Board of Directors
CHRIS TITTLE is Sustainable Economies Law Center's Director of Organizational Resilience, through which he focuses on democratic governance models and practice, and stewards much of the Center's internal resilience and grassroots fundraising. He co-leads the Center's Housing, Commons Governance, and Money & Finance Programs, and contributes to the Farmland and Water Programs. Chris is passionate about cultivating more participatory and place-based models of community resilience, and is active in several local racial and economic justice coalitions. As an advocate of self-directed (and debt-free) education, he is also training to become a lawyer through the California Law Office Study Program, a practice-based alternative to law school. Prior to training as a law apprentice, Chris completed an MA in Economics for Transition at Schumacher College (UK). He has also served in the AmeriCorps VISTA program in rural Pennsylvania, taught English in Japan, and worked with inner-city youth in the South Bronx.
EMILY BOLT is a founding partner of the law firm Bolt Keenley Kim LLP in Berkeley, California. She represents workers, disabled persons, and retirees in individual and class action litigation. Her work focuses on ERISA, disability, pension, health care, financial elder abuse, insurance, and employment matters. Emily is honored to serve as Secretary on the Board of the Sustainable Economies Law Center, and as a volunteer attorney with the Workers’ Rights Clinic at the Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center. She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), and the University of California, San Diego. After law school, Emily served as law clerk to the Honorable John E. Munter of the San Francisco Superior Court, Complex Division and to the Honorable Maxine Chesney of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Emily’s greatest joy and challenge is raising her two young children. A few of her favorite things include tough workouts, engrossing novels, mindfulness meditation, and big servings of delicious food.
LINDA BARRERA is a natural resources attorney with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and a passionate advocate for solar power. She gained interest in renewable energy through her hands-on work building solar systems in communities in Nicaragua and California. She has contributed to Practicing Law in the Sharing Economy, Janelle Orsi’s ABA bestselling book, and previously practiced in the area of utilities regulations as an attorney for the California Public Utilities Commission. Linda earned a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin, and a J.D. from Lewis & Clark Law School, where she also obtained a Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law.
SUSHIL JACOB is an associate and cofounder of the Tuttle Law Group, with coop attorney Therese Tuttle. Sushil represents consumer cooperatives, worker-owned cooperatives, and business owners who want to transition their business to cooperative ownership. Prior to joining the Coop Law Group, Sushil worked with the East Bay Community Law Center, where he founded the Green-Collar Communities Clinic, a community economic development practice that assists clients who seek to create green, worker-owned businesses as a community empowerment strategy. Sushil received his J.D. in 2011 from Berkeley Law. Prior to attending law school, Sushil worked in India for two years on community economic development projects, including Just Change, a cooperative of small farmers and indigenous peoples groups in South India. Sushil serves on the board of the Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union, a seventy-two year old financial institution in Berkeley that is owned by its 13,000 members. He also serves on the board of the Sustainable Economies Law Center, where he provides guidance to their Worker Cooperative Academy and other cooperative legal programs.
FARZANA SERANG is the Great Communities Collaborative Initiative Officer at The San Francisco Foundation, and former Executive Director of CoFED, the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive. Prior to CoFED, she worked at PolicyLink, one of the primary national advocacy organizations shaping a social and economic justice agenda for the country. She received her Masters in City Planning from MIT with a focus on community and economic development. During her studies she also worked with the Democracy Collaborative, Milk & Honey, and National Congress of American Indians.
GREG JACKSON is an Oakland native and second-year law student at Golden Gate University. He believes that the most effective way to affect the future is through supporting our youth. In addition to interning for the Sustainable Economies Law Center, Greg also serves on the National Lawyer's Guild Board and is on the board at his school's National Black Law Students Association. In his free time, Greg makes music and produces radio shows on KPFA and KPFB.
STACEY SULLIVAN has been Sustainable Conservation’s Policy Director since 2009, during which time he has led successful legislative campaigns to enact state statutes to improve water quality (SB 346) and expedite riparian habitat restoration (AB 2193), and guided the organization’s policy initiatives in water supply and management, greenhouse gas reduction, and air and water quality. Prior to joining Sustainable Conservation, Stacey spent 12 years as a committee consultant to the California State Assembly, including eight years as Chief Consultant to the Local Government Committee. His work while with the Assembly included in-depth involvement in significant legislation and policy initiatives concerning the California Environmental Quality Act, water policy, sustainable agriculture, housing, and land use planning. Stacey has served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the Steering Committee of the Central Coast Rangeland Coalition. He was educated at the University of California, Santa Cruz, University of Oxford, and King Hall School of Law at the University of California, Davis, from which he received his J.D. in 1995.
GOPAL DAYANENI has been involved in fighting for social, economic, environmental and racial justice through organizing & campaigning, teaching, writing, speaking and direct action since the late 1980’s. Gopal is an active trainer with and serves on the boards of The Ruckus Society and the Center for Story-based Strategy (formerly smartMeme). He also serves on the advisory boards of the International Accountability Project, and Catalyst Project. Gopal works at the intersection of ecology, economy and empire. Gopal has been a campaigner for Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition on human rights and environmental justice in the high-tech industry and the Oil Campaigner for Project Underground, a human rights and environmental rights organization which supported communities resisting oil and mining exploitation around the world. Gopal has been active in many people powered direct action movements, including the Global Justice/Anti-Globalization Movement, Direct Action to Stop the War, Mobilization for Climate Justice, Take Back the Land, and Occupy. Gopal is the father of two young direct action junkies, Ila Sophia and Kavi Samaka Orion, and lives in an intentional community with 9 adults, 8 kids and a bunch of chickens.
