NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Saturday, March 29th, 2014

Robert Cruickshank elected president of the Northwest Progressive Institute for 2014

Spring has often been called the sea­son of renew­al, and we’ve always thought it’s as good of a time as any to recal­i­brate and reor­ga­nize. To that end, each March, before we file our year­ly report with the Sec­re­tary of State’s office, our board holds its annu­al meet­ing. The prin­ci­pal busi­ness of this meet­ing is the elec­tion of NPI’s direc­tors (for terms of two years) and offi­cers (for terms of one years).

NPI’s 2014 annu­al meet­ing was held ear­li­er today. At that meet­ing, we reelect­ed three of our cur­rent board mem­bers (Gael Tar­leton, Ralph Gorin, Kath­leen Reynolds), hon­ored two depart­ing board mem­bers (Mar­tin Chaney and Rob Dolin), and elect­ed a new mem­ber of the board (Kim Allen, who read­ers from NPI’s home­town know well as one of our sev­en city councilmembers).

Robert Cruickshank

NPI Pres­i­dent Robert Cruick­shank (Pho­to: Lin­coln Potter/Samaya)

We also chose our offi­cers for the com­ing year. For the first time in many years, NPI has a new pres­i­dent: Robert Cruick­shank.

Robert is cur­rent­ly a senior cam­paign man­ag­er for Democ­ra­cy For Amer­i­ca, the per­ma­nent peo­ple-pow­ered cam­paign that Howard Dean found­ed ten years ago at the end of his bid for the U.S. pres­i­den­cy. Pri­or to that, he was a senior com­mu­ni­ca­tions advis­er to for­mer Seat­tle May­or Mike McGinn.

Robert is well-versed in the pol­i­tics of Amer­i­ca’s Left Coast, hav­ing lived and trav­eled exten­sive­ly in both Wash­ing­ton and California.

He grew up in Orange Coun­ty and grad­u­at­ed from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley with a B.A. in His­to­ry in 2000. He received his PhC in His­to­ry from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton after attend­ing grad­u­ate school there dur­ing the 2000s. He returned to Cal­i­for­nia and was for sev­er­al years the Pub­lic Pol­i­cy Direc­tor for the Courage Cam­paign, one of the Gold­en State’s lead­ing pro­gres­sive orga­ni­za­tions. He and his wife Rose now make their home in Seat­tle with their son Ian.

Robert exem­pli­fies the qual­i­ties that we val­ue in our board and staff mem­bers. He under­stands the impor­tance of think­ing crit­i­cal­ly and think­ing long-term, beyond the next elec­tion cycle. As a his­to­ry major, he knows that we are doomed to repeat our mis­takes as a move­ment unless we learn from them. He appre­ci­ates the need for refram­ing and teach­ing refram­ing skills. And he has pro­vid­ed stead­fast encour­age­ment over the years as NPI has tak­en on Tim Eyman’s ini­tia­tive fac­to­ry. I’m glad to be able to have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to work with him.

Robert suc­ceeds State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Gael Tar­leton, who is our new Secretary.

Gael has been a tremen­dous­ly effec­tive leader for NPI since assum­ing the pres­i­den­cy in 2011, and I deeply appre­ci­ate all of the guid­ance and coun­sel she has pro­vid­ed to myself and to NPI’s staff and con­trib­u­tors. I look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing to advance the com­mon good with her as NPI’s Sec­re­tary, and I am also very grate­ful to Ralph Gorin for faith­ful­ly dis­charg­ing the duties of that office for so many years.

Kath­leen Reynolds, who has been with NPI since 2007, is con­tin­u­ing as Trea­sur­er. Kath­leen brings a very strong work eth­ic to the caus­es that she is involved in, and we are incred­i­bly for­tu­nate to have her as a board mem­ber and as an officer.

I also want to rec­og­nize our depart­ing board­mem­bers Rob Dolin and Mar­tin Chaney for their ser­vice. Rob became a father only a week ago, and we are hap­py for him and his wife Hillary as they begin an excit­ing new chap­ter in their lives.

As one of NPI’s found­ing board mem­bers, Rob has been instru­men­tal in help­ing improve the orga­ni­za­tion’s gov­er­nance and oper­a­tions. Rob has a keen inter­est in new tech­nolo­gies and is a depend­able prob­lem-solver. We have all ben­e­fit­ed from his cheer­ful dis­po­si­tion and his con­struc­tive ideas.

Mar­tin has been with us since 2012, and has repeat­ed­ly stepped up to keep NPI on track and run­ning smooth­ly, from host­ing board retreats to sup­ply­ing need­ed audio­vi­su­al equip­ment when we need­ed it. Mar­tin con­tributed a great deal to the suc­cess of our events dur­ing his ser­vice as a board­mem­ber, par­tic­u­lar­ly last year’s Spring Fundrais­ing Gala and Tenth Anniver­sary Picnic.

We have Mar­tin to thank for con­ceiv­ing and orga­niz­ing the gala’s suc­cess­ful Dessert Dash, which has become an annu­al tradition.

(If you weren’t there last year, make sure you expe­ri­ence the Dash this year by buy­ing a tick­et to our 2014 Spring Fundrais­ing Gala!)

I am very pleased that both Mar­tin and Rob will con­tin­ue to be involved with NPI in the com­ing years through our Advi­so­ry Coun­cil, which we cre­at­ed last year to help guide the work of our staff and board. Rob and Mar­tin were appoint­ed to terms on the Coun­cil today, along with retired found­ing board mem­ber Steve Zemke and State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Luis Moscoso. In the ensu­ing weeks, we’ll be announc­ing sev­er­al more appoint­ments to the Coun­cil, so stay tuned for that.

Build­ing a non­prof­it is dif­fi­cult, chal­leng­ing work, and it can’t be done by one per­son. That’s why I’m grate­ful every day to work with a team of peo­ple who are equal­ly com­mit­ted to rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing grass­roots pol­i­tics, so that our gov­ern­ment, our laws, and our com­mu­ni­ties reflect the val­ues that our nation was found­ed upon.

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  1. […] — Con­grats to Robert Cruick­shank for being the new Pres­i­dent of NPI. […]

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