GPWA Coordinating Council
AUTUMN SCHMIDT – GPWA Coordinating Council – At-Large and Green Party of Spokane County
Autumn has been a member of the Green Party of Spokane and Washington State since 2014. She loves database management, direct action, and educating people about environmental issues. She has been the membership coordinator and point person for the Green Party of Spokane Washington since 2016. She is also the acting secretary for the Coordinating Council of Green Party of Washington State since 2016. She is currently studying Public Service Administration at Whitworth University with the educational goal of earning a Master’s degree in Library Science.
Autumn has a deep appreciation of education. It is through education that she has become involved in activism for environmental protection and justice. It is her passion to educate the public about the reasons and methods of living sustainably within our finite environment. She hopes that through education she can help cause an impact on local and national level of government in ways that provide legal protection for environmental factors that are in need of protection from destructive or corruptive forces.
KEITH HUGHES – GPWA Coordinating Council – At-Large
Keith and Family have been an active part of the West Seattle Community for the past 38 years. After High School in California, College in Oregon, 9 years with the US Army and Oregon Army National Guard, he moved to Seattle in 1979. After 15 years in Facilities and Construction Project Management with The Boeing Company, he went back to school and studied Computing Systems. The next 12 years he was the Computing Systems Architect with Swedish Medical Center. In 2008, he started West Seattle Natural Energy with the Family, first part time while studying and training, then full time in 2010.
“The Renewable Energy Industry is what we love and what we do. Our home, office, shop, and Chevy Volt are all 100% powered by Solar Arrays. I believe in it, and I show it by using it.”
Keith is an active member of the following organizations: West Seattle Rotary Club and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce, Sustainable Seattle and the Pacific Northwest Resilience Challenge, Cascade Green Building Council and International Living Future Institute, 2016 Graduate of the EMERGE Leadership Institute, Northwest Eco-Building Guild, Commander of the West Seattle American Legion Post 160.
As a CC Member At Large, Keith promotes the 4 Pillars of the Green Party, listening to the People, and sharing with them at every opportunity.
MARY ELLEN KNOOP – GPWA Coordinating Council – At-Large and Green Party Tahoma
Mary Ellen is a founding member of Green Party Tahoma (Pierce County). She firmly believes the Green Party is our party of and for the future: “Our Ten Key Values, on which we learn to base all of our actions, guide us and keep alive our dreams and our hope for living in harmony with the planet and all thereon”.
Mary Ellen was born in 1938 and remembers old organic farming, radio programs before television, and the first interstate highways, because she drove with her family from Massachusetts to Colorado in the summer of 1956. She first registered to vote as an Independent. Later, having graduated from UMass Amherst with a diploma in Nursing and a BS degree, she flew back to Colorado, did hospital nursing, then married and worked in Public Health. Mary Ellen’s husband taught high school Social Studies and English, and they lived in Panama for four years, then Tanzania, East Africa for two, then back to Panama for 12 more years. Mary Ellen and her husband retired to Washington State, and she went back to nursing for a few more years. Those years overseas exposed her to different people, their cultures and two languages that she learned somewhat to speak. She also learned that people are the same everywhere and that we all share and have the same needs; we all love to eat together and laugh together.
KAROLINE HAFFNER – GPWA Coordinating Council – At-Large and GPUS Alternate
Born in Peru to an American father who worked in the oil business and a Peruvian/ German mother, Karoline has had a chance to live in 4 countries and 3 continents under different political systems, always near people with varying views. She has lived through the terror of the “Shining Path” in Peru during the 80’s as well as through 9/11 in NYC– both were events that shaped her understanding of global politics in a significant way.
Karoline studied Audio-Visual Communications in college (Peru), Theater Arts (NYC), and later, while living in Germany, became a Spanish/ESL/German teacher. She currently runs her own language school where she teaches languages to children and adults.
She is a firm believer in that in unity there is strength and that we, as people, have more in common than not. Given the toxic and divisive political climate we currently live in, it is her mission to help unite people in any way she can.
As a CC for the Green Party, she strives to use her social, creative, and communication skills, along with her understanding of global politics, to bring people together around the issues. Her drive to help the Green Party succeed comes from being a mother who wants a better future for our children.
SCOTT THOMPSON – GPWA Coordinating Council – At-Large
Scott works for the Green Party because he knows that we really could make our society much better. He’s experienced the sad decline in our political and cultural environment during his lifetime that he would like to remedy for his three grandkids.
Scott believes that if not for many voters being persuaded to vote against their own best interests, we could have a Public Option. We could also fund higher education appropriately and provide essential services for our less fortunate. We could implement the Green New Deal to seriously fend off coming climate disasters. We could stop the abusive Secrecy, which impairs our democracy and deceives us into supporting foreign imperialism. We could have a press that works to be a Fourth Estate watchdog for the people, instead of parroting misinformation from corporate and military interests. However the collusion of the two corporate parties and big money interests disallows our political system from serving the average citizen.
