about us

who we are

We are children of the 50's and 60's who came of age protesting injustice and inequality. Many of us are grandparents, great aunts and great uncles. All of us are determined to transcend politics to defend our democracy, preserve our environment and protect our youngest and most vulnerable.

Grandparents for Democracy Founders
GfD Founders, Back in the Day
We Worry

that our grandchildren will inherit an increasingly inhospitable planet and a country riven by tribalism; where the wealthiest control much of our government, science and wisdom are held in disrepute, and truth has become optional in our public discourse.

We Believe

that if we don’t act now to defend our democratic institutions and restore respect for truth and science, this country and our earth as we know them will cease to exist during our grandchildren’s lifetime.

We Know

that there are enough of us to defend our democratic institutions, preserve our environment and protect our young…

our team

Larry Sarezky

Larry Sarezky

Founder/Executive Director

Larry Sarezky is an Amazon #1 best-selling author and has written, directed and composed music for award-winning short films. A retired attorney, Larry is a past Chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Family Law Section and of the Fairfield CT Human Services Commission. Larry began his social activism at age 14, creating a fund-raising group on behalf of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee's Mississippi Summer Project.  Arrested protesting at Richard Nixon’s 2nd inauguration in 1973, Larry turned to more conventional activism when he ran for the CT State Senate in 1984; long before he became a grandfather concerned about the world we will leave our grandkids.

Rick Kurshner

Rick Kurshner

Co-Founder

Rick Kurshner is a long time Beverly Hills media and entertainment attorney. His past and current clients include performers, writers, directors, producers and entertainment companies.  He is a strong believer that organized and targeted activism is a necessity for the protection of our democracy, and that volunteerism, in support of those candidates who represent the values that Grandparents for Democracy stands for, is the key to getting or keeping them in office.

Nancy Kurshner

Nancy Kurshner

Director of West Coast Operations

Nancy’s career as a TV and Live Event Producer has made her a professional organizer. Working for independent television producers and HBO for more than 30 years, she produced numerous comedy programs and major events, including 9 Comic Relief telethons which raised over $50 million for National Health Care for the Homeless and Earth to America show whose message was to raise awareness of climate change. Retired and recruited by her husband Rick, she is now using her organizational skills to help Grandparents for Democracy motivate our peers to get involved to protect our democracy for future generations. She and Rick are thrilled to be welcoming their first grandchild in spring 2021!

Thanissara

Thanissara

Member, Board of Advisors

Thanissara is an internationally renowned Buddhist teacher, climate crisis activist and author of a number of books including her latest, Time To Stand Up, An Engaged Buddhist Manifesto for Our Earth. With her husband Kittisaro, Thanissara co-founded Dharmagiri Sacred Mountain Retreat in South Africa and helped initiate and support a number of HIV/Aids response projects in KwaZulu Natal. She is also a founding member of Chithurst Monastery and Amaravati Buddhist Monastery in the UK, and has facilitated meditation retreats internationally for 30 years. Thanissara is on the Teacher Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center CA, is a Core Teacher at Insight Meditation Society, MA, and is a co-founding teacher of Sacred Mountain Sangha International.

Lorraine Fitelson

Lorraine Fitelson

Director of East Coast Operations

Lorraine Eisner Fitelson is a married mother of three grown sons, and a retired special education teacher. She has worked on local, state, and federal political campaigns, and cannot wait to make the current president a one-termer, and turn the Senate BLUE!

Mary Thelma Goodwin

Mary Thelma Goodwin

Director, GfD - North Carolina

Mary Thelma Goodwin is a resident of Scotland County, NC where she is enjoying her retirement with her grandchildren, following 45 years as an elementary and middle school teacher. Mary received her BS degree from North Carolina A&T and a masters degree from the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. She has long been active in local politics and currently serves as Secretary of the Scotland County Democratic Party.

Wally Marcus

Wally Marcus

Arizona Liaison

Wally Marcus  is a mediator, lawyer, and former Judge for the Tohono O’odham Nation.  He is active local politics in Tucson Arizona, where he resides. Wally has served as a Trustee of the University of Connecticut, Corporation Counsel for the City of Norwalk and a member of the Weston Police Commission.  He also produced and hosted the Divorce TV television show.  Wally's ambition is simply  to leave the world a better place than he found it.

Patti Oblath

Patti Oblath

Volunteer Coordinator

Patti has had a long career in early childhood as Executive Director of Connections for Children, leading programs to ensure that children in the Los Angeles region have access to high-quality child care that supports their healthy growth. She has often volunteered during elections, beginning as a teenager during the McCarthy campaign in 1968 and with several local races over the years. Her longtime professional commitment to multiple generations of families and their young children drew her to work with Grandparents for Democracy following her retirement in 2019. As a grandmother of three, protecting our planet and our democracy for future generations is a personal commitment as well.

Stephen Kurshner

Stephen Kurshner

Director of Technology

Stephen is a Digital Product Designer who has helped build many websites and mobile apps while working at both prominent digital agencies, and early-stage startups in Los Angeles. He has a passion for learning to utilize new technologies and is proud to help support all of Grandparents for Democracy’s tech needs.

What you can do

If you share our goals whether or not you are a grandparent, then please join us in helping to achieve our goals.

If you want to be more proactive in our fight, please explore the volunteer activities available. We are always looking for new volunteers, and can connect you with our affiliate organizations around the country to find the best ways for you to contribute.

To help us grow, please consider making a donation to Grandparents for Democracy or buying some of our merch, which will allow us to fund our organizing effort and continue our work through election day.

You can join our mailing list, which will keep you updated with everything that is happening in the organization including news, volunteer opportunities and other ways that you can help change the course of our country.