known, progressive Catholic church. Members of St. William were largely responsible for organizing the Louisville Peace Action Committee and have been long-involved in many justice organizations including Witness for Peace, Bread for the World, Pax Christi, Fellowship of Reconcilation and others. In 2003, I was instrumental in organizing and executing a local event that was replicated in a number of other cities; Imagine America was a speaking tour headlined by Dennis Kucinich, Marianne Williamson and John Robbins.

When I met my husband Tom Yager (at a Call-to-Action event!!!), whom many of you know, in 1999, I came to more fully understand the 10 Key values and realized I really was a Green. We were friends for several years because we lived in different cities but began dating long-distance in 2002. It was then that I began to be more involved in the Green Party, albeit peripherally. When we became engaged in and decided I would move to Virginia, I immediately became active with the local and state party. I was elected to be an NC Alternate at the July 2006 meeting and later was elected a delegate in April 2007.

On a practical level, my work experience has been largely in the non-profit sector or with local government, mostly in fundraising and non-profit marketing arts groups and direct service providers. I currently work for an educational insititution maintaining a large, alumni database and planning special events. I have also served on a number of boards of directors of non-profits and trade associations in the past. These experiences have honed my leadership abilities. Also largely due to this volunteer involvement, I have gleaned significant experience in board and organizational development and in public speaking. After graduating from college, I served for two years as a VISTA volunteer doing community organizing in a poor neighborhood of Louisville.

Below are answers to the questions that Greg Gerritt asked of all candidates.

Vision for the party

I have many dreams and aspirations for the party. There are several that I think are achievable in the next few years. We need to have affiliated parties in all states. My hope is that we run a solid presidential candidate that makes a difference in our election in 2008. Whatever we may think of One Green One Vote, we can all agree that One Green One Dollar is not enough to provide us with the financial resources we need to achieve our visions. My vision is that every Green be a donor - and it STARTS with each of us on the National Committee being a sustaining donor.

Factionalism and where I stand?

I don't see myself as a member of a "faction". Factionalism has been harmful and divisive to our party and to other progressive organizations. If we want to be a national party that has a positive impact on our polical system, then we must unite. I think that I have the ability to see both sides of an issue. This makes it easy for me to listen and facilitate compromises. Most people know from my posts that I am level-headed and provide a sense of unity instead of competition.

How can I serve you? How can I help the NC do it's work better? I have many years of experience serving on boards and working for non-profits in the areas of fundraising and office management. I have also been in the trenches licking envelopes and making phone calls, marching for peace, and organizing justice events.

Detailed examples of how others you work with have become more effective through your leadership of projects. How organizations have grown, become more effective, found their voice, changed the world? I have been on the board of the national membership organization Call To Action ( www.cta-usa.org) - One of the things I have done is to help implement a structure of working board committees to aid the staff and to
facilitiate more volunteer involvement. As treasurer of the board, I have recommended several things that either saved us money or helped us leverage more $$$ for grants (for example, suggested itemizing expenses that were not reimbursed from board meetings). I have also written or helped write several grants for our Anti-Racism project (all were funded). I was instrumental in organizing the Kentuckiana chapter of CTA (southern Indiana and Louisville areas). That group has been in flux since I moved but it I am in the process of helping them re-organize.

I was a founding board member (and later served another 3-year term on the board) of Just Creations. Just Creations is a non-profit store that sells fair trade crafts, coffee, clothing and other retail items. I was on the board at the time we made the decision to double the size of the store and hire several more workers making it one of the most "profitable" stores in the nation. ( www.justcreations.org) While on the board my primary responsibility was to handle the marketing efforts. When I left, the store budget was about $500,000 a year and about 10% a year was used for marketing.

I served in many top leadership postions, including President and Chairman, respectively, in the Louisville Direct Marketing Association (LDMA) and the Postal Customer Council (PCC). At the time I was selected to be President of LDMA, there were a number of vacant board positions due to previous leadership (or lack of). 'During my tenure, I worked at cultivating and appointing new board members and re-organizing the structure of the board so duties were more spread out. This resulted in us having every leadership position filled and a number of volunteers that were ready to take over as terms expired.

I was a founding member of ArtCentric which was a group of young professionals that represented 3 local visual arts groups in Louisville. The founders (which was later called the Task Force) were selected to bring their expertise in marketing and outreach to create special events that enticed young adults to experience the visual arts. Ultimately, the goal was to provide a foundation whereby arts lovers would become collectors, docents and donors to the respective organizations. This group is still helping these organizations after 12 years. (I moved to Virginia last year
so that's why I left the group).

Can you work with presenters of resolutions to make them better? I have worked with a number of organizations on proposals and by-laws. Resolutions are similiar to this so my past experience should help. Also, I have the ability to take a step back and look at all sides of an issue. This will help me craft resolutions that would appeal to many.

Are you willing to pick up the phone and call disputing parties, helping them to work out their differences so they can come back to the NC with something that moves us forward rather than driving wedges? Absolutely and I've done that so far as an NC Delegate - especially with 272 and 295.
--
Tamar Byczek Yager
GPVA Delegate and Steering Committee Co-Chair Candidate

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