Scott thinks all of our grandchildren deserve a life where our country’s resources are devoted to a peaceful and sustainable earth, not profits for the 1%. He wants us to work to change this.
Scott is a retired Control Systems Engineer, who became politically active following structural analysis of the WTC tower collapses.
CHRIS GOVELLA – GPWA Treasurer
As Treasurer he works to track the financial activity of the organization and report back to the members and decision-makers to help with Green Party activities. Chris has experience serving as Deputy Treasurer in 2012-2013. Chris helped Janet Jordan to compile a register of transactions for membership dues, donations, and campaign materials. He is familiar with the reporting requirements for political parties stated by the WA Public Disclosure Commission and the Federal Elections Committee.
His introduction to public service began when he started working for the City of Lakewood in 2015 as an intern. Chris prepared briefs for the executive team to assist with redeveloping suburban commercial nodes to attract new businesses. Topics included examining under-improved parcels for potential redevelopment, and suggesting potential placemaking and community assets that the City should establish on behalf of the community. His responsibilities included parsing information from Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, and making informed statements through graphs, maps and charts.
Chris considers himself to be a mission-driven person with a commitment to racial and social justice, economic prosperity, and sustainability.
LISA CANAR – GPWA Deputy Treasurer
Lisa has been a member of the Green Party of Seattle and Washington State since 2016. As Deputy Treasurer she helps track finances for GPWA, and is now starting to learn the detailed reporting requirements for registered political parties. She also volunteers as social media and communications coordinator for GPWA, overseeing Green social media presence, posting news to the GPWA website, publicizing events, and sending organizational emails. Lisa attended the GPUS annual convention in 2016 as a Presidential Nominating Committee delegate and has served on the GPWA Coordinating Council for one year as an at large member.
When she is not volunteering with the Green Party, Lisa tries to keep up with the latest science and research on natural health and integrative medicine. She trained at Bastyr University in Naturopathic Medicine and today practices as a Medical Support Physician for a non-invasive diagnostic testing laboratory. Lisa recognizes the interconnectedness of individual, community, and planetary health, and strives through her work to create a just and healthy world for all.
Local Green Party Chapter Representatives
CHANAN SUAREZ – Green Party of Whatcom County
WOODY DERYCKX – Green Party of Skagit County
SHANE HEYDEN – Green Party of Seattle
NOAH MARTIN – Green Party of South Puget Sound
BOB CONE – Green Party of Southwest Washington
KATHRYN LEWANDOWSKY – Green Party of Snohomish County
JODY GRAGE – GPUS Delegate
Jody’s previous relevant experiences include being a teacher, community activist, organizer of the Seattle Nonviolent Peacekeeper Pool, and an early participant and advocate for both Sustainable Seattle and Voluntary Simplicity.
Jody has been involved with the Green Party in Washington State since the 1980s. She was Treasurer from 2001-2003, an at-large CC member from 2003-2004 and 2005-2006, a member of the Interim Advisory Board in 2010, and an at-large CC member from 2010-2013 and 2014-2017. She was a member of the GPUS Steering Committee from 2004 – 2010, the last four years as Treasurer.
Jody brings with her institutional memory, an appetite for agendas and minutes and other helpful paperwork, a willingness to toil in the trenches, a determination to develop a robust campaign support system, and a vision of Green Party locals all across our state. As a GPUS Delegate, she brings with her extensive knowledge of the connection between GPWA and GPUS.
RYAN POWELL – GPUS Delegate
Ryan was born, raised, and lives in Seattle. He has 2 sons, 8 and 12, and is married to Karoline Haffner, a Green Party activist. Ryan graduated from the University of Washington, and his careers have primarily been in finance, mortgage, and real estate.
Ryan has been a student of Bernie Sanders’ philosophy since 2006, and he was an early Bernie Sanders supporter for his presidential run-he voted for him in the primary, and was a Sanders Delegate for the 34th district. Ryan found the Green Party after the Democrat Convention and then worked hard to help Jill Stein with her presidential run.
Ryan believes the 2 party system is flawed, corrupted, and that both are serving their corporate masters, not the people. The 99% need a place to come together within a “peoples party”, and for many reasons he believes it should be the Green Party.
Ryan believes we need leadership to recruit, educate, and inspire the masses to realize that we can make a difference and that we can build a nation of which we can be proud! He is ready, willing, and able to do his part to help bring about the revolution.
P.S. He parks his Prius (with the VOTE GREEN bumper sticker) under his Solar Panel roof. He’s lived in a straw bale home with a rain water catchment system, and a composting toilet.