Immigrant Voting Taskforce Member Bios
Arsalan Bukhari - Arsalan Bukhari is Executive Director of CAIR-Washington State, the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights organization. Motivated by the growing prejudice against Muslims, Bukhari started as a volunteer with CAIR-WA with a resolve to establish a center for professional Muslim activism in Washington State.
Bukhari is frequently interviewed by newspapers, radio, and TV venues, local, national, and international. Bukhari also speaks on contemporary social issues including civil rights, civic engagement, media relations, and the American Muslim experience in Seattle at various university campuses in Seattle and around the Northwest.
An alumnus of the Seattle Police Department's Citizen's Academy, he leads local efforts to foster working relationships with law enforcement officials, elected officials, political appointees, and representatives of various governmental agencies.
Prior to joining CAIR, Bukhari was Contract Administrator at the Boeing Company and an activist in the fields of interfaith collaboration, and community outreach. He holds a bachelor's degree in Business Finance from Seattle University.
He has been a Seattle-area resident since 1990.
Diane Butler - Diane Butler was raised on a farm in Wyoming and graduated with honors from the University of Wyoming in 1983. After working for a Congressman in Washington, DC, she spent time in Shanghai, China working for the Canadian law firm of Bull, Housser & Tupper. She went on to receive her law degree from George Washington University in Washington, D.C. in 1992 and now chairs the Immigration Law practice group at Lane Powell PC. Diane was named as a "a "leading individual" in Immigration Law by Chambers USA 2012: America's Leading Lawyers, a Top Business Immigration Lawyer" in Seattle Business Monthly (2008), as well as a "Top Lawyer" by her peers in the 2005 Seattle Magazine poll results, is rated "AV" by Martindale-Hubbell, which identifies a lawyer with very high to preeminent legal ability. She enjoys handing border issues and troubleshooting problem cases, looking for avenues to provide mutual benefit, predictability and accountability to the immigration process. When she's not practicing immigration law, she can be found practicing her accordion.
Laura Flores Cantrell - Laura Flores Cantrell serves as the Executive Director of the Latino Community Fund of Washington, a statewide public charitable foundation. An attorney by training, she served as Assistant General Counsel for an energy development and marketing company in Bellevue, Washington, prior to entering the nonprofit sector. Ms. Cantrell has worked in advocacy and public policy roles in the nonprofit sector for over 15 years. Her professional experience has focused on improving the well-being of underserved populations, including migrant and seasonal farmworkers, communities of color and at-risk children.
Ms. Cantrell served on the boards of the Northwest Children's Fund, the Washington Environmental Council, Latino Bar Association and Progreso: Latino Progress. Prior to joining Latino Community Fund, Ms. Cantrell was on the staff of the Washington Farmworker Housing Trust. She was Deputy Director at the Northwest Regional Primary Care Association, an regional association of community health centers and safety net clinics. She also worked at the Northwest African American Museum, the Indian Law Resource Center (Helena, MT) and the Center for International Environmental Law (Washington, DC).
Luis Fraga - Luis Ricardo Fraga is Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement, Russell F. Stark University Professor, Director of the Diversity Research Institute, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. He has the responsibility for developing strategies and policies with the Provost, Vice Provosts, Deans, and Department Chairs to recruit, promote, and retain faculty at the UW. He has been on the faculty at Stanford University, the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Oklahoma. He is a native of Corpus Christi, Texas. He received his A.B., cum laude, from Harvard University and his M.A. and Ph.D. from Rice University. His primary interests are in American politics where he specializes in the politics of race and ethnicity, Latino politics, immigration policy, education politics, voting rights policy, and urban politics. His most recent co-authored book is Latinos in the New Millennium: An Almanac of Opinion, Behavior, and Policy Preferences (Cambridge University Press 2012). He has two other recent books: the co-authored Latino Lives in America: Making It Home (Temple University Press 2010) and United States Government: Principles in Practice (Holt McDougal 2010), a high school textbook. He has also published the co-authored book Multiethnic Moments: The Politics of Urban Education Reform (Temple University Press 2006). He was a member of the APSA standing committee on Civic Engagement and Education that co-authored Democracy at Risk: How Political Choices Undermine Citizen Participation, and What We Can Do About It (Brookings Institution Press 2005). He is also co-editor of Ethnic and Racial Minorities in Advanced Industrial Democracies (Greenwood 1992). He has published extensively in scholarly journals and edited volumes including the American Political Science Review, the American Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, The Journal of Politics, Urban Affairs Quarterly, Western Political Quarterly, Dubois Review, Journal of Women, Politics & Policy, and the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy. He is also completing the co-authored manuscript Invisible No More: Latino Identities in American Politics as well as The Changing Urban Regime: Toward an Informed Public Interest, a history of the political incorporation of Tejanos in San Antonio city politics from 1836-2009. In 2011 President Barak Obama appointed him to the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. The Commission develops action plans and priorities for President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to