Ed Fallon, Agitator in Chief
Ed Fallon served as a state legislator for fourteen years before running unsuccessfully for Governor in 2006 and U.S. Congress in 2008. Since 2009, he has hosted the Fallon Forum, which airs on four Iowa stations. Ed contributes to a sustainable world by walking and biking as his primary means of transportation and by growing much of his own food and raising hens. In 1995 he was identified by Cityview as Iowa’s No. 1 Hellraiser, which wrote, “Ed Fallon has made a name for himself as the Legislature’s premier street politician and agent provocateur.”
Favorite quote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead
Shari Hrdina, Principle Cat Herder
Shari Hrdina was born and raised on a century-old dairy farm in northeast Iowa. Growing up with farming put her in tune with the Earth. “Being green” was simply the way of life and included recycling, composting and sustenance gardening. Timing of summer vacations was aligned more with the weather than any other factor. Shari’s father taught her the appreciation of expansive sunsets and starry nights, particularly on hayrides. Her employment since 2010 has focused on climate action, being a jack-of-all-trades from event organizing to bookkeeping to form filing and other duties as assigned.
Favorite quote: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; And because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.” ~ Edward Everett Hale
Sarah Spain, March Madness Manager
Sarah Spain is an artist who missed out on the project of a lifetime when the Sistine Chapel got finished before she was birthed. In 2014, she coordinated logistics for the Great March for Climate Action, earning the prestigious title of Second Most Unpopular Person on the March — finishing a close second to Ed Fallon. She continues her art through clandestine graffiti outings and fantasizes about desecrating precious public monuments like the underbelly of Interstate overpasses. And yeah, she continues to organize marches like a mad thing.
Favorite quote: “A strong woman looks a challenge in the eye and gives it a wink.” ~ Gina Carey
Heather Pearson, Police Liaison and Director of Rabble Rousing
Heather Pearson started her career of public service by speaking out against the Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska. Things turned personal when the Dakota Access pipeline was proposed to cut 346 miles across Iowa. Early in the fight, Heather took on a key leadership role, her booming voice a regular feature at marches, rallies and protests. When all other avenues of resistance were exhausted, Heather joined the campaign of nonviolent civil disobedience. She risked arrest multiple times and found herself in cuffs on three occasions. She continues her work for climate justice through many channels, including speaking at the Women’s March in Des Moines, the People’s Summit in Chicago and the Calhoun County, Iowa, courthouse where she used a Climate Emergency justification in defense of a trespassing charge on a Dakota Access construction site. She also works with the Iowa Sierra Club.
Favorite quote: “Action is the antidote to despair.” ~ Joan Baez, via Miriam Kashia in the Boone County jail
Emma Schmit, Cyber Queen
Emma Schmit has few talents but sure knows how to run her mouth. She uses this skill to speak up against injustice, to give a voice to individuals with developmental disabilities she’s worked with over the past six years, and to whine about pretty much everything. Emma is the mother to 4-year-old Lillian Grace. They both love a good protest and will never turn down cheesecake. Emma is currently enrolled at Iowa State University working on a Bachelor’s of Liberal Studies. It’s unlikely this degree will ever be useful, but at least her father isn’t yelling at her for wasting potential. When not working, mothering, volunteering, or learning, Emma likes napping and, yeah, napping, that’s pretty much it.
Favorite quote: “The only thing that ultimately matters is to eat an ice-cream cone, play a slide trombone, plant a small tree, good God, now you’re free.” ~ Ray Manzarek
Lyssa Wade, Photo Thumper
Lyssa Wade attended Grand View University with a plan, graduating with a B.A. in mass communications and a photography emphasis. She ended up happily not using her degree, instead creating organic skin care products and deodorants. In addition, she’s a food-bus-driving Veggie Thumper who prompts smiles through organic vegetarian and vegan cuisine — and perhaps a funny chicken and garden story, too. Lyssa’s photographic work includes shooting images for Bold Iowa. She rarely misses an opportunity to encourage others to consider health, wellness and the Earth through conscious cuisine.
Favorite quote: “They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” ~ Mexican proverb
Kathy Byrnes, Director of Fun
Kathy Byrnes, a writer and editor, boasts a background in project coordination and event planning – projects that promote causes, and events that embrace fun. Growing up during the Energy Crisis of the 70s, she learned to turn out lights, hang up laundry, and generally use fewer of our Earth’s precious resources. Her inclinations turned into activism in 2014, when the Dakota Access Pipeline threatened her family home at the time. Now a Des Moines resident, Kathy walks and bikes a lot, hangs out with her kids and grandkids as often as possible, enjoys feeding people, eats ice cream – sometimes twice a day – and can still turn a mean cartwheel. She also believes that people are good, love is powerful, and you should always be prepared to be surprised by yourself and others in very positive ways.
Favorite quote: “Always leave a place better than you found it.” ~ Rosa Lee Byrnes
Forrest Determann, Wizard of Wireless
Forrest Determann began his pursuit of technical wisdom at an early age, while still rattling the cage of his crib and sucking down high-quality formula. He is active with several local organizations doing good work and fighting for planetary survival. For a geek, Forrest is very approachable, almost human.
Favorite quote: “It’s fun to eat something slimy once in a while.” ~ Forrest Determann
Troy Church, Bouncer
When not doing his part for a better world through Bold Iowa, Climate March and other groups popular with Big Oil and President Trump, Troy Church is a notable Iowa fish monger and bartender. He’s also the proud owner of an impressive disc golf drive and manages “The Bigfoot Diaries,” a central-Iowa blog promoting local music and subversive thinking. Troy once declined an invitation to run for Congress because, allegedly, even the impressive entourage of skeletons in his closet wouldn’t vote for him.
Favorite quote: “Tip your bartenders, but do not tip them over.” ~ Rob Lumbard
Fintan Rowan Mason, Visual Vagabond
It was back in 1999, watching movies all the time, when Fintan hijacked their dad’s camera and set off into a world in distress. Since then Fintan has been documenting everything with potential to elevate others or our planet. They’re presently working with Sarah Spain on building awareness about the importance of the landowner/Sierra Club lawsuit and the September march from Des Moines to Fort Dodge. You can find the best of Fintan at natnif.net.
Favrorite quote: “Go outside.” ~ Nigerian recording artist Wizkid