Our History

The Town Hall Coalition, formed in 1998, is a grassroots social change movement that grew out of public criticisms of the lack of protection of Northern California forests and their swift conversions to industrial vineyards. During its existence, the Town Hall Coalition has brought people together to identify solutions to the critical problems of protecting public health and safety, stopping the destruction of our watersheds and wildlife habitat, protecting water quality and quantity, encouraging responsible land use and sustainable planning, and promoting participatory democracy.

At the regional level, Town Hall Coalition has organized dozens of free public town hall forums including Your Water, Your Wallet, and Your Health! Cancer in Sonoma County, Are You Concerned about Vineyard Development?, Pesticides, People, and Healthy Farming, Concerned About Pesticides?, Industrial Vineyard Development, an Evening of Water Issues, Defend the Commons, Participatory Democracy, Election Protection, and more. Each forum teaches communities about current issues and public policy. Participants meet decision-makers and those knowledgeable about current issues. The forums are designed to provide clear steps about how to get involved and participate in the decision-making process in order to effect social change and create sustainable healthy communities.

Town Hall Coalition forms neighborhood community action groups and empowers them to stand up for their rights regarding intrusive wine factory, vineyard, and other development in rural areas. Members have advocated for responsible land use before decision-making bodies at all levels of government. Town Hall Coalition was instrumental in the formation of the Save Our Sonoma County network of grassroots neighborhood groups dedicated to protection rural areas of the county.

Since our formation, we have been encouraging and mentoring progressive citizens to run for public office and get appointed to boards and commissions. We assisted with the formation of Sonoma County Election Defense Committe dedicated to observing elections, conducting exit polls, registering people to vote, getting out the vote, and encouraging people to become involved in participatory democracy.

Our Board

Toben Dilworth
Current Employment: Communications Coordinator, Rainforest Action Network, San Francisco, California. Former Program Director of Town Hall Coalition, 2002 - 2004. Toben received his MA in Culture, Ecology and Sustainable Community from the New College of California, Santa Rosa, CA and BA in Environmental Studies from Sonoma State University. Toben lives in San Francisco with his wife and one-year old son.

Don Frank, Treasurer
Current Employment: Property Management Consultant. Treasurer, Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee, Treasurer Progressive Democrats of America Sonoma County. Member Board of Directors for Forest Unlimited.

Lynn Hamilton, President
Current Employment: Administration consultant for non-profit organizations. Chair-Progressive Democrats Sonoma County: Member Sonoma County Democratic Central Committee and Executive Committee California Democratic Party. Board Member of Community Clean Water Institute. Former Mayor City of Sebastopol, CA. Master Degree in Public Administration-Kennedy School of Government-Harvard University. BA Liberal Studies Sonoma State College Rohnert Park, California. California State Teaching Credential K-12. Bilingual Spanish and English

Larry Hanson
Current Employment: Consultant non-profit organizations. Member Board of Directors Forest Unlimited. Citizen water quality monitor leader Green Valley Creek. Member Sonoma County Water Coalition. Retired teacher. BA and Teaching Credential Sonoma State University.

Kellie Noe
Current Employment: Kellie is currently employed at New Ways To Work and provides support to local, national and state communities to ensure youth have better access to quality educational and career opportunities. Kellie has worked in the youth development and youth leadership field since 2002 and before 2002 in adult support services. Prior to her work with New Ways to Work, she coordinated the Workforce Investment Act program at West County Community Services and is the founder of the Voice of the Future program at the Climate Protection Campaign, which engages youth in climate protection and local democracy. Kellie was elected to the West Sonoma County Union High School District Board of Trustees in November of 2006 and was appointed Clerk. She is also a member of the Russian River After School Partnership and a fellow of the Leadership Institute for Ecology and the Economy. Kellie earned a Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a minor in Sociology from Kent State University in 2000 and a Master's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies titled, Civic Development for a Sustainable Society, from Sonoma State University in 2005.

Sarah Shaeffer
Current Employment: Director of Community Clean Water Institute and Redwood Empire Environmental Center. Program Director Citizen Water Quality Monitoring Project. Master of Public Health, Global Environmental Health track, Emory University, Atlanta Georgia. BA Environmental Studies and Anthropology, Tulane University New Orleans, Louisiana.

Town Hall Coalition
500 North Main St. Ste. 110 Sebastopol California 95472
T: 707-824-4371 / F: 707-824-4372
E-mail: info@townhallcoalition.org