Potluck Dinner - Leadership Elections

Jan 30 2011 6:30 pm

We hope that all PCDO members will join us for our


Sunday, January 30, at 6:30 pm
at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Princeton (50 Cherry Hill Road)

Dinner at 6:30pm, followed at 7:30pm by the election for PCDO Executive Board for 2011




PCDO President

Dan Preston is running for PCDO President because he has found that building grassroots democracy is a more productive response to the news of the day than just ranting and raving. It’s also a lot more fun. He served as Democratic Party Chair in Princeton Township for six years, and is currently PCDO VP for the Township, and Board Chair of Princeton Community Television. Dan is a documentary filmmaker working mainly for nonprofits and education, and has lived in Princeton since 1991. He has a degree and prior career in economics, and a special interest in economic justice vs. plutocracy. He believes that the PCDO plays a vital role in our community, and hopes to build on the efforts of his predecessors to keep it moving forward. Dan seeks PCDO members’ views on how best to continue our progress, to become more inclusive and effective.


Vice President Borough

Heather Howard, who has lived in Princeton Borough for five years with her husband and son (a second grader at Riverside Elementary), would like to help make Princeton a welcoming place for families with young kids and for people with diverse backgrounds.  Employed by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School, she teaches health policy and manages a project helping states implement federal health reform.  She is involved in the Riverside PTO and serves as a Trustee of Children’s Specialized Hospital and on the NJ Board of Medical Examiners.  Her career has been devoted to progressive public policy: she served four years under Governor Corzine, first as Chief of Policy and then as Commissioner of Health and Senior Services.   Before moving to Princeton, she served as Senator Corzine’s Chief of Staff and as Associate Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Senior Policy Advisor for First Lady Hillary Clinton.


Vice President Township

Margaret Griffin is a Princeton High School graduate with a career as reference librarian and Princeton Public Library fund-raiser, as well as a co-owner of Micawber Bookstore for 16 years. Margaret was the voter registration coordinator for Mercer4Obama during the general election. She would like to use her experience to keep Princeton's downtown and its library strong and thriving.  Margaret is also very interested in promoting stronger links between Princeton and Trenton. She believes that shared problem-solving will be most effective in facing regional challenges and that the PCDO could have a vital role in this effort.



David Cohen’s goal as Treasurer of the PCDO is to improve our budgeting process and tracking of membership status. As PCDO President over the last two years, he has become aware of some of the technical challenges we face in maintaining accurate membership lists, and the frustrations some of you have had with submitting repeated requests for change in email address or some other aspect of your record in the membership database. I hope to contribute to an improved use of the available software to streamline our record-keeping and remove these small aggravations from our members’ lives. A 21 year resident of Princeton, he first became involved in the PCDO during the 2004 Presidential campaign and has been a member of the PCDO Exec Board for the past four years including 2 years as President and 1½ years as Treasurer.


Assistant Treasurer

Ginger Lennon, who was a math major, has served as treasurer of a state senate campaign.  She has been chairperson of the Princeton Township Democratic County Committee, twice, and has volunteered on many campaigns. She is currently Treasurer of the PCDO. She would like to help the PCDO to fulfill its destiny as both a forum for ideas and a force to continue winning elections.


Recording Secretary

Peter Lindenfeld has been a member of the PCDO since its founding and held various posts, including treasurer, in the early days. He has been recording secretary for some time and also coordinates the PCDO book
club. He looks forward to the opportunity to continue these two activities in the coming year.


Corresponding Secretary

Peter M. Wolanin, Ph.D. is the current PCDO Corresponding Secretary and prior to that was the Vice President for Princeton Borough.  In this capacity, Peter has assisted the president in publicizing meetings, sending membership notices, managing the PCDO website, and taking care of other organizational responsibilities. Peter is running again for Corresponding Secretary because he is interested in increasing the PCDO membership and improving technical capabilities for tracking memberships, communicating with PCDO members, and accepting membership payments online.

