Speakers Bureau

We are ready to give our compelling presentation to groups all around the state. You name it, we want to be there to educate their members and seek their endorsement. Contact us at speakers@voterchoicema.org to arrange a time and place.

The Speakers' Bureau is our repository of regional speaking talent. All of our speakers are trained and well-versed in ranked choice voting generally and specifically how it could be used in Massachusetts to improve our own elections. They are engaging, personable, diplomatic, knowledgeable, confident, articulate, and able to answer any questions.

Linda Castronovo

Speaker with Voter Choice Massachusetts, a state-wide organization committed to educating voters about the benefits of Ranked Choice Voting. She has degrees in Biology, Exercise Science, and Elementary Education from Earlham College and the University of Massachusetts. As a recently retired teacher and coach, she is committed to working toward a democracy that lives up to the ideals of “liberty and justice for all.” She has three grown children and lives in Hadley with her husband, eight chickens, and a young yellow lab.

Greg Dennis

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Policy & Research Director for Voter Choice Massachusetts. Greg received his B.S, M.Eng, and Ph.D. from MIT, where he participated in the MIT-Caltech Voting Technology Project. A long-time student of electoral systems, Greg has spoken and written extensively on comparative voting theory. He has also served as Campaign Manager and Field Director for several local races and ballot questions in Somerville and Arlington. In 2015, Greg was elected to Town Meeting in Arlington, where he lives with his wife and three kids.

Howie Fain

Co-founder of FairVote and former chair of the Fair Ballot Alliance of Massachusetts. Beginning in the 1980s, Howie and a handful of other proportional representation enthusiasts from around the country began discussions through the postal mail, and eventually founded FairVote in 1992. For the next five years, Howie served as FairVote's national Secretary. In 1994, he moderated the Secretary of Commonwealth candidates forum on Voting System Reform, and was the voting systems consultant to the City of Cambridge as they computerized their RCV elections. Howie credits the historic RCV statewide enactment in Maine in 2016 with luring him back into active involvement in today's growing movement for true electoral democracy. He resides and teaches public school in Worcester, where he and his wife spend most Saturdays with their 12 grandchildren.

Adam Friedman

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Executive Director of Voter Choice Massachusetts. In 2009, Adam served on the executive committee of a RCV statewide ballot question campaign in Massachusetts. He serves on the boards of MassVOTE and Common Cause Massachusetts and has been involved in lobbying and organizing around various voting and democracy reforms for over ten years. Adam works full-time as a civic technologist and web software engineer. Beginning in 2012, Adam created the first searchable public database of official election statistics on behalf of the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and three other US states. Adam lives in Somerville, MA and holds a BA in History from Boston University.

Jim Henderson

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Treasurer of Voter Choice Massachusetts. Jim is a long-time advocate of Ranked Choice Voting, a topic he focused on while a candidate for Secretary of State in 2010. With degrees from Princeton University (A.B. in Economics), University of Michigan (J.D.) and Boston University (LL.M.), Jim maintains a law practice in Stow, representing small businesses and nonprofit organizations as outside general counsel, and providing estate planning services to families and individuals. Jim also sings and performs regularly with In Good Company and in the Christmas Revels.

Billy Jackson

Billy Jackson

Speaker for Voter Choice Massachusetts and assistant Professor of Mathematics at North Shore Community College in Danvers and Lynn. At NSCC he has taught the ideas and theories behind alternative voting methods for the past six years and has been invited to speak on conference panels on the topic.  When Billy found out Maine was on the verge of passing RCV, he discovered Voter Choice Massachusetts and became the organization’s Deputy Director of Policy & Research. This is his first active role in a political advocacy organization or campaign. Billy holds a BA from Westfield State University and an MAT from Salem State University.

