2016 Board Candidates

tarak.kauff

  497 Votes

Tarak Kauff
VFP Affiliation: Current Board member, Lifetime Member, Member of VFP Catskill Mountain, NY Chapter 58

Tarak Kauff Board Candidate Questionnaire

I served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and combat engineer, but it is my service to peace and justice that has shaped my character.

In three years on the VFP board, I have established a track record of concrete accomplishments:

As chair, I have guided the Membership Committee to become an active recruiting machine that has encouraged younger veterans to attend the convention, join VFP and take leadership.

WhenWar Crimes Timeswas discontinued, I initiated a new publication,Peace in Our Times. I am managing editor of the paper, which has become a popular organizing tool and is financially self-sustaining.

I am a proponent of Peace at Home/Peace Abroad, organizing a team of veterans to go to Ferguson after the Mike Brown shooting and taking a delegation to Palestine in 2013. I worked with the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York to assure that VFP had a strong presence exposing the U.S. military as the globe’s largest polluter.

I see the imperative of diversity and have worked to bring more people of color, women, and younger veterans into VFP and also onto the board. I have recognized the need to create a safe space for LGBTQ veterans and to bring them into the VFP leadership.

I am working with The Warrior Connection to make this excellent veteran run program accessible to members with combat- or service-related PTS and moral injury.

I am running for a second term on the board to continue working on these important projects and others.

I believe we are in the most critical time in human history and the very survival of humanity (and many other species) depends on what we do here and now. I think Veterans can and must play a leading role in the struggle for peace, planet and human dignity.

forman_mark.jpeg

482 Votes

Mark Foreman
VFP Affiliation: Current Board Member, Treasurer, Development Committee Chair, Project RENEW Committee Chair, Grant Writing Committee Chair, and Personnel Committee Chair

Mark Foreman Board Candidate Questionnaire

While on the board I’ve served as Treasurer, Development Committee Chair, Project RENEW Committee Chair, Grant Writing Committee Chair, and Personnel Committee Chair. Its been a true honor and privilege to work with such a dedicated, passionate group of board members and staff.

Here’s why I’d like to serve another three years:

Thanks to the superior leadership of Patrick McCann, Barry Ladendorf, Michael McPhearson and dedicated board members this organization has accomplished a great deal in the past three years. Needless to say, there’s a lot more to be done, but I’m confident we’re headed in the right direction. A few  examples: Our Membership Committee has welcomed young veterans, women, people of color and sexually diverse members into our organization. A national organization can not survive without including a diverse population that reflects the nation. Also, the board has worked hard to contact veterans in other countries, encouraging them to join our mission and establish their own VFP chapters. Plus, VFP’s new focus on “Peace at Home/Peace Abroad” recognizes the importance of joining broader coalitions of peace and justice organizations that address violence and injustice right here at home, as well as abroad.

VFP is committed to world peace and peace starts right here at home. When our members become involved with violence and injustice in our communities, our communities will be more likely to listen to our message.  It’s called, “building support from the ground up”.

CrystalWilliams

473 Votes

Crystal Williams
VFP Affiliation: Post-Cold War veteran, Member of Corrie Mizo Chapter 011 in Santa Cruz CA

Crystal Williams Board Candidate Questionnaire

Hello my people! My name is Crystal and I would like to add my voice to your board. I served in the Air Force with the 1st Security Forces Squadron
(1998-2003) and in the California Army National Guard. I was also a Navy Ombudsman for a minesweeper crew (2009).
 
I am pursuing my Master of Social Work through the University of Southern California,where one of my academic projects is studying the effects of Military Sexual Trauma and combat PTSD. I earned my undergraduate degree in history from Columbia College, where I studied wars and violence and began to see our country in a raw and unfiltered light.
 
My political involvement includes work with the National Organization for Women and solidarity campaigning for Palestine and same -sex marriage.
 
Here’s my deal-VFP needs a breath of fresh air. VFP needs a younger, more diverse membership pool to stay relevant and vital. If elected to your board, my goal would be to establish a stronger social media presence with eye-catching,powerful campaigns to raise awareness of issues and polish the VFP brand. VFP’s current voice is very radical (and right on!), yet this type of approach is alienating younger veterans. I believe by using more moderate language and highlighting the “softer” issues VFP works for, we can not only increase our membership base but attract the kinds of people who will remain active members.
 
The work that supports and empowers all veterans, regardless of era, remains urgent.
 
If elected to your board, I hope to serve as a bridge between new and old and usher in changes while respecting the core values of VFP.
 
