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Staff


Thomas Linzey, Esq., Executive Director.  Thomas is a co-founder of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and serves as chief legal counsel.  



Stacey Schmader, Administrative Director and National Democracy School Director.  Stacey is a co-founder of the Legal Defense Fund.  She runs the Democracy School program and edits our newsletter Susquehanna.

Mari Margil, Associate Director. Mari is our first Associate Director.  We created this position to meet our growing strategic, outreach, and development needs. 
Ben Price, National Organizing Director. Ben leads our organizing nationwide. Before moving into the national director position, he led our work across Pennsylvania, where over 100 communities have enacted CELDF-drafted laws.  Ben is a Democracy School lecturer.

Gail Darrell, New England Community Organizer.  Gail led the organizing campaign to pass the CELDF-drafted Ordinance in Barnstead, New Hampshire, creating the first in the nation law banning corporations from withdrawing water in a community.



Chad Nicholson, Pennsylvania Community Organizer.  Chad joined our staff in 2010, after working with Envision Spokane. He now lives and organizes in Pennsylvania, assisting communities to engage in rights-based organizing to protect themselves from harmful corporate activities.

Kai Huschke, Northwest and Hawaii Community Organizer. Kai is a board member of Envision Spokane and is working to organize other communities in Washington, Oregon, and Hawaii.


Emelyn Lybarger, Outreach Coordinator. Emelyn conducts media and fundraising outreach, maintains our database, and edits our newsletter.

Tish O'Dell, Ohio Community Organizer. Tish co-founded the grass-roots organization in Broadview Heights, OH, that successfully campaigned to adopt a Home Rule Charter amendment creating a Community Bill of Rights banning shale gas drilling and fracking.

Natalie Long, Illinois Community Organizer and CELDF affiliate.  Natalie is partnering with CELDF to lead Community Rights organizing in the state.

Michelle Sanborn, New Hampshire Community Rights Network Coordinator.  Michelle co-lead the effort to protect her hometown of Alexandria, NH, from industrial wind turbines through a Community Bill of Rights Ordinance, which was adopted by her community in 2014. Michelle is now partnering with CELDF as Coordinator of the NHCRN,  building a statewide network of communities to expand our grassroots organizing and move our organizing framework to the state level.