Steering Committee

Northisde DFA Steering Committee 2018 - 2020

Melissa Lindberg (member at large) attended the very first meeting of what was then Edgewater DFA, joined the Steering Committee when it began, and has been elected several times since.  She has been active through the name changes to Edgewater/Rogers Park DFA and Northside DFA as NDFA grew and changed. She served as chair of the By-Laws Committee (twice), Candidates Committee, Retreat Committee, and the Membership Committee.  She has served as chair since 2011.  Her son Kenneth was the first person to take advantage of the voting age rule: he became a voting at age 15, as per the by-laws. In her former life, she was in theater, primarily working with Stage Left Theatre.  Also, she was an original ensemble member of Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind.  She works at University of Chicago, lives with Carl Nyberg, and travels to Vermont regularly. Change comes slowly, but it is worth working towards, and it is worth fighting for things to get better.


 Carl Nyberg (member at large) has been on Northside DFA's steering committee since 2011. Much of his activism grew from his experiences as active duty Navy officer. He was UN peacekeeper in Cambodia in 1993 and whistleblower about corruption in Navy Recruiting Command in 1996. In 1997 he worked for the US Campaign to Ban Landmines (the year the International Campaign to Ban Landmines was awarded Nobel Peace Prize). He has been active in local politics & local media. He was a columnist for three different newspapers in West Cook. He created an online political talk radio show. And he created a popular local media outlet, Proviso Probe. He has also worked in Washington, DC for Campaign for UN Reform and was on CUNR's PAC for three election cycles, chair of CUNRPAC in 2002. Carl Nyberg is active in local politics because groups like Northside DFA affect politics in noticeable ways. NDFA has made Chicago's politics more progressive on North Side. He and Melissa Lindberg are a couple. They live in Albany Park in Ward 33. He is a graduate of Oak Park & River Forest High School & US Naval Academy (BS, ocean engineering).


LI_photo.jpg Mary Stich-Marcus (treasurer) is a CPA and lifelong political junkie (grandma was a precinct captain in Milwaukee back in the day...) and an enthusiastic new (ish) member of Northside DFA.  She's been a member of the Steering Committee since November, 2010. Mary was a long time resident of the western and northern suburbs, but feels she really "came home" when she moved to Chicago in August of 2009.  She feels being part of this active, dynamic, group has been a great blessing in her life, allowing her to help make a difference in the world.

Kevin Allen (member at large) The political landscape of our state is never going to improve until the people of Illinois come together and decide to change it.  In the last five years I have seen how NDFA is one of the best examples of the kind of volunteer based community organizations we so desperately need to educate and engage voters if we are ever going to see that fundamental change.  I would like to have the opportunity to help grow the organization and contribute more to its work to elect truly independent Progressive Democrats who understand that their first loyalty is always to the people they were hired to represent.  Kevin has been active with NDFA for seven years and is one of our few voting members from DuPage. He has served on the Steering Committee for two years. 


TalhaHeadshot.jpgTalha Basit  Born to Indian Muslim immigrants in the U.K., Talha has spent over two decades as a leader in the technology and start-up sectors in Silicon Valley and Chicago. He is currently the Chief Technology Officer for divvyDOSE, an innovative healthcare start-up that employs over 150 Illinois residents.  Previously, he transformed technology access for underserved children at Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and developed iMovie at Apple Computer. A lifelong progressive, Talha most recently held the role of campaign manager for a progressive congressional candidate in IL-05. A recently inducting voting member, Talha plans to bring his business and technology expertise and recent political experience to expand NDFA’s capabilities and help endorsed candidates win. Talha serves as a board member of the Old Town School of Folk Music and lives in North Center.


Joseph Fedorko (member at large) is proud to serve on the DFA Steering Committee. He works to bring his experience as President of the Roosevelt University Adjunct Faculty Organization (RAFO), a proud member of the Illinois Education Association, as well as helping bring NDFA expertise to the IEA, as evidenced by his advocacy for NDFA adopted and endorsed candidates Chuy Garcia, Theresa Mah and Omar Aquino. (He also writes political sketch comedy, which helps with the mood.)



Matt McWhinney (co-chair) has been active in NDFA for the past five years and served NDFA on the Steering committee for the past two years. He has coordinated the past two NDFA fundraisers with the help of others. He is involved in his local community as an advocate for fair housing, leads and participates in neighborhood clean up days, and is an enthusiast of our local public schools. Matt became involved in Chicago politics when his wife Anne Shaw, decided to run for 1st Ward Committeeman and also 1st Ward Alderman in our recent past.  Matt is an Electrical Engineer,  has lived in Chicago since 1994 and in his free time likes to cook, kayak, and bicycle around the Chicago area.  


Mary_Claire_crop.jpgMary Claire Peceny (co-chair) is retired after 37 years of federal service and has been an active member of NDFA for over 10 years.  She has stuffed and addressed envelopes, canvassed, phone banked, gone door to door for petition signatures.  She has been on the steering committee for a little over a year and is impressed with how much work goes in to planning each meeting and fundraiser.  She would like to continue this important work.



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