Meet the Candidates


Duane Muller

Duane spent more than 20 years in Washington DC, serving at two federal agencies and for the U.S. Congress. Later, Duane worked as a consultant advising clients on strategic communications, public policy effectiveness, and advocacy efforts. In 2014, she returned to her home state of California to reside in Playa Vista. Since 2016, Duane has been an active member of the WPDC having served on the Executive Board as a Member at Large (2017) and as President (2018). She has been instrumental in raising the Club’s visibility, recruiting new members, and developing programs to help educate members and the greater community. This fall, Duane will embark on a new position with UCLA as the Assistant Director/ Government Agency Liaison supporting the work of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge, where she will liaise between government agencies and UCLA faculty, researchers, and students to increase the funding portfolio for research, scholarly activity, and education supporting the goals of the Sustainable LA Grand Challenge. Duane received her Master’s degree in Political Management from George Washington University, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Diplomacy and World Affairs, and German, from Occidental College.

First Vice President - Political Affairs:

Carol Thom

I always followed political news, but I was never actively involved in politics until the 2016 presidential election lit a fire under me. I began working on weekly phone banks and writing postcards that January to help get out the vote in special elections and in Virginia, and have not stopped since. More recently, we've built up a great group of Westchester-Playa volunteers who reach out to voters in swing districts to help flip the House in November. I hope to continue those efforts in 2019. With the urgency of midterms behind us, we'll be able to place more focus on local issues and on laying the groundwork for the presidential elections in 2020.

Second Vice President - Operations:

CeAnna Ellner

Corresponding Secretary:

Arloa Goldstone

In some way, I have always been active in my community since High School, International Affairs club, debate society. University of Colorado student Democratic Club. As a parent, I was a yearly member (president one year of my local and state PTA My undergrad degree concentration was Urban Geography and employment career has been in Los Angeles city and county offices - County Planning Department environmental impact studies,. Los Angeles city LAPD grant division, Los Angeles Cultural Affairs division consultant. I have been a Westchester resident since 2001.

Recording Secretary:

Ed Stapleton

Edward Stapleton has served two terms as a Board Member At Large for WPDC, including one as Chair of the Issues Committee. Ed manages the City of Los Angeles’ Department of Airports’ business relationships to American Airlines and United Airlines at LAX, where he’s wrapping up the $533,000,000 acquisition of Terminal 7 & 8 Redevelopment and beginning a similar program for Terminals 4 & 5. Ed has served as Recording Secretary on the boards of numerous non-profits, and has helped organize political and civic activities beginning as an Eagle Scout, youth founder of a church youth group, guest minister at a progressive church, fundraiser for a US Congressmember, volunteer coordinator for a Ca Assembly campaign.



Members-at-Large (8 Positions)

1. Onofrio "Vince" Bertolini

2. Terry Conner

I am applying for a member at large position with the Club because, after almost a year as a member, I've been impressed with the board leadership and wish to join their efforts in promoting the Democratic Party in our community. Though a Chicagoan by birth, I'm a 45 year resident of the area and have been active in neighborhood as well as political affairs since 1975. I'm a Viet Nam vet (US Army) and worked with City Council President Pat Russell and was appointed to the LA Charter Revision Commission by Councilwoman Ruth Galanter. I was Chief Deputy to Senator Debra Bowen (CA 28) and District Director for Congresswoman Jane Harman and was a founder of COAST (Coastal Area Support Team) which organized local communities and neighborhoods to fight a huge development proposed for what is now the Costco site. My goals would be to support the Board and it's efforts and programs, to assist in recruiting new members to the Club and to represent the views of my community as well.

3. Kelly Ducharme

I first joined the Westchester Dem club back in 2008, when the group was still pretty young. Sheila and I would spend our Saturdays with others collecting signatures for health care reform. Also volunteered for the Ballona Institute working on planting native plants along the Venice canals with Marcia and Roy. This has been a year and a half of devastating blows to the well being of Americans, with the roll backs on health care, tax cuts for the super rich, environmental roll backs, the confirmation of BK to the supreme court. For 2019 I would like to see more focus on getting single payer or reviving the ACA back on track, God willing if we can turn the house and senate blue. Also I believe we should really get California to go as renewable as possible with tax cuts for solar panels, try to stop the Ballona wetlands from this revitalization project that So Cal Gas is trying to push forward.

4. Greg Dina

I have been a Westchester / Playa del Rey resident for the 16 years that I have been in Los Angeles and an active member of the Club for the past  5 years. I have served on many of WPDC event committees and look forward to expanding my role as we continue to explore and tackle location and national issues important to the Democratic Party. I'm a 2004 graduate of LMU and have worked in design and marketing roles at various companies, and look forward to combining my skills with the Club's needs to further advance our mission of promoting Democratic principles and values.  I am currently a Marketing Manager at the architecture firm HOK in their Culver City office.

5. Ken Feinswog

I was one of the original members of the Club and was active for a few years. Because of family and business commitments, I was unable stay involved in the Club. I returned to the Club last year and would like to become more involved by becoming an At-Large member of the Executive Board. I recognize the contributions that the Club has made to the Democratic Party and the community and I would like to assist in continuing and expanding those contributions. I am a loyal and informed Democrat and request your consideration for one of the At-Large seats on the Executive Board.

6. Lois Starr

Currently, a Housing Development Consultant for for-profit housing development entities, non-profit housing and service agencies and local governments. Her consultant work includes capacity assessment , resource development; partnership opportunities; engagement and collaboration in both the housing development and service delivery systems in Los Angeles County. Currently, she is working with small cities throughout the County to develop homeless planning processes and engagement of communities in the planning process.

Lois spent the previous fifteen years at the Community Development Commission of the County of Los Angeles (CDC—affordable housing entity for the County). As the Director of the Housing Development and Preservation Department for the County of Los Angeles, part of her responsibilities included: oversight of the County’s Housing Development Programs including first time Homebuyer and single family rehabilitation programs, multifamily and single family bond programs, affordable and special needs housing development, including collaborative partnerships for the production of special needs housing, homeless services and housing programs.

Working closely with the Health and Human Services Department’s in the County, she took the lead to develop and implement new and innovative solutions to house and serve homeless individuals and families many with co-occurring disorders, youth emancipating from the dependency and delinquency systems of care, frequent users of the County’s health and mental health systems of care, victims of domestic violence and frail seniors living in public housing. etc.

In this capacity Lois oversaw the development and implementation of the County's Veterans Assistance Supportive Housing Program (VASH) and was instrumental in the development of the Best Practice innovation of an inter jurisdictional agreement between the City Of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles to allow VASH voucher holders to seamlessly move between jurisdictions to find permanent housing.

Prior to her work at the County, Lois was a housing development consultant specializing in the development of transitional and permanent housing for special needs populations. Her firm led the development of the first transitional housing apartments for youth emancipating from the foster care system in the County. Ten years at the Los Angeles Area office of HUD as both a relocation and planning specialist was preceded by work at the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency.

A native of Los Angeles, Lois was educated here in Southern California completing undergraduate work at Cal. State Northridge and graduate work at Pepperdine.

7. Susan Ward

Save the Date

Annual Board Election Meeting
November 14th, 2018
Holy Nativity Church, Westchester
Details to be announced.