Making Democracy Work

League of Women Voters of Los Angeles Board of Directors

2015 - 2016 LWVLA Board of Directors

Maria Montero, Co-President

Marķa Montero received a BA from UC, Berkeley and a MA from CSULA, both degrees in Political Science. She teaches American government and global politics in the Department of Political Science at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Prior to joining CSUDH, she taught politics at Santa Monica College and was a bilingual teacher at LAUSD. Originally from San Francisco, Marķa has lived and worked internationally, including several years in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and Ecuador. She is a member of the Western Political Science Association and has served as a consultant with various organizations. Marķa became an active member of League of Women Voters of LA in 2011 when she worked on the Common Core Consensus and the Realignment Program. She served on the LWVLA board as secretary and chair of the Program Committee before becoming co-President of the League of Women's Voter of Los Angeles in 2015.

Martha Sklar, Co-President

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Martha Sklar was born in Havana, Cuba and immigrated to Detroit, MI when she was eight and a half years old. Martha has a BA and MA in Mathematics and Ph.D. in Mathematics Education. She taught mathematics at high school and community college levels. Later she entered administration and was Dean of Academic Affairs at Los Angeles City College until her retirement eleven years ago. Upon joining the League she served on both the LWVLA and the LWV Ed Fund Boards. She previously served as Treasurer of LWVLA for six years and is currently co-President of the League with Maria Montero. She has two sons, Benjamin and Jonathan.

Mona Field, 2nd Vice President/Development

Mona Field retired from a long career teaching Political Science at Glendale Community College. She also served 4 terms on the Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees, helping oversee the operations of the nine colleges in the nation's largest community college district. During her 16 years on the LACCD Board, she served twice as Board President. She is author of a widely used college textbook (California Government and Politics Today, 14th ed), and has written numerous articles on California politics, labor issues, environmental concerns and much more. Mona currently volunteers with the LWVLA, the Executive Service Corps and the Los Angeles Leadership Academy.

Jodi Doane, Secretary

Jodi Doane is a native of Chicago and was an active board member of the League of Women Voters of Chicago from 2012 until she relocated to Los Angeles in August 2015. She is committed to social justice and performing tikkun olam, repairing the world. She fights for youth development, common sense gun laws, sensible juvenile justice practices, fair and compassionate immigration, self-sufficiency through employment, and animal welfare; and against human trafficking. She assists non-profit organizations across the nation in their efforts through program development, board training and grant writing.

Michelle Dennis, Treasurer

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Michelle Dennis participated in the local government public policymaking process in varying roles and policy arenas for 38 years: at Los Angeles County (1965-1978) as urban planner; public welfare budget analyst and director of welfare research; budget analyst in a county CAO's office; Health Department contracts administrator; budget director of a county mental health agency; and as a private sector financial consultant to various public agencies (1979-1983). She was also Director of Finance/City Controller for the City of Santa Monica, California (1983-2003).

She served as president of the League of California Cities Fiscal Officers Department during FY 2000/2001. She was on the Board of Directors of the California Society of Municipal Finance Officers (CSMFO), and she is a Past President of the statewide Utility Users Tax Technical Task Force.

She has a BA in Political Science (1964), an MPA (1965) from UCLA, and completed all requirements except dissertation for a doctoral program in Public Administration at the University of Southern California (1981). She is also a Certified Public Finance Officer. Michelle studied under Professor A.G. Ramos at the University of Southern California and assisted him in the preparation of his book, The New Science of Organizations: a Reconceptualization of the Wealth of Nations. She has published in Administration & Society, the National Tax Journal, and her article "Beyond `Root' and `Branch': Towards a New Science of Policy Making" was published in Brazil in the book Politicas Publicas E Desenvolvimento, Bases epistemologicas e modelos de analise [Public Policy and Development: epistemological grounds and frameworks for analysis]. She has taught public administration at the University of Southern California, the Universidade Federal De Santa Catarina, Brazil, and at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA (2004- 2015). Michelle Dennis is transgender and formerly was Charles M. (Mike) Dennis.

