The Sonoma Independent is a project of Informing to Empower, a newly formed  501(c)3 non-profit based in Sebastopol, California.

We are governed by a seven person Board of Directors.


Liz Abzug

As a national consultant, media critic, professor, lawyer, lobbyist and candidate for New York City elective office, Liz Abzug has been a professional involved in many fields including politics, urban economic development and human rights. She is an Adjunct professor in Urban Studies at Barnard College/Columbia University where she teaches courses on Urban American and International Cities, community building and economic development.

Since 1995, Abzug has owned her own national public affairs and management consulting company, Liz Abzug Consultant Services. Her firm provides services in the areas of strategic and business planning, management, political consulting, marketing, public relations and lobbying. Her clients include small businesses, corporations, not for profit organizations, state and local governments and universities. Headquartered in downtown New York, she has done consulting in 15 states across the United States.

Abzug is the CEO and founder of the non-profit Bella Abzug Leadership Institute (BALI), a leadership training institute for middle and high school girls.  She holds a BA in psychology and political science from Boston University, and received her J.D. from Hofstra University.


Cynthia Boaz

A professor of Political Science at SSU, Cynthia Boaz is an Academic Advisor to the International Center on Nonviolent Conflict  a Washington DC- based human rights foundation that collects and disseminates knowledge on civil resistance. Boaz is a prolific writer and contributes analyses regularly to several news and commentary-based media, including Truthout, the Huffington Post, Common Dreams, Waging Nonviolence, and Open Democracy. She received her doctorate from UC Davis in 2003 in Strategic Nonviolent Action, Civil Resistance, Quality of Democracy, Political Communication and Media, Political Development.

Wendy Grace

Wendy Grace is a spiritual facilitator, artist, poet and indigenous people’s rights activist. In her twenties, a life threatening challenge opened her to a deep walk with her to alternative modalities for healing and transformation. Her journey through healing methods of Brazil birthed a commitment to preserving indigenous shamanic cultures.

Gracie is the founder of the Center for Awakening Presence, hosting cutting edge educational and artistic activities, and research in science, nature, art, and global transformation.   She created an alliance with the Italian community of Damanhur for which she produced a book Damanhur, the Temples of Humankind.  She served as a Board member of Wisdom University and is affiliated with Sunrise Center and their work with life, death and beyond.

Jonathan Greenberg 

The founder and Director of the Sonoma County Independent and its parent non-profit,, Greenberg is an investigative financial journalist with 35 years of experience with national publications. Greenberg writes a political blog that appears in the Huffington Post, and is a contributor to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, the Bohemian, and other publications. He has been an investigative financial and political  journalist for such publications  as The New York Times The Washington PostMother JonesForbesMoneyPlayboy, Self, Inc., GQThe New Republicand Alternet. He is also the author of several well-reviewed books.

As a new media innovator who has developed a half dozen interactive web platforms and dozens of content-focused web sites, Greenberg is committed to enhancing responsive government and expanding media democracy. Greenberg is founder of Progressive Source Communications, a Sebastopol-based public interest communications company. In the past, he founded and managed two other online companies,, and Greenberg’s political work included serving as Policy Director for the New York City Council’s Select Committee on Lower Manhattan Redevelopment in the years following 9-11. His work resulted in more than $250 million of federal funds being re-directed to needy businesses and constituents in the impacted area. Greenberg has been Vice President of Fenton Communication’s New York office. His work on behalf of non-profit organizations has included communications consulting for Save Darfur, Stonyfield Farm, the ACLU, and the Lakota People’s Law Project.

Greenberg holds a B.A. in writing from the State University of New York at Binghamton, and a Masters Degree in Law from Yale Law School, where he graduated with honors in First Amendment Law.

Kalyanee Mam

Kalyanee Mam is an award-winning filmmaker whose film, A River Changes Course, which she directed and produced, has won several awards, including the Grand Jury Award for World Cinema Documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival and the Golden Gate Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 2013 San Francisco International Film Festival. After graduating from Yale University, she received her law degree from UCLA School of Law. Mam has worked with International Bridges to Justice at the National Legal Aid Center in Beijing, China, the Refugee Law Clinic at the University of Witswatersand in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the Asian Pacific American Legal Center, where she assisted immigrant victims of domestic violence file for permanent residence status in the United States under the Violence Against Women Act.


Jim McGreen

In 1992, McGreen founded ZAP (Zero Air Pollution) Power Systems  which in 1999 became the nation’s first major electric car and bicycle maker, with annual sales of approximately $12,000,000 and a gross margin of 46%. McGreen is now the current founder and CEO of Sebastopol-based company Switch, which builds state of the art electric vehicles and also educates and trains students to build electric vehicles.


Linn Washington

Linn Washington is an associate professor of news writing, investigative reporting, journalism law and multi-media reporting at Temple University.

Washington’s career in journalism includes a Masters Degree and Fellowship from Yale Law School, working as a foreign correspondent in eight countries, and directing study abroad programs for Temple’s School of in London and South Africa. For five years he was editor of the Philadelphia Tribune, the nation’s oldest African-American publication. Washington continues to work as a professional journalist for news entities (print and online) across America and in Europe. He has received award recognition for that journalism and frequently serves as an expert commentator on news programs including appearances on CNN and the BBC World Service.

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