Township-at-Large (vote for 6)

Jose Alcantara has been a member of PCDO for many years and a Township committeeman since the 1980s.  He wants to continue to help in supporting our chosen local candidates when they are running for office and with setting up PCDO monthly meetings.


Adam Bierman I am a native Princetonian looking forward to my fifth year on the PCDO executive committee. I have also been an Mercer County committee member for Princeton Township 6th district for three years.  I look forward to continue to get more members for the PCDO and elect Democratic candidates.  In my lifetime I hope to see one Princeton.


Kip Cherry is a licensed Professional Urban Planner and a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners, and holds a MBA from the Wharton School/University of Pennsylvania.  She has nearly 30 years of experience in urban planning, historic preservation and marketing architectural and engineering services. Kip grew up in Princeton but left to go to college and pursue her career, returning in 2000. She has a broad range of interests in good government including issues related to master planning, historic preservation, transportation/circulation, and the environment.  She has been a member of PCDO’s Local Issues/PILOT Committee for over three years. She would like to be involved in PCDO’s vital role of promoting good government and identifying early-on possible solutions to issues important to life in Princeton including the Dinky, tax & valuation fairness, storm water control, land use development, ecological protection, environmental sustainability, pedestrian and vehicular circulation, inclusivity, transparency, shared services, and consolidation. 


Jim Floyd is delighted to have served our community as an elected official on various boards and commissions. His primary interest is to involve our young neighbors in the process of governance through eliciting their concerns and ideas.


Caroline ("Callie") Hancock has lived in Princeton since 1985, after attending grad school in architecture here. She has always felt fortunate to be part of such a strongly Democratic community, but is not taking this for granted since Rush Holt's recent fight for re-election. Callie welcomes this opportunity to more actively support the PCDO by joining the Executive Committee and learning what she can do to help the organization.


Beth Healeyis a professor of History at Community College of Philadelphia.  For the past two years she has served as Archives Chair.  As a member-at-large of the PCDO, she would be willing to do whatever is necessary, including contributions to a newsletter.


Sandra Jordan Bierman is a native of Guayaquil, Ecuador, South America.  She graduated with a degree in architecture, but pursued a career in the airline/tourism business.   She met her husband, Adam Bierman, in Ecuador and moved with him to Princeton in 1999. Sandra was raised on politics and activism in her hometown.  Relatives occupied high positions in government such as secretary of state, and Supreme Court justice.  Sandra has been working at the Out Patient Clinic of the University Medical Center at Princeton for nine years working with the primary Hispanic community and their health needs.  Sandra also has a TV show in Spanish called Perdidos en America, through Princeton TV public access. Sandra would like to use her close relationship with members of the Latino community, dto get them involved with local issues and to help them overcome their fear of local government and to empower themselves. Sandra is a full-time mother to daughter Rachel Rebecca.


Charles L. Rojer, M.D.has been a resident of Princeton since his retirement ten years ago from nearly forty years of practice in the Philadelphia area as an otolaryngologist and head and neck surgeon. Since moving to the area he has been privileged to audit courses at Princeton University, attend concerts and lectures at the Institute for Advanced Studies and finally get involved in community activities. He is completing his second 3 year term and is presently 2nd vice-president of the Friends of the Princeton Public Library. He is one of two VPs of the Princeton Regional Health Commission and serves as liaison to the Princeton Environmental Commission. He is also on the Board of the American Jewish Committee's Central NJ Chapter. He is a lifelong Democrat, Liberal, Progressive human being and hopes these "qualities" will serve him well on PCDO's Board if he is elected.


Afsheen Shamsi - I have always believed in serving. As part of my mission to serve, I worked for several years at a national civil rights organization - the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) as the Public Relations Director. I recently started Philanthropia Consulting - I assist non-profits with fundraising and Board Development. My family and I moved to Princeton for the Autism program in the public school system and have simply fallen in love with Princeton. Currently, I serve on the Human Services Commission and also volunteer at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen.