improve the educational attainment of Hispanics. He is co-chair of the Higher Education Committee that organized a symposium in August 2012 entitled "Enriching America Through the 21st Century: Enhancing Latino Postsecondary Completion." In 2011, Hispanic Business named him one of the top "100 Influentials" in the U.S. In 2013, Seattle Mayor Michael McGinn appointed him to the Immigrant Voting Rights Task Force. He is President of the Board of Directors of OneAmerica, an immigrant rights and advocacy organization based in Seattle, WA. In 2011 Archbishop Peter Sartain appointed him to the board of the Fulcrum Foundation that provides financial support to families and schools in the Archdiocese of Seattle. In 2008 he was appointed by Governor Christine Gregoire to serve on Washington's New Americans Policy Council. He is a past Vice-President of the American Political Science Association (APSA). He was also co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Political Science in the 21st Century of the APSA. He was Secretary of the APSA in 2006-07. He served on the Executive Council of the APSA in 1998-2000. He served as president of the Western Political Science Association in 1997-98. In 2003-04 he was a Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University, and in 1989-90 he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University. Fraga is also one of six principal investigators on the Latino National Survey (LNS), the first-ever state-stratified survey of Latinos in the U.S. The LNS asks questions regarding political attitudes, beliefs, behavior, and policy preferences. This project received $1.5M in support from major foundations and universities. Fraga received a number of teaching, advising, mentoring, and service awards at Stanford including the Rhodes Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (1993), the Dinkelspiel Award for Distinctive Contributions to Undergraduate Education (1995), the Allan V. Cox Medal for Faculty Excellence Fostering Undergraduate Research (1997), the Faculty Award from the Chicano/Latino Graduating Class (1993, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001), the Undergraduate Faculty Advisor of the Year Award (2001), and the Associated Students of Stanford University Teaching Award (2003). The Luis R. Fraga Fellowship was established in 2007 in his honor through the Haas Center for Public Service at Stanford University. He was also given the Adaljiza Sosa-Riddell Award for Exemplary Mentoring of Graduate Latina/o Students by the Committee on the Status of Latinos in the Profession of the American Political Science Association (2001) and this same award for mentoring junior faculty (2004). In 2010 he received an award from the Graduate School of the University of Washington for exemplary advocacy and leadership on behalf of graduate education. He was recognized as one of the Champions of Catholic Education in 2012 for his work to establish the first Spanish-English, two-way immersion school in the Seattle Archdiocese, the Juan Diego Academy at Holy Rosary School in Tacoma, WA. In 2013 he was the first recipient of the Juan Diego Award.
Dana Laurent - Dana has built power for social change all across the state in her current role as executive director of Win/Win. Win/Win is the strategic and organizing hub for over fifty different organizations in the social justice and labor community and is the backbone for collaborative civic engagement in Washington.
Previously, Dana was the Political Director for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest, where she led a tri-state team and developed and implemented a wide variety of legislative, civic engagement and political strategies and campaigns on both the state and federal levels to advance women's health and rights.
In a former life, Dana was a producer and art director for worldwide advertising and multimedia campaigns and worked for companies such as Getty Images and Nintendo, as well as the International Olympic Committee.
Dana serves on the board of several organizations, including OneAmerica Votes, Progressive Majority Washington, and FUSE Washington.
Sharon Maeda - Sharon Maeda has been involved in electoral politics since she was 14 years old, campaigning for her neighbor who was in the Washington House of Representatives. Over the years, she has worked on many electoral campaigns and volunteered on numerous state, county and city commissions and advisory boards. She served in the Clinton Administration as Deputy Asst. Secretary of HUD and also worked at the White House. Sharon is currently 21 PROGRESS Executive Director, a nonprofit committed to building a 21st Century movement for equity and justice. She previously was Special Projects Director at UFCW 21, owned a management consulting firm, was executive director of Pacifica Radio, traveled the world for the United Methodist global mission board and was a public school teacher.
Hamdi Mohamed - Hamdi Mohamed was born in the early 1990s in Mogadishu, Somalia and is the youngest of ten siblings. A year after Hamdi's birth her family fled Somalia due to a civil war that began in 1991. By the third grade, Hamdi and her family settled down in Seattle, Washington. Now, hamdi Mohamed is a graduate of University of Washington with a bachelor's degree in Law, Societies, and Justice and minor in Near Eastern Studies and Civilization. In 2012, Hamdi did a summer internship for Care International in Somalia, researching and writing interest-stories on discrimination, harassment and gender misconduct. In addition, she has testified at numerous public hearings regarding our city and state decisions. During the Washington State Redistricting, she did an extensive interview with political television reporter Essex Porter. Miss Mohamed subsequently joined a panel, made up of city and community leaders, on the Seattle Channel with city council member Bruce Harrell. Currently, she working on a humanitarian clothing company called Peace in Theory. Also, Miss Mohamed was part of the KBCS 91.3fm series on Feminism for Women Equality Day in August.