I have passion for the cause and a wide variety of experience. It would be my honor to put that to use for Veterans for Peace.

monique.sahlab

466 Votes

Monique Salhab
VFP Affiliation: Post-Cold war veteran, Member of Albuquerque, NM Chapter 63

Monique Salhab Board Candidate Questionnaire

One year ago I became an official member of National Veterans For Peace, although I had and continue to be active in my local chapter - Don and Sally-Alice Thompson Chapter, #63 – in Albuquerque, NM for approximately four years. Two years ago I was elected as the chapter’s Secretary and continue to serve as such. I also periodically visit public schools and speak to students regarding “Full Disclosure” regarding military recruitment and service.

I work as a part-time case manager for an agency which provides wrap-around services – housing, vocational guidance, therapy and more - for women exiting from incarceration to civilian life. As I work with these women - who mainstream society deems “un-rehabilitated” and “broken” -  most of whom have experienced horrific trauma(s) in their childhoods and teenage years shift and transform, I am reminded we are all worthy of second, third and fourth chances in life.

I would be naïve to ignore the elements of how our society chooses to compartmentalise my existence via gender, race, sexuality, economic status, education, etc., so I acknowledge them. I identify as a queer woman of colour. These labels are not important to me because I wish them to be, but because of how our society forces me to exist within its marginalised structure.

A practicing Buddhist of 18 years, I trust in the mind-body-spirit approach to healing; and have observed the Peace Movement (as a whole) struggle to incorporate such practices into its foundation. Too many times have I experienced moments of harmful speech and/or inept actions from individuals or an individual “working for peace” and as a result, recognze the necessity to remain ever-present of my own words and actions, so as not to inflict the same harm onto another.

dan Shea

456 Votes

Dan Shea
VFP Affiliation: Past National Board Member, Member of Portland, OR Chapter 72

Dan Shea Board Candidate Questionnaire

I am running so I can contribute more time to what I think is a noble cause, the cause of Veterans For Peace. I am active in many areas of social justice and human rights and my bio at https://dsheavfp72.wordpress.com/2015/08/15/bio/ should serve as my commitment and experience.

I serve on VFP National Project: Agent Orange Relief & Responsibility Campaign and manage their Facebook Page.

I am organizing a Vietnam Full Disclosure Teach-In (TBA Oct or Nov) at Portland State University and working directly in collaboration with the Oregon Historical Society.  I am committed to Peace at Home and Peace Abroad and am currently active with Don’t Shoot Portland/Black Lives Matter voicing VFP opposition to the militarization of the police.

I would like to see a national monthly VFP TV Program on Link TV talking about the issues of the day that affect Veterans, their families and communities where we live.  I have grand vision of a VFP World Social Forum of Anti-War Veterans & Victims structured like our convention with keynote speakers, plenaries & workshops. Inviting anti-War Veterans, Combatants, Conscientious Objector, Environmentalists, Human Rights Organizations, World Health Organizations, Disaster and Refugee Relief Organizations, International Legal Scholars, Whistleblowers and others critical of war and who are willing to address issues of War and Peace, Conflict Resolution, Empire and War Profiteering. We would all come together to break bread and listen to Veterans and Victims in a Global Winter Soldier like forum.

brian_traurman

412 Votes

Brian Trautman
VFP Affiliation: Member of Albany NY Chapter 10

Brian Trautman Board Candidate Questionnaire

For the past eight years I have taught peace studies with a local community college.  Outside the classroom, I have been a peace activist with various peace and justice organizations since the lead up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Among my passions as a peace scholar-practitioner is the interdisciplinary field of peace education, which I believe can contribute toward achieving a more just, peaceful and sustainable world.

My reasons for wanting to serve VFP membership in a board capacity stem from my dedication to the urgent task of ending all war and, in the process, creating and nurturing a culture of positive peace (aka peace with justice). Peacemaking is a proven approach for conflict resolution that veterans are leading the way on. Being afforded the special privilege of serving in a board role with VFP would enhance my ability to advance the organization’s mission and assist its membership and allies educate and engage in advocacy to make peace and justice a priority over militarism and war.

Among the tasks and initiatives I will faithfully undertake if elected to the VFP board are those which: champion veterans’ issues, including PTSD and TBI awareness; recruit, encourage and empower vets to speak out against war, for victims of war, and for peace and justice principles and values; build solidarity and coalitions for nonviolent direct action for political and social change; end the public acceptance and national pursuit of war as an instrument of conflict resolution; enhance public awareness of the root causes of war, the human and financial costs of war, and our collective national obligation to heal the wounds of war; grow solidarity and coalitions to dismantle the war economy and replace it with a peace economy; and, educate on the principles, methods, and power and efficacy of peacemaking.
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