Officers, Common Cause in Connecticut State Governing Board
Dr. Bilal Dabir Sekou, PhD. , Chair
Bilal Dabir Sekou is an Associate Professor of Political Science in Hillyer College at the University of Hartford. His research interests are race and politics, urban politics, and campaigns, elections, and voting behavior. He has published articles on social and political participation by African Americans and public attitudes toward quality and integrated education in Connecticut.
Katie Roy, Vice-Chair
Katie graduated in the spring of 2013 from Western New England College School of Law and is currently working as an associate attorney at Robert Fortgang Associates, LLC where she practices employment law. She is dedicated to bringing young people into the political process and increasing civic engagement.
Dr. Susan Pease, PhD. Treasurer
Dr. Susan E. Pease became dean of the Carol A. Ammon School of Arts and Sciences in March 2004, after serving nearly two years as interim dean. Susan is an expert on drug crimes and on substance abuse treatment programs for prisoners. Her articles on these subjects appear in the 2000 edition of the Encyclopedia of Women and Crime, and in many other publications. She is frequently asked to evaluate the effectiveness of prison drug treatment programs.
Members of the Common Cause in Connecticut State Governing Board
Dr. Carol Shaw Austad
Dr. Carol Austad received her Ph.D. from the University of North Texas in Clinical Psychology and is currently professor of psychology at Connecticut Central State University. She has worked at a state mental hospital, a health maintenance organization, and private practice. Dr. Austad’s research interests include biofeedback, peace psychology, psychotherapy and evidence based mental health and the health care system, and is Co-coordinator of the CCSU Peace Studies Minor Program. In her free time, Dr. Austad likes to sail and hike.
James Barber is currently Director of Community Outreach at Southern Connecticut State University. James comes to Common Cause in Connecticut with decades of social justice and community outreach experience in Connecticut, especially focusing on youth. In 2010 he received a lifetime achievement award from the Greater New Haven African American Historical Society for his work.
Minaren Bozeman is currently a team lead at the Village for Families and Children in Hartford. Minaren formerly worked at Democracy Works for years and has also served as an outreach coordinator for CT Votes. Minaren brings a knowledge of organizing for democracy and a high level of enthusiasm to our board.
Candida Flores is the current Executive Director of Family Life Education in Hartford. Candida brings more than twenty years of experience in the human services, government and corporate sectors in both Connecticut and Puerto Rico. Most of her career has been devoted to working with people in under-served communities to help improve their physical and emotional well being. She has held senior leadership positions at organizations such as The Village for Families and Children, La Casa de Puerto Rico, Caguas (Puerto Rico) Downtown Development Corporation, the Connecticut Council of Family Service Agencies, and the Hispanic Health Council. She has also served as the Chief of Staff for New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. and as Special Assistant to former Connecticut Governor Lowell Weicker.
Dan Livingston is a founding partner of Livingston, Adler, Pulda, Meiklejohn & Kelly PC who has been a labor and progressive activist in three states -- New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. He has extensive experience in labor and employment law including arbitrations, and litigation before the State Labor Relations Board, the National Labor Relations Board, the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights & Opportunities, the Connecticut Superior Court, the U.S. District Court, the Connecticut Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Dan also serves as chief negotiator in union contract negotiations, and lead advocate in interest arbitrations, including the successful effort of State Employee Unions to secure health and pension benefits for domestic partners of the state's gay and lesbian employees.
Michele Jacklin is recently retired from serving as the Director of Media Relations at Trinity College in Hartford, and owns a communications consulting firm, Michele Jacklin Communications LLC. Jacklin was a journalist for 30 years, 28 of them with The Hartford Courant, where she mostly covered state and local government, politics and public policy. Among her jobs at The Courant, Jacklin was a legislative reporter, chief political reporter, an editorial writer and political columnist. Jacklin is a board member of the Connecticut Foundation for Open Government. She lives in Glastonbury.
Formerly a Connecticut State Representative and then Mayor of Norwalk, Alex has since served as Executive Director of Dwight Hall, The Center for Public Service and Social Justice at Yale and is now a visiting professor at Yale School of Law. He is currently a consultant to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund for Scheff v. O'Neill, the landmark desegregation education case and Chairs the Connecticut State Advisory Committee of the United States Civil Rights Commission.