Our core team members have met all of the following criteria:
- Completion of a study group cohort
- Active participation in at least one CH program/project
- Willingness to self-identify as a CH leader (this can and will look a bit different for each of us)
David Cobb is a "people's lawyer" who has sued corporate polluters, lobbied elected officials, run for political office himself, and been arrested for non-violent civil disobedience. He believes we must provoke—and win-- a peaceful revolution for a peaceful, just, sustainable and cooperative society if we are to survive.
David was born in rural Texas and worked as a laborer before going to college and Law School. He maintained a successful law practice in Houston for almost a decade before devoting himself to full-time social change efforts.
In 2002 David ran for Attorney General of Texas, pledging to use the office to revoke the charters of corporations that repeatedly violate health, safety and environmental laws. In 2004, he ran for President of the United States on the Green Party ticket and forced a recount in Ohio that helped launch the Election Integrity movement.
In 2010 he co-founded Move To Amend, a campaign for a constitutional amendment to abolish the illegitimate, court-created doctrines of "corporate constitutional rights" and "money equals speech." In 2016 he served as the Campaign Manager for Jill Stein's presidential campaign.
David is the Co-Coordinator of the US Solidarity Economy Network, and serves on the Collaborative Design Council of Transition US. He is also on the Board of Advisors of the California Progressive Alliance, and is active with the California Public Banking Alliance.
Ruthi Engelke is a mother, writer, artist, actress, teacher, culture worker and social change agent. She takes to heart the words of Toni Cade Bambara: “The role of the artist is to make revolution irresistible.”
Ruthi is a retired public school teacher who has taught Theater, English, and Writing/Composition to students at the high school and college levels. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater from the University of Texas and a Masters of Arts in Literature from the University of Houston-Clear Lake.
She currently serves as Co-President of Pedagogy & Theatre of the Oppressed (PTO), an international organization based on the work of Augusto Boal and Paulo Freire. PTO challenges oppressive systems by promoting critical thinking and social justice through liberatory theatre and popular education.
She is also a member of Synapsis, a collective of performers and artists interested in shaping the way we experience the world using aerial/ contemporary dance, physical theater, and acrobatics. Synapsis members work to bring new and experimental performance to Northern California, while cultivating work that is pertinent to a wider discourse about performance, art, and the nature of being.
Ruthi serves on the Board of Directors for Redwood Curtain Theater, which is dedicated to producing professional theatre of consistently extraordinary quality, creating a draw for the Arts Tourist to Humboldt County, and creating a home for theatre artists where they will be paid for their time and skills, and treated with respect.
Ruthi is a certified yoga instructor, and when she is not creating beautiful trouble she can often be found exploring the beaches and forests of the North Coast or digging in her organic garden.
Tamara McFarland grew up in Humboldt County, graduating from Eureka High School in 1994. Her husband Matt is a local firefighter who is also a Humboldt native, and they are raising two children together in Eureka.
Tamara is passionate about food equity, local resilience, animal rights, and environmental protection, and has completed the Cascadia Leadership training program. She serves on the Cooperation Humboldt Board of Directors as Treasurer, and also handles the organization's bookkeeping and coordinates its Food Team.
In early 2016, she was the lead organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign in Humboldt County, and went on to serve as campaign manager for Austin Allison's successful campaign for Eureka City Council. Tamara was awarded the 2016 Humboldt and Del Norte Counties Central Labor Council's Community Partner of the Year award in recognition of her work on those campaigns. Following the 2016 elections, Tamara helped to co-found the North Coast People’s Alliance, which advocates for economic, environmental, and social justice with a particular focus on local progressive electoral issues.
After operating a small business for 14 years (McFarland Designs, custom jewelry from recycled metals and ethically sourced gemstones), Tamara has recently chosen to focus her time exclusively on social change work.
Argy moved to Humboldt from Southern California to attend Humboldt State University in 2005 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science. She has worked with Indigenous communities involved with Environmental Justice & Food Sovereignty, Redwood Roots CSA Farm, Food for People food bank, and Jefferson Community Center’s SEEDs after school gardening program. She is in her seventh season as an assistant manager for North Coast Growers’ Associations Farmers’ Market and is the Garden and Food Resource Coordinator with Open Door Community Health Center’s Health & Wellness Gardens. Argy is currently on the North Coast Community Gardens Cooperative's Steering Committee, she helps with Food Not Bombs Eureka (Sundays 3pm at Clark & 3rd), and is working on bringing back the D.I.Y. Community Resource Center Tool Share with Cooperation Humboldt.
Ron White is the Humboldt Area Foundation’s Leadership Program Director, responsible for the development of the skills, knowledge and practice of civic and grassroots leadership. Currently, this work encompasses the Equity Alliance of the North Coast, which spreads the message of racial ; and coaching the organizing of Black and BIPOC justice spaces. He also staffs HAF’s Social Justice Donor Circle.
He is board chair of True North Organizing network, a Faith in Action affiliate in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties and adjacent tribal lands. Faith in Action National Network (formerly PICO) puts race, the power of people, and social justice interfaith values, at the center of its community organizing model.
Ron has four decades of experience in social change philanthropy where he’s held positions at every level in the field of philanthropy from volunteer, to program officer to foundation executive director and trustee. Ron brings a strong knowledge of community organizing and community based economic development to every aspect of his professional work.
Tobin McKee is a gender non-binary Somatic and Vocational Educator and Program Administrator at Cooperation Humboldt. McKee is the Co-Director at Middleway Network, a project of the Ink People Center for the Arts, fostering the development of free wellness education and services for underserved populations, and a Core Member at Inner Resilience Network, a working group of Transition US, nurturing the personal and interpersonal resilience of the practitioners, facilitators, and activists who are creating positive change in the world.