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Activating the Green New Deal: Panel Discussion


John Montgomery gradually realized that the traditional corporation’s lack of a comprehensive conscience is detrimental to stockholders, society, and the environment. The prevailing doctrine of shareholder primacy normalizes the practice of externalizing as many costs as possible on the commons in order to maximize stockholder welfare. This practice ultimately impedes corporate performance because the backlash aroused by the ensuing harm to society and the environment destroys goodwill.

John began working with socially and environmentally oriented entrepreneurs to design governance provisions to instill the corporation with a conscience that transcends and includes the usual pecuniary one. He was the co-chair of the legal working group behind California’s benefit corporation legislation, which became law in 2012, and was a California Bar Association magazine lawyer of the year and B Lab MVP and Champion awards winner for this work.

He has since become a leading authority on the benefit corporation. He is the President-Elect of the Benefit Company Bar Association and serves on the advisory boards of B Lab Europe, the Purpose of the Corporation project and several benefit corporations.  John’s work as an international advocate for the benefit corporation and the emergent impact economy inspired him to incorporate Lex Ultima as two affiliated benefit entities in 2017. 

Jonathan Marshall is a Marin volunteer with Citizens' Climate Lobby and a retired journalist. Among other jobs, he was Economics Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and Editorial Page Editor of the Oakland Tribune. He is the author of several economics papers on carbon taxes, and articles on carbon pricing in the New York Times, HuffingtonPost, and Reason magazine. He is also the author or co-author of five books, including Cocaine Politics: Drugs, Armies, and the CIA in Central America (with Peter Dale Scott).

David Kunhardt has been working on climate change mitigation since 2007.  First, as a solar developer, then as a Citizens Climate Lobby volunteer, then as a Director of the Environmental Forum of Marin, and a trained Climate Reality Leadership Corps speaker.  Since 2015, he has been involved with the Time to Lead on Climate Coalitiomn, then was a co-founder of the Marin Climate Action Network in 2016, leading to helping the Drawdown Marin campaign.  Since 2018, he has served on the Town Council in Corte Madera.

Cheyenne Clarke is a student at the University of Puget Sound in Washington State. She will graduate with a major in International Political Economy and a double minor in Environmental Policy and Decision Making, and Global Development Studies. Beyond her formal educational career Cheyenne is a passionate student at earth school. She is incredibly dedicated to living a life that facilitates connection to the planet, humanity, and herself. She views connection as the missing link to much of the trauma that is occurring today in the world. Without awareness of the interconnectedness of the planet and its inhabitants we have compromised the health and wellbeing of the entire system. Cheyenne is passionate about cultivating spaces that regenerate our connection to the planet, each other, and ourselves.


Morgan Patton, Executive director - Environmental Action Committee of West Marin

Since 2016, Morgan has led EAC as its Executive Director. Morgan has worked to strengthen the organization with her program management and systems background which were developed in the private sector for over a decade. In 2015, she began to build community around the Marine Protected Area (MPA) Watch program by promoting civic-engagement for the general public and providing educational opportunities for students around coastal and marine science education in collaboration with the Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County Parks, and the California Academy of Sciences.

Under Morgan’s leadership, EAC has established new partnerships in the community, created pathways for innovative environmental education, conducted strategic planning, upgraded the organizations administrative and technical systems, launched youth and community education programming, and has focused the next three years of environmental programming to protect and sustain the unique lands, waters, and biodiversity of West Marin. In addition to her responsibilities at EAC, Morgan currently serves as a co-chair of the Golden Gate Marine Protected Area Collaborative, a board member of the Marin State Parks Association, and a conservation representative on the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council.

Morgan is a fifth-generation Marin County resident and environmental advocate raised in Sonoma Valley and West Marin. She is a graduate of Dominican University with a B.A. in Humanities with a concentration in Environment, Culture, and Sustainability and is finishing her Graduate degree in Public Administration at University of San Francisco.