JENNY KASSAN has almost two decades of experience as an attorney for and creator of mission-driven enterprises. Jenny earned her J.D. from Yale Law School and a masters degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of California at Berkeley. She worked for eleven years at a nonprofit community development corporation in Oakland, where she served as staff attorney and managed community economic development projects including the formation and management of several social ventures designed to employ and create business ownership opportunities for low-income community residents. Jenny is the President of Community Ventures, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the economic and social development of communities. She also co-founded the Sustainable Economies Law Center.
LINDA SHEEHAN is the Executive Director of the Earth Law Center and has over 20 years of environmental law and policy experience. Linda holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a Concentration in Economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; an M.P.P. from the University of California, Berkeley's Goldman School of Public Policy, where she was named a Berkeley Policy Fellow; and a J.D. from the University of California's Boalt Hall School of Law. She is a Research Affiliate with the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria, British Columbia, and is a member of the Commission on Environmental Law in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Linda is also Summer Faculty at Vermont Law School and Adjunct Faculty at the California Institute of Integral Studies, where she teaches Earth Law. She is a contributing author toExploring Wild Law: The Philosophy of Earth Jurisprudence (Wakefield Press 2011), Rule of Law for Nature (Cambridge University Press 2013), and Wild Law in Practice (Routledge 2014).
JOHN FARRELL is the Director of Democratic Energy at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and widely known as the guru of distributed energy. He is best known for his vivid illustrations of the economic and environmental benefits of local ownership of decentralized renewable energy. John’s work appears most regularly on Energy Self-Reliant States, a blog with timely and compelling analysis of current energy discussions and policy. The posts are frequently enriched by charts, translating the complex economics of energy into tools for advancing local energy ownership and they are regularly syndicated at Grist, CleanTechnica, and Renewable Energy World. He’s also written extensively on the economic advantages of Democratizing the Electricity System, published a rich interactive map on solar grid parity, and polished the policies (like Minnesota’s solar energy standard) necessary to support locally owned renewable energy development.
MICHAEL SHUMAN is an economist, attorney, author, and entrepreneur. He’s also an adjunct instructor at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, a Fellow at Cutting Edge Capital and at the Post-Carbon Institute, and a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). He has authored, coauthored, or edited nine books. His most recent book, which will be published by Chelsea Green in May 2015, is The Local Economy Solution: How Innovative, Self-Financing Pollinator Enterprises Can Grow Jobs and Prosperity. One of his previous books, The Small Mart Revolution: How Local Businesses Are Beating the Global Competition (Berrett-Koehler, 2006), received as bronze prize from the Independent Publishers Association for best business book of 2006. A prolific speaker, Shuman has given an average of more than one invited talk per week, mostly to local governments and universities, for the past 30 years. He has lectured in 47 U.S. states and eight countries. He blogs regularly at www.michaelhshuman.com.
DAVID BOLLIER is an American activist, writer, and policy strategist. He is co-founder of the Commons Strategies Group, Senior Fellow at the Norman Lear Center at the USC Annenberg School for Communication, and writes technology-related reports for the Aspen Institute. Bollier’s recent work has focused on developing a new vocabulary for reclaiming “the commons.” The commons refers to the diverse array of publicly owned assets, gift-economies and natural systems that are available to everyone as a civic or human right. Bollier's new book, co-edited with with Silke Helfrich, is The Wealth of the Commons, a new collection of 73 essays that investigate the rich potential of the commons in conceptualizing and building a better future. The book details how millions of people have organized to defend natural resources, re-invigorate local food systems, build useful online communities, reclaim public spaces, and even re-define the very meaning of "progress." Bollier co-founded the public interest group Public Knowledge in 2002 and served as a board member until 2010. He was awarded the 2012 Bosch Berlin Prize in Public Policy at the American Academy in Berlin.
HANK HERRERA is President & CEO of the Center for Popular Research, Education & Policy (C-PREP), a non-profit community based organization. C-PREP serves vulnerable communities with participatory action research, training, technical assistance and policy. His work specifically focuses on food justice and building community resilience. He recently formed New Hope Farms, a network of small farms linked to a network of small corner stores selling only healthy food, using a cooperative model of ownership. The purpose of this project is to grow and sell healthy, affordable local food; to create sustainable, living wage jobs for community residents; and to develop the social, community and economic benefits of a local food enterprise network. He is co-founder and Director of the Sacred Community Land Trust, a non-profit organization devoted to conserving farmland for farming by low-income farmers and ranchers. Together these organizations provide the foundation for building equitable local food systems owned by and serving communities lacking access to fresh, healthy food. Hank has focused his work on food justice for over twenty years. Hank is a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar and a Kellogg National Fellow. He practiced psychiatry long enough. He plays the alto saxophone; writes poetry and makes photographs. He lives in Pinole, California.