I have always believed in the Democratic Party ideals and was energized by the President’s call to action. I have worked on Governor Corzine’s campaign as well as Congressman Rush Holt’s campaign. Given the opportunity, I would be honored to serve the PCDO community.



Borough-at-Large (Vote for 6)


Yan Chang Bennett is Assistant Director for the China and the World Program at Princeton University. Before coming to Princeton, Ms. Bennett was a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and served overseas in China and Bosnia-Herzegovina.  She received awards for superior performance from the State Department. Ms. Bennett has a B.A. in Political Science and received an M.A. in International Affairs from the Elliot School at George Washington University.  She holds a JD and practiced in the areas of business and international law.  As a firm believer in one's civic duties, she has been active with municipal committees concerning traffic and transportation.  She worked on the Obama campaign where she met many PCDO members and has served as a PCDO member-at-large for the Borough since 2010.


Donald Dowd is a 21-year resident of the Princetons – 15 years in the Township and in the Borough since 2004.  Don is a retired mechanical engineer.  For the last 20 years Don worked in senior project management positions for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in the bus and rail transportation divisions and as a trouble shooter on a wide variety of projects.  He was registered as a professional engineer in several states and in Canada.

Don has served on the Princeton Traffic and Transportation Committee since 2007.  He is interested in pursuing solutions to the issues raised in the recent survey conducted by the T & T Committee.  These include safety, noise, lack of convenient public transportation as well as concern to maintain the charm of living in Princeton.

As an engineer, Don has a particular interest in government’s role in improving, maintaining infrastructure, and also in supporting Democratic Party programs and candidates.


Anton Lahnston has a Ph.D. from the University of Washington and taught for 13 years at Boston University in Education and Management. As a consultant he has over 35 years of experience with a broad range of organizations, private and public, domestic and global.  He has served for four terms as District 7 committeeman and currently serves as Chairman of the Borough's Traffic and Transportation Committee.  He is also Chairman of the Joint Consolidation/Shared Services Commission.  For the past two years he has worked on the Community Transportation Coordination Initiative with the Township and the University. Anton’s interest is in maintaining the strength and effectiveness of the PCDO as a progressive organization and in increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of government.


Anne Waldron Neumann, as a Borough-at-Large member of the PCDO Executive Board, will help elect Democrats and encourage the PCDO's increasing involvement in other local issues.  For example, Anne is a member of the PCDO ad-hoc committee that has been studying how Princeton University's tax-exempt status affects property taxes.  She also serves on the Site Plan Review Advisory Board, advising the Planning Board on technical issues raised by development applications.  The PCDO could adopt resolutions endorsing sustainable development that truly benefits residents.  

What about Princeton's economic development specifically?  The PCDO could urge elected officials to support local merchants, job training programs, or business incubators.  As a Borough-at-Large member, she will help our Executive Board explore these possibilities. 


Sheldon B. Sturges is a Past President of the PCDO. He is President of Sturges Publishing Company. The company received a patent this past August from the US government for a ‘Response generator for mimicking human-computer natural language conversation’. He has served on the Board of the Crisis Ministry and is currently Secretary of the Board of Trustees of Habitat for Humanity-Trenton. He serves as Managing Director and Co-Founder of Princeton Future. He is committed to keeping Princeton affordable and diverse. 


Joan Widner joined the PCDO as a member-at-large in 2010 to help PCDO support Rush Holt’s bid for reelection to Congress.  This year she would like to contribute to the effort to stimulate citizen involvement in the political process by sharing with newcomers the open environment in Princeton that encourages thoughtful questioning and debate.

This year, to quote Kevin Wilkes, we need more than ever, to work together in the right spirit to solve our problems and avoid divisiveness whenever we can. I want to encourage more of our citizens to help solve problems. For that reason, she is willing to help plan our programs that would draw new members into discussions about how to solve those problems.