Chapter elections will coincide with the Annual Membership meeting and take place:
Thursday, November 8th | 6:30pm to 8:30pm
North Berkeley Senior Center

1901 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94709.


Online voting will be our primary method of voting. Ensure you receive your online ballot by updating your email with Marcelena at

Absentee ballots will only be sent upon request and to Jailhouse Lawyers.

Election Timeline

Tuesday, October 23

Last Day to join NLGSF in order to participate in the election

Thursday, November 1

Last day to declare and Submit Candidacy/candidacy statement for placement on chapter website & name for absentee ballot Last day to request absentee ballot

Thursday, November 8

Annual Membership Meeting/Election Day. First day of online voting

Monday, November 26

Online voting closes. Last day paper ballots will be received and accepted

Friday, November 30

Results released

Election Procedures

Executive Board Election

Seats Up For Election

Up to 10 at-large board member seats


Candidates must be members in good standing. They can declare their intention to run up to the time polls open at the Annual Membership Meeting. But if they wish to have their candidacy and a candidate statement posted on the chapter website and their name on the mail ballot, they must advise the NLG office by no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 1 and/or provide the office with their statement by that date and time. Candidates must identify whether they are seeking a specific officer position, or an at-large seat. Candidates who declare by the November 1 deadline may also request mailing labels with Bay Area Chapter members’ addresses from the office to provide candidate information to members by mail. This request must be made when candidacy is declared on or before November 1.

Proposed Bylaw Changes

The membership will be asked to vote on changes to chapter bylaws. Proposed bylaw changes will be published with candidate names and statements. Members may propose bylaw changes by contacting the chapter Executive Director by Tuesday, November 1.


Eligibility to Vote

All members in good standing may vote. Members’ dues must be current in order to vote. Lapsed members may tender dues up to the date and time of the membership vote to make dues current. Bylaws, Art. 4, sec. 10. New members must join and pay dues by 5 p.m. Friday, October 26. Bylaws, Art.4, sec. 10.

Absentee Ballots

Absentee ballots are only available by request. You may request a paper ballot by mail by sending an email to Marcelena Menard at, or by calling them at the Guild office at 415- 285-5067, ext. 102 before 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, November 1. Requests made after this date shall not be accommodated. Mail in ballots must be received at the Guild office by no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 26. The Guild office address is 558 Capp Street, San Francisco, CA 94110.

Tied Vote

In the event of a tied vote, blind lots will be drawn immediately after the election to determine which candidate shall have the seat.


At-Large Candidates

Terry Koch

Activist work is my passion.  This is why I helped form the current Demonstrations Committee in 1984.  Our chapter’s work depends upon structural support. To this end I would like to continue to serve on our Chapter’s Executive Board.  My NLG work includes the Doris Brin Walker Legislative Reform Committee and the Finance Committee. Currently I represent persons held under LPS and Murphy conservatorships.  Also, tax preparations and audits, for non-profits and individuals. These are frightening days. We need to stand strong and organize.

Beth Hodess

Beth Hodess is an attorney and Mediator for the OnPoint Legal Counsel. She was a member of the Mentorship Committee for a number of years and is eager to renew her activity and commitment to the guild.

Dennis Cunningham

Dennis Cunningham went to law school at night at Loyola University and got his license in time to cut his teeth in 1968; defending people arrested in riots that followed the murder of Martin Luther King, and protests at the Democratic National Convention. Inspired again by lawyers and organizers working with the NLG, he helped found the People’s Law Office, and participated in numerous cases involving protesters and protest movements, prisoners and prison rebellions.

Chief among these were the 12-year civil prosecution of FBI agents, the State’s Attorney, and Chicago police officers involved in the infamous “weapons raid” on December 4, 1969, in which Illinois Black Panther Party leaders Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were murdered, and the defense of dozens of prisoners falsely accused as “ringleaders” of the rebellion at the Attica State Prison in western New York in 1971.

Dennis relocated in San Francisco in the early 80s and has continued to do movement work and police misconduct cases. With other Guild lawyers, he helped represent protesters in mass arrests in the 1984 Democratic Party convention, anti-nuke actions at Site 300, anti-apartheid demonstrations in Berkeley San Francisco, the police sweep of Castro Street in 1987, Central American solidarity actions in the 80s, the Rodney verdict protests in 1992, Food Not Bombs, ActUp, Religious Witness with the Homeless, and others.

Most recently, Dennis represented Jade Santoro, one of the victims of the infamous drunken attack by off-duty San Francisco police officers, one of them the rookie son of the Assistant Chief of Police, which came to be known as “fajitagate”. Last year, a Superior Court jury awarded Jade a total of $36,500.00 in compensatory and punitive damages against two of the assailants, who testified they were, in effect, ‘judgment-proof’.


Thank you to all our members who participated in NLGSF’s Chapter Elections! We are so happy to welcome back our re-elected at-large board members Dennis Cunningham and Terry Koch as well as our newest member Beth Hodess.