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Candidate Bios

Abby Dobson

Candidate for President

As a girl, Abby’s mother encouraged her to use her voice as something worthy of being heard. Abby was a feminist well before she had the language to call herself one and has been committed to promoting the rights of women and girls for as long as she can remember. She shares with the leadership and membership of NOW-NYC a deep commitment to the empowerment of women and girls. She believes in the great work that the NYC Chapter does every day and wishes to help support and steer the direction of NOW-NYC as the organization seeks to make the city, state, and nation better for women and girls in 2020 and beyond.

As a young woman in college, Abby developed her voice as a feminist, founding a women of color group at her alma mater. As a law student, she helped to secure civil protection orders for women who were victims of domestic violence in a Sex Discrimination Clinic in Washington, DC. As an artist, she uses her voice in service of social justice aims deeply inspired by intersectional movements for transformative and societal change.

Currently an M.A. candidate in Political Science at the Graduate Center-CUNY, Abby received a Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University and a Bachelor’s degree from Williams College in Political Science and History. She also has over 15 years of experience as a professional in Corporate Immigration.

Abby has been volunteering with NOW-NYC since 2015. Her association with the organization began when she became a member of NOW-NYC’s Activist Alliance, a year-long program for feminist activists focused on developing organizing and advocacy skills in service of women’s rights. During this time, Abby served as a founding member of NOW-NYC’s Intersectionality Committee co-developing and co-presenting its Intersectionality Workshop at the Annual New York State and National NOW Conferences in 2015 and 2016, respectively. Since 2018, she has served as an at-large Board Member with NOW-NYC, supporting the Chapter’s mission to empower and advocate for women and girls.

In addition, Abby serves as Artist-in-Residence with The African American Policy Forum (AAPF), a think tank that connects scholars, activists and policy-makers to transform public discourse and policy and promote efforts to dismantle structural inequality while employing a vision of justice that embraces the intersections of race, gender, class, and other barriers that marginalize people in our society. Abby is also on the Advisory Board for The Other Side Intercultural Theatre (TOS), an initiative to empower girls globally through cross-cultural exchange of dramatic storytelling amongst girls, supporting their common experience to inspire leadership and community. Lastly, Abby is a member of the Resistance Revival Chorus, a women’s chorus born out of the Women’s March that cultivates, shares, and embodies music-based activism to inspire community action in order to produce a just society.

Abby’s goal is to continue to serve NOW-NYC and  she hopes to do so as President beginning in 2020.  The depth and breadth of her experiences in service of women and girls evidences her commitment to the organization  and its mission as well as her qualifications to serve in the position sought.

Judi Polson

Candidate for Vice President

Judi is currently serving as NOW-NYC Board Chair. Her ongoing service includes prior positions as Chapter Board Chair as well as positions on the National Board representing the Northern District (2016-2018), Chapter Board Member at-large (2010-2011), Chapter Vice President of Development (2005-2007), and Chapter Board Director of Membership Processing (2003).  As Chapter Vice President of Development, she brought dormant grant applications to fruition and enabled the Chapter to obtain grants more routinely.  Additionally, Judi served on various committees including the Employment Rights, Bylaws, and Nominating Board Committees (2008-2009) as well as the Women in the Workplace and Repro Rights Committees (2000).

Judi’s contributions to the Chapter extend beyond administration.  She led a cadre of demonstrators to the 2017 Women’s March in Washington and the 2018 and 2019 Women’s Marches in NYC. She participated in the 2013 Lobby Day in Albany for the Women’s Equality Act and its follow-up actions. She led a cadre of demonstrators to the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington, and in New York City, participated in the 2004 March for Women’s Lives, NOW-NYC’s 2005 Alito and 2007 Viacom actions, and the 2008 Martin Luther King Day march. And of course, she phone banked for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and for multiple local candidates in 2018.

Raised on a family farm, Judi has lobbied state and federal representatives from her native Midwest as well as from New York.

Judi’s professional background includes leading technology projects for IBM from 1981 to 1992, followed by joining Merrill Lynch in 1993 where she rose to Vice President responsible for leading institutional markets technology compliance until 2008.  Since 2009, she has been leading technology projects for a European bank.  Judi holds a B.A. from the University of Kansas and an Executive M.B.A. from Duke University.

