Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities - Organization
Headquarters: 191 Bank Street, 3rd Floor, Burlington, VT 05401
A 501(c)(3) incorporated in 1998.  "Our mission is to change US budget priorities to reflect a national commitment to education, healthcare, energy independence, job training and deficit reduction -- at no additional taxpayer expense -- by eliminating funding for unneeded Cold War era weapons systems."  (Note: There is a bill in Congress that would implement this vision -- H.R.1702 in the 110th Congress).
[Note, founded in 2002, as a grassroots arm for non-business members of the public who want to help the group's efforts, is now part of USAction].

updated November 17, 2007

President Ben Cohen
Co-founder of Ben & Jerry's Homemade Inc (the firm was sold in 2000).  With Jerry Greenfield opened the first Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream Parlor in Burlington, Vermont in May 1978.  Craft teacher at the Highland Community School in the Adirondack Mountain region of New York State for about three years.  Attended Skidmore College, studying pottery and jewelry making and Colgate University and held various jobs.  Grew up in Merrick, Long Island.
Chairman:  R. Warren Langley, Managing Principal of the GuruWizard Fund and former President of the Pacific Stock Exchange.
Board Members:  Fletcher H. "Flash" Wiley, CEO of Diversicon Ventures, LLC; ; Liz Letzler, former Vice President of Citibank and founder of CHOPS; Roger Mumford, YellowBrook Property Company and co-founded the Matzel & Mumford Organization; and Guy T. Saperstein, trial attorney and founder of the nation's largest civil rights law firm.

650 Members
Executive Director Duane Peterson
Joined Cohen as "Chief of Stuff" in 1996.  Worked on Tom Hayden's campaigns for State Senate and served as chief of staff to Hayden.  Press Secretary for both the Van de Kamp For Governor campaign and the Big Green Initiative (Proposition 128), 1990.  Press Secretary to the California Attorney General John Van de Kamp for seven years.  Research director for the Tom Bradley for Governor campaign, 1982.  Regional organizer for the Kennedy presidential campaign, 1980. Foreign and defense policy analyst for the Paul Tsongas for U.S. Senate campaign, 1978.  Graduate of Dartmouth College with a degree in government, 1978.  Originally from the Los Angeles area.
Marketing Coordinator Erin Elliott
Comptroller Amanda McKay
Public Relations Consultant Jason Salzman


Headquarters:  1620 Pleasant St. #218, Des Moines, IA 50314   (515) 244-1207
Director Peggy Huppert
Previously director of issue advocacy at State Public Policy Group.  Executive director of the Chrysalis Foundation, through Nov. 2003.  Directed Iowans for Sensible Priorities in 1999-2000.  Co­chairwoman of the Polk County Democrats from 1998-2000.  Ran her own consulting business, Nonprofit Resources.  Development director at The Des Moines Playhouse, 1993-94.  Executive director of the Iowa Hospice Organization, 1988-91.  Reporter for the Associated Press and Des Moines Tribune.  Journalism degree from Drake University.
Director of Grassroots Develoment Dave Stone
Graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in political science, 2004; he was a member of Cyclones for Dean.  From Crystal Lake, Illinois.
Field Organizer Jessica Maass
Interned with the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Get Out Her Vote Campaign in 2004.  Degree in sociology from the University of Northern Iowa.  Des Moines native.
Communications Director Heidi Wessels
"10 years of operations and strategic planning experience" including director of operations and business development at Simonson & Associates Architects.  Graduate of Drake University.  Illinois native.

almost 20 local partner organizations >

1620 Pleasant St. #218, Des Moines, IA 50314   (515) 244-1207
(501(c)(4)  - Set a goal of 8,000 pledgers, which it has exceeded.  Pledgers "promise to attend your local caucus and support a candidate who has endorsed the idea of providing more money for education, health care, renewable energy research, and other social needs by cutting Pentagon waste."
**The Caucus for Priorities Campaign endorsed former Sen. John Edwards for President on November 9th, 2007.
     The Executive Committee made the endorsement based on the following criteria:
        - Publicly stated support for Sensible Priorities;
        - Demonstrated willingness to campaign on Priorities;
        - Viability to emerge from Iowa with the standing to campaign throughout the nomination;
        - Likely influence the Caucus Pledgers will have in propelling them from Iowa; and,
        - Preference of the Caucus Pledgers.

Field Organizers
Amanda Huppert  (515) 664-7149
Des Moines Metro area; Polk, Dallas, Madison, Warren, Marion, Poweshiek Counties

Chris Schwartz (319) 230-5677
Waterloo-Cedar Falls Metro area; Black Hawk, Benton, Tama, Grundy, Butler, Bremer, Chickasaw, Howard, Mitchell, Floyd Counties

Natasha Newcomb  (515) 664-7148
Des Moines Metro area, Sioux City Metro area, and Western Iowa; Woodbury, Ida, Sac, Monona, Crawford, Carroll, Harrison, Shelby, Audubon, Guthrie, Pottawattamie, Cass, Adair, Mills, Montgomery, Adams, Union, Clarke, Fremont, Page, Taylor, Ringgold, Decatur Counties

Susan Junis (319) 541-1684
Iowa City-Cedar Rapids Metro area; Johnson, Linn, Iowa, Jones, and Cedar Counties

Brian Kramer (563) 271-2013
Quad Cities Metro area; Clinton and Scott Counties

Jessica Border  (319) 331-5564
Southeastern Iowa including Ottumwa, Fairfield, and Mount Pleasant; Mahaska, Keokuk, Washington, Muscatine, Louisa, Lucas, Monroe, Wapello, Jefferson, Henry, Des Moines, Lee, Van Buren, Davis, Appanoose, and Wayne Counties

John Day  (515) 231-2780
Ames Metro area and Northwestern Iowa; Story, Marshall, Boone, Greene, Calhoun, Webster, Hamilton, Hardin, Franklin, Wright, Humboldt, Pocahontas, Buena Vista, Cherokee, Plymouth, Sioux, O'Brien, Clay, Palo Alto, Kossuth, Hancock, Cerro Gordo, Worth, Winnebago, Emmet, Dickinson, Osceola, and Lyon Counties

Headquarters:  194 North Main St., Suite 3, Concord, NH 03301   (603) 224-3800
Director Steve Varnum
Public policy director of the Children's Alliance of New Hampshire, 2001-05.  Varnum worked as a journalist for 25 years; he was a feature writer and editor at the Concord Monitor (NH), 1989-2001.  Previously he was a feature writer and magazine editor at the New Bedford Standard Times (MA) and sports writer and city editor for The News (Southbridge, MA.).
Grassroots Director Melissa Bernardin
Concord, N.H. native.  Previously worked at League of Conservation Voters Education Fund New England regional office and Clean Water Action in NH.  Graduated with degree in environmental science from the University of New Hampshire.
Field Director Olivia Zink
Worked for Americans Coming Together in 2004.  Board member of Save Our Groundwater since 2000.  Graduated with degree in political science from the University of New Hampshire and a Master's in community economic development from Southern New Hampshire University.

more than 20 local partner organizations >
Copyright © 2007  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action