Erica DeKranes, Assistant Director
Erica DeKranes is the Assistant Director of the Coalition for Peace Action. Erica previously interned with CFPA in the summer of 2013, and assisted in planning events such as the 50th Anniversary (of Dr. King’s I Have a Dream Speech) March on Washington, CFPA’s Annual Interfaith Service and Conference, and an educational forum on Syria. She also lobbied for peace initiatives in Washington D.C. and was involved in member outreach.
Erica completed her B.A. at the University of St Andrews (U.K.) where she also worked as a fundraiser for the university’s 600th Anniversary Campaign. She went on to receive an M.S. in Global Affairs from New York University during which time she volunteered with the Council on Foreign Relations. At N.Y.U. Erica took classes on peacebuilding, civil society, security, and international law. More recently, Erica worked in marketing and customer service, gaining valuable experience in social media outreach and office management.
Erica is passionate about politics, peace, and service. She loves to travel, and recently spent her summer exploring south and east Africa. She strongly believes that making cross-communal, cultural, and continental connections is key to achieving peace.
Edward A. Aguilar, J.D., Pennsylvania Director
Ed Aguilar is director for the Coalition for Peace Action in the Greater Philadelphia region. After successful collaboration on the New START Treaty (2010), in 2012, he opened the Philadelphia CFPA office, and organized a Voting Rights campaign, to allow 50,000 college students to vote, who were being denied by the “PA Voter ID Law”, later reversed. Ed has worked on rallies and conferences at Friends Center; Temple, Philadelphia, and Drexel Universities; and the Philadelphia Ethical Society—on the climate crisis, drones, mass incarceration, nuclear disarmament, and diplomacy with Iran.
Ed is a lawyer by profession, J.D. from Temple University Law School. At the Philadelphia Courts, he was a Special Master on issues of civil and constitutional rights for 22 years, 1979- 2000. As an adjunct professor, Ed has taught Criminal Justice and Constitutional Law, and most recently Arms Control and Nuclear Disarmament at St. Joseph’s University. He has served on the Board of the Envision Peace Museum (since 2011), National Council of Advisors of Lawyers Committee on Nuclear Policy (since 2012), and most recently the Board of Resolution Media Fund (2013-present), which produced Groundswell Rising-- Protecting Our Children's Air and Water, from the award-winning director, Renard Cohen.
Cathy Leary, Bucks and Eastern Montgomery Counties
(BuxMont), PA, Director
In 1999 I became a member of United Christian Church in Levittown where I met the Reverend Alfred Krass. Al was the coordinator for BuxMont CFPA at the time. I became interested in peace and justice work as a direct result of Al and the church’s influence. I then became a volunteer for CFPA.
When Al retired I became very active with CFPA and helped organize many events, including our weekly vigil against the Iraq war in Fairless Hills that we sustained for over three years. In 2008 a new Army recruitment center opened across from the video arcade in the Franklin Mills Mall called the Army Experience Center. This was a turning point in my activism as we worked relentlessly to get the Army to close this center that was giving the impression to children that war was just like a video game. The Center had simulated Humvees and other video games the children would play while the staff (recruiters) would walk around and talk with them. This center was the site of many rallies and was finally shut down, earlier than planned by the Army, in 2010.
I helped organize a very successful rally around Mother’s Day in 2011 on the subject of Universal Background Checks. I became the coordinator of the BuxMont chapters a few years ago and we have had many successful vigil, rallies, and meetings surrounding this subject as well as other peace and social justice campaigns. We maintain a monthly protest at the Drone Command Center in Horsham PA.
We plan to continue to have events in PA that we hope have a positive impact on our community. I want to thank everyone for their continued support of BuxMont CFPA.
BuxMont Coalition for Peace Action
Dolores Phillips, Legislative Director Ceasefire NJ
Dolores A. Phillips is the Legislative Director of Ceasefire NJ, the Coalition for Peace Action's gun violence prevention organization. For 25 years she has developed mastery of public relations and government relations, press conferences, strategic communications, strategic planning, marketing, and campaigns for the sole purpose of realizing public policy changes to improve environmental health, the ecosystem, and public health.
Trained by one of Ralph Nader’s organizations, Clean Water Action, and in the grassroots action of animal rights organizations, Phillips spent 12 years developing sustained unique legislative, strategic PR and innovative grassroots campaigns to help Clean Water win numerous new environmental laws, regulations, funding, and enforcement to improve environmental conditions in NJ. Simultaneously, Phillips was the executive director of the political action committee, Vote Environment, for nine years.
An R&D solar energy manufacturer recruited Phillips in 1999, her first stint in the “Green” private sector, served in for nine years as Director of Government Relations, Regulatory, and Public Affairs (and health and safety). Subsequently, Phillips directed the Mid-Atlantic Solar Industries Association for 3 years.
Phillips has won the U.S. EPA Environmental Quality Award from the U.S. E.P.A. Region II, was a voting member of the Princeton Health Commission for six years, and has served in other voluntary roles including Chair of the Princeton Friends of Tibet et al., and the Safe Lawns Coordinator for Sustainable Lawrence.
She received her Masters in Public Health (M.P.H.) in environmental and public health at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ (UMDNJ) – School of Public Health – Rutgers University. Her B.S. is in Human Nutrition from Rutgers University. She is also a dog-lover, musician, landscape photographer, fiber-artist, arts and crafts preservationist, tree-hugger, and history buff.