The League Board 2016-2017


President Deborah Malbec

I have been a member of the Berkeley-Albany-Emeryville League for just a few years, but started my League career in Oakland and then West Contra Costa County.  I have been active in Voters Services and the Coordinator of the Communications Team.  This past year, as a board member, I have also participated in the Action Team.  I have been the Berkeley representative on the Money in Politics Study Team, done jointly with the Oakland League, calendar editor and have had responsibility for the weekly eBlast.  I am honored to be given the challenge of taking on the role of president. I will work with my two experienced colleagues, Diz Swift and Phyllis Gale, who have agreed to be named Vice-presidents.

Christine Wenrich cu bestSecretary Christine Wenrich

How great to be nominated for an additional year as Secretary. Meetings are informative and forward-looking, recording the news non-stressful, while feedback has been accurate and somewhat tactful. My teaching and librarian skills permit accurate reporting. I am thankful to be learning about the democratic political process with the League.

Photo Emily BeckhusenTreasurer Emily Beckhusen

I look forward to working with the League and expanding my horizons and skills. Having worked at Semifreddi’s for about 12 years, I am now the office supervisor—overseeing sales data analysis, accounts receivable, payable, billing, and scheduling bakery production. I attended Berkeley High School and earned my GED at 17. I began working immediately at Kaiser Permanente, later at Semifreddi’s. I have been an active volunteer for the Berkeley/Albany Girl Scouts Service Unit, including serving as the cookie sales manager and co-treasurer.  I’m the mother of thirteen year old Micaela, a long-time League volunteer.


Regina BeatusRegina Beatus – Office Administration

I became a member of the League in 1986 after attending a School Board Candidates’ Night moderated by the League.   That year I joined a parent group and was a founding member that led the campaign for the Berkeley Schools Enrichment parcel tax. Many years later I served as chair of the LWVBAE Education Committee. Currently I am chair of the Climate Change Team. When I retired from UC Berkeley as an administrative assistant, I decided to become more active in the League.   The League and its members continue to impress me with their dedication and relentless work to educate our community on issues and reach out to register voters.,

Phyllis-Gale-cu-150x150Phyllis Gale – Vice President and Voter Services Manager

I am seeking my third term as a Board Director. For the last two years I have served as the Voter Services Coordinator.  I would like to continue. I am also active on the Berkeley Historical Society Board and serve as their program chair,  organizing exhibits and events. I worked for 29+ years supporting research scientists in proposal development and award management at Lawrence Berkeley Lab and, before that, at UC Berkeley.  For the last 10 years I was a programmatic database manager supporting sponsored research. I earned a BS in Political Science from Southern Oregon University where I first registered voters, voted and was a poll watcher.

Jinky-gardner-cu-edited 2016Jinky Gardner – Membership Chair

I joined LWVBAE in 2002 and quickly became very active. I co-led a local study on civics education in our public schools, and shepherded the study through consensus meetings to a good policy statement we can act on.  I also served in various capacities on the Board including a two year stint as President.  After a few years of having to put the League on the back burner. With the help of our new member and consultant, Adena Ishii, we are ready to grow our membership and make it more diversified and younger.

preston jordan informal cu 2016jpg

Preston Jordan – Outreach Chair

As a scientist, I naturally gravitate to the League. Like the scientific community, the League is comprised of strong-minded individuals who have agreed to subject their ideas to review for the greater good. I appreciate the League for keeping alive the memory of being denied the vote, and jealously guarding and pursuing the expansion of suffrage. For years I have advocated hopefully for election methods that result in representation for almost every voter, which increases engagement and turnout. In comparison, there is consensus among political scientists that the method currently used by Albany and Emeryville is the worst. As a geologist, my other civic passion, motivated by fear, is reducing greenhouse pollution to avert climate change. Thank you for considering me for the Board.,

Jessica Powell – Program Chair

I joined the League this year and immediately jumped in – helping out where needed. I am honored to be appointed for the remainder of the term as Program Director and nominated for a further term. My interest in the League grew from my work promoting women’s participation in politics around the world, and my natural tendency to remain non-partisan. I founded and manage a consulting firm, Gender Resources, Inc. that promotes gender equity and women’s empowerment around the world, and have spent the last 10 years leading initiatives in Afghanistan, Philippines, Timor Leste, and Thailand. I look forward to applying the skills I have developed to promoting a more prosperous, equal society here in Berkeley.


photo Linda Diz SwiftLinda (Diz) Swift – Vice President and Action Director

I have been active in the League of Women Voters at local, state and national levels for over 10 years.  I trained as a scientist (PhD geology) and am now retired from over 30 years working primarily in minerals and oil & gas exploration and production in many different capacities and at various levels of management. Since retirement in 2004, I have been studying climate change. I lecture on the risks of climate change in a wide array of venues, as well as lobbying and advocating at all levels of government.  My website advocating for putting a price on carbon emissions – which was endorsed by the national League – is at  I also serve as a Berkeley Public Works Commissioner and am on the Community Advisory Group for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.