Martha Karchere

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Speaker for Voter Choice Massachusetts. Martha is a family physician living 30 years in Jamaica Plain with her husband, Luis Prado, with whom she raised 3 boys. She worked in a community health center in Quincy during most of this time and was active in community advocacy for Franklin Park and the local library. More recently, she was involved in Don Berwick's gubernatorial campaign and Bernie Sander's presidential campaign. She believes that inequality is at the root of many of our most pernicious health problems including obesity and drug addiction. Martha sees Ranked Choice Voting as one powerful way to open up the public square to more opinions and policies, making government more representative and responsive to the needs of the planet and humankind.

Ian Kernohan

Speaker for Voter Choice Massachusetts. Ian comes to Voter Choice Massachusetts continuing a career of service. At the College of Wooster, he completed an independent research project on the ways in which addicts portray their illnesses in the scope of their life stories to complete a Sociology and Spanish degree. He then served two years with City Year New Hampshire, mentoring students and volunteers in under-served schools before finding his way to Lowell, Massachusetts, where he currently works as a Therapeutic Mentor. Ian believes in the power of a person's voice, and works to increase each individual's awareness of their own potential. In his free time, Ian is also working to become a Level 1 Judge for Magic: the Gathering.

Nathan Lockwood

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Central Massachusetts Chapter Lead of Voter Choice Massachusetts. Nathan was elected to the Town of Lunenburg Planning Board and served from 2009 through 2015. He is a founding member of the Centrist Project. His career in the software industry has spanned over 20 years and various roles, including software engineer, interaction designer, scrum master, and manager. Nathan has two children in college and lives in Lunenburg with his wife and two small dogs. Nathan holds a BA in Philosophy from Yale University.

Chris Oates

Speaker with Voter Choice Massachusetts. He is a political risk analyst for Oxford Analytica, covering foreign policy, domestic politics, and macroeconomics. He became interested in ranked choice voting from living in the United Kingdom, where he saw a prime minister win election with only 36% of the vote, and then re-elected with 37%. He is a native of Canton and holds a BA in Political Science and Classics from Brown University and an MPhil and PhD in International Relations from Oxford University.

Deb Otis

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MetroWest Chapter Lead of Voter Choice Massachusetts. Deb is committed to finding and implementing improvements to our electoral system which empower individuals and increase civic engagement. A key area of focus is to increase representation for women and people of color in statewide and federal offices. Deb works as a marketing professional for a publishing company. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Economics and Physics from Boston University and lives in Newton.

Ellen Perry

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Speaker with Voter Choice Massachusetts. Ellen is a Professor of Classics, specializing in Greek and Roman archaeology. Because of her background in classics, Ellen has a sincere appreciation for the origins of democracy and for the traditions and innovations that make it more effective and representative. Ellen is also a hobbyist beekeeper who appreciates the fact that honeybees have their own remarkably democratic and effective ways of making some of their most important decisions.

Ben Schattenburg

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Speaker for Voter Choice Massachusetts. An experienced political canvasser and phone fundraiser, Ben worked as a field organizer for the Yes on 5 campaign in Maine, helping Maine become the first state in US history to enact Ranked Choice Voting statewide. Ben has also organized ballot access drives for candidates and referendums across New England, and specialized in messaging and logistics for the signature-gathering phase. Ben is a native of Wayland, MA.

Jacob Silterra

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Speaker for Voter Choice Massachusetts. In his ten years living in the Boston area, Jacob has worked as an engineer, software developer, and computational biologist. He is passionate about building government institutions, including voting systems, which work best for all people. Jacob works at a cancer genomics pharmaceutical company in Cambridge. He holds a BS in physics from Cornell University and an MS in bioinformatics from Boston University.

 

Currently Inactive

Laura Brisbane

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Former Cape & Islands Chapter Lead of Voter Choice Massachusetts. Laura graduated from the University of Southern California in 2016 with a B.A. in political science and a minor in human rights. She spent the past year working in Cambridge as a Democracy Research Fellow at Small Planet Institute, where she assisted in research for a forthcoming book titled, Daring Democracy: Igniting Power, Meaning, and Connection for the America We Want, co-authored by Frances Moore Lappé and Adam Eichen. Laura now lives on the Cape, where she enjoys organizing for Ranked Choice Voting as well as writing and performing music in her free time.