Also, Judi has appeared as Liam Neeson’s sister in the Oscar-nominated Kinsey, in an 2008 online dating video segment for The Onion, which reached “most-viewed” and “most-dugg” status, and as featured background on Saturday Night Live.

Jessica Robles-Morales

Candidate for Vice President

Jessica is currently a Board member at-large for NOW-NYC.  In this role, she’s had the opportunity to learn the logistics and witness the incredible management style and leadership of the Chapter. She hopes to continue working on the Board, and looks forward to getting more involved in current projects. After the success of the Women of Color Cocktails and Conversation event, she feels reenergized and would like to continue to work with the leadership team to promote diversity within the Chapter, and approach feminist issues from a racial lens.

Some of the other highlights of her work with NOW-NYC include Can We Really Talk? Feminism, Race, Gender & Identity, a workshop presented at the National Conference, National Organization for Women in Washington, D.C. (2016) and Intersectionality 101, a workshop presented at New York State Region Conference, National Organization for Women, Dobbs Ferry, NY, as a member of the Activist Alliance (January – December, 2015).

Eric Alterman

Candidate for Vice President of Development

Eric has been a lifelong committed feminist, and is well qualified to serve as Vice President of Development. Eric was Director and then Vice President for Membership at NARAL Pro-Choice New York—the state’s leading reproductive rights organization—for more than 16 years. During that period, he tripled paid membership from 8,000 to 25,000 members. His work building the membership base contributed significantly to a large expansion of the major donor fundraising program as well. He then served for 6 years as Director of Individual and Major Gifts at Physicians for Reproductive Health, a nationally-recognized leader in reproductive health care advocacy, education and physician training. Today he is Chief development Officer at Mobilization for Justice, a legal services organization providing free legal services to poor and low income New Yorkers.

Eric is passionate about securing and expanding reproductive rights for women and men through increased funding and political advocacy, and has extensive knowledge about reproductive rights issues, having written about them and worked for them for decades. He has been an active feminist all his life, and attended many of the historic marches for women’s rights in New York City and Washington DC since the 1970s. He was raised by a strong lesbian feminist mom long before it was mainstream, and holds her responsible for his unwavering belief in the equality of women and the need to secure that equality through political activism and agitation.

Eric considers serving on the NOW-NYC Board of Directors one of the honors of his life, and a natural consequence of his decades of feminist political commitment and development. He would be honored to serve for a full term as Vice President of Development.

Arthur Lundquist

Candidate for Secretary

Arthur is completing his second year as Acting Secretary on the Board of Directors of NOW-NYC, putting his professional skills as a law firm secretary to the service of NOW-NYC and Women’s Justice NOW.  As Acting Secretary, and as Board Secretary from 2010 to 2018, he has played an active role on the Chapter Board for Women’s Justice NOW Board meetings, taking notes, turning those notes into minutes, sending them around to the Board between meetings for additions and corrections, then having them approved at the next meeting and putting them into the Chapter’s archives, in addition to preparing refreshments before those meetings and sending reminders afterwards.

This, as well as his experiences as Membership Coordinator from 2008 to 2010, and as a NOW chapter member by lobbying in Albany, going on electioneering bus trips out of state, participating in national and state conferences, and attending protests, rallies, and actions – all at the side of our inspiring Board and chapter membership – has allowed him to proudly claim a personal part in NOW-NYC’s goals of fostering gender equality, choice, and bringing a supportive voice to those who struggle against gender-based violence, ignorance, and indifference.  A part he hopes to continue into this year and the years to come.

Phyllis Dent

Candidate for Treasurer

As current Board Treasurer, Phyllis  oversees the financial records of the organization, including annual IRS tax filings and New York State Charities Bureau filings. She performs monthly bank reconciliations, and prepares financial statements for the Board of Directors meetings.

Phyllis is currently a licensed Certified Public Accountant in the state of New York and a senior financial professional in the accounting industry.  In addition, she holds professional memberships with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the New York State Society of CPAs. She earned an MBA in Finance from Hofstra University.

Phyllis would be honored to continue to serve as the Treasurer and be a part of the leadership team for advancing the rights of women and girls at NOW-NYC.