Tania Santiago - Tania Santiago will be graduating from the University of Washington this Spring with a degree in Sociology and Education. She is 22 years old and the oldest in her family of four. Currently, she is a paralegal at Karol Brown, Attorney at Law, PLLC in the city of Bellevue. After graduation she aspires to earn her Master's in Teaching and J.D. from the University of Washington. Her dream is to become the Seattle School District Superintendent. She is actively involved in her community and school as a Co-founder for the Washington State Dream Act Coalition and an Ambassador for the Latino/a Educational Achievement Project (LEAP). May 2013, Tania was privileged to earn the title of Miss Hispanic Seafair. She was the first undocumented student to earn the title and the first to successfully challenge the admission requirements to compete for Miss Seafair. In August she earned 2nd place for the Miss Seafair Scholarship Program.
Rich Stolz - Rich Stolz was born in Seoul, South Korea. His parents met in Korea, when his father, an American citizen, worked there in the construction field. His mother became a naturalized citizen, and Rich's family moved to the United States when he was three. Rich grew up in Redwood City, California, where he was raised by his mother. Growing up, Rich was always conscious of his bi-racial identity, which was framed by his and his mother's experience as new-comers to the United States. From an early age, Rich thought a good deal about what it meant to be a citizen, what it meant to be American, and the consequences of prejudice. Over the last fifteen years, Rich has worked at the Center for Community Change, a national organization based in Washington, D.C. During that time, he focused on the intersection of policy, politics and organizing across a broad spectrum of issues impacting low-income and minority communities, including jobs and income support policy, immigration policy, infrastructure investment and environmental justice. He has lived and organized in communities as diverse as Portland, Maine; Montgomery, Alabama; Tucson, Arizona; Washington, D.C.; and Seattle, Washington. Early in his tenure, he focused on the impact of welfare reform and immigration law changes enacted by Congress in the mid-1990s, providing support to community-led grassroots organizing around the implementation of these laws and attempts to reauthorize them in Congress. Later, Rich helped to found and staff the Transportation Equity Network, a multi-ethnic organizing strategy focused on the impact of transportation policy on job access, community development, and environmental justice. Eventually, Rich returned to immigration policy and organizing as the coordinator of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), a national coalition of immigrant rights organizations fighting for comprehensive immigration reform. In that capacity, he helped to organize some of the largest mobilizations and protests in American history, supported the growth of youth organizing across FIRM, managed nonpartisan voter mobilization programs in Arizona and adoption of civic engagement strategies by immigrant rights organization in numerous states, supported the emergence of new immigrant rights organizations and coalitions across the country, and he managed grassroots efforts to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation in 2007. He was later tapped to be the Campaign Manager for the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign in 2008, a multi-million dollar, cross sector (labor, faith, community, business) campaign with more than 900 organizational endorsers. Rich first cut his teeth in organizing while a student at Stanford University in California to create ethnic studies programs that would resource investment in research and instruction on Asian American, Chicano, African American and Native American Studies. In 1994, he served as a volunteer in efforts to defeat proposition 187, an anti-immigrant ballot measure in California. Throughout his life, he has been deeply influenced by the civil rights movement and liberation theology in the context of Catholic social teaching, including the centrality of faith, radical love, and human dignity. Together, these experiences affirmed his calling to social justice and human rights organizing and activism.
Heather Villanueva - Heather Villanueva is the Community Strength Organizer at SEIU 775, the largest union in Washington. Villanueva focuses on advancing immigrant, refugee and LGBTQ rights, anti-poverty issues, racial equity and civic engagement. She currently coordinates the award-winning Racial Equity Team, a group of lobbyists working with legislators and community leaders towards racial justice in the Washington legislature. She also serves on the board of Ingersoll Gender Center, an organization serving the Puget Sound transgender community. Villanueva has served as the chair of the King County Civil Rights Commission and as a board member of the International Examiner, an API focused community newspaper.
Prior to her union work, Villanueva worked at the Minority Executive Directors Coalition (MEDC) of King County and for then-State Senator Claudia Kauffman.
She is a graduate of the University of Washington and grew up in Tumwater, Wash.
Dorothy Wong - Dorothy Wong is presently the Executive Director of CISC (Chinese Information and Service Center). Ms. Wong hails from California, but is no stranger to Seattle. She served as a former executive director of the International Community Health Services from 1993 - 2005. Dorothy was also executive director of the Organization for Chinese Americans (OCA), Washington, DC in 2006. Her professional career has been with nonprofit organizations and government agencies that provide health care and social services. She has also served on the board of a broad range of service organizations, most recently with a number of organizations in the Pacific Northwest that serve the community health center network. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in Psychology and has an MBA from San Francisco State University.
Trang Tu is an independent consultant focusing on community and social justice work, with a background in community planning and development. Prior to consulting, Trang worked for a non-profit in the International District supporting neighborhood planning efforts, and for the City of Seattle, where she served as light rail station area planner in the Rainier Valley, and then as an Assistant for Housing and Community Development under former Mayor Paul Schell.
Trang is currently on leave from consulting while serving as a program officer with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In this capacity, she supports Special Initiatives that include efforts to expand access to adult English language learning instruction and to assist undocumented immigrant youth in the U.S. Trang holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Harvard College and a master's in urban planning from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.