Carol Eisner, Communications Chair

Carol Eisner is a publicist with 20+ years of experience across a wide range of industries, topics and issues. Carol obtains press coverage and has garnered national visibility for clients on outlets like CNN, Fox News,The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Tavis Smiley Show, Link TV, Huffington Post, Voice of America, Los Angeles Business Journal, KCET-TV, and local news outlets.
With respect to social change, Carol has garnered coverage on issues like healthcare, children's health ("First Five"), global water issues, diabetes, ("Diabesity" from Random House). Many of her author-clients have books associated with university-based publishers including Yale University Press, Columbia University Press, and Oxford University Press. Eisner has also worked on one of the most highly visible national criminal murder cases of 2014. Carol has also been involved with high-profile live events on Capitol Hill, working directly with members of Congress.
Passionate about her work, Eisner began her career at Paramount Studios on production staff for "Star Trek: The Next Generation" during its first five seasons. A member of the Writers Guild of America, she also serves on the advocacy committee of the American Diabetes Association, which takes her to Washington every other year, and is a board member, NCMNetwork ((Nonprofit Communications & Media).

Harriet Borson, Board Director

Harriet Borson graduated from UCLA with a degree in education and from CSUN with an MA in Child Development/Education Psychology. She taught in LAUSD and in BHUSD. She was a member of the LWV in Los Angeles and then in Beverly Hills in the sixties and seventies. She has always been an involved advocate for the education and health of children and families. Harriet was a long time member of the California State PTA Board serving on the Legislation Action Committee and was Director of Legislation for eight years. During that time she chaired the CSPTA participation in many State Ballot measures. Since rejoining LWV in 2009 she chaired the National Education study 2010-2011, has presented ballot Pros & Cons, been active with the Voter Service Committee and the Program Committee and is a member of the Education Committee. Harriet served on the LWVLA Board and LWVLA Education Fund Board 2013-2115. She has two sons and is grandmother of two grandsons who attend Eugene Oregon Public Schools.

Crissi Avila, Board Director

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Crissi Avila has been an active Real Estate Agent in the City of Los Angeles since 2004 and is now working with Deasy/Penner & Partners. In the last few years she also started her own company CnC Group LLC partnering with other investors to provide above average returns in real estate during the financial downturn. Crissi has been a resident of LA since her beginnings and has volunteered with many local community groups and organizations. She started in the 1990's with the Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Political Committee and helped elect local officials. Later she worked with the California Clean Money Campaign as the Pasadena Coordinator, sat on the Board of the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council and now volunteers with the Hollywood United Neighborhood Council. She also has volunteered with the Southern California Biodiesel User's Group, Amnesty International among others. She is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, earning a BA in Communications and is very excited to be a member of the Board of the League of Women Voters!

Dr. Lestean Johnson, Board Director

Dr. Lestean M. Johnson has more than 30 years of progressively responsible business experience; and is a servant of people - a servant leader. Dr. Johnson is the founder of New Beginnings Academy, an educational facility in the City of Compton, organized in 1985. She served as the Executive Director/Principal for over 25 years. Dr. Johnson is also the founder of Omnipotent Consultant Services, organized in 2000; a consultant business firm serving the business needs of the community inclusive of the creation of 501c3 organizations for various business groups.

Among her varied positions, Dr. Johnson serve as President/CEO of the Compton Chamber of Commerce (15 years); President of Compton Community College District Special Trustee Board (6 years); Vice President of the Concerned Citizens of Compton; Area Governor for Toastmasters International; Board Member Christian Clergy United Action Team (CCUNAT); Secretary for the Love of Our Veterans; Charter Member Compton Optimist Club; and immediate Past 1st Vice President of NAACP Compton (past 4 years).

Dr. Johnson holds a Doctorate Degree in Education with an emphasis on Literacy; A MBA Degree, with an emphasis in Organizational Management; A Masters of Science Degree in Legal Studies; A Bachelor Degree in Business Management; and an Associate of Art Degree with an emphasis on Business. Dr. Johnson continues to progress her passion for people and enthusiasm in making sure a job is well done.