Our board members look forward to creating a space to talk about concerns, bridge divides, and identify solutions throughout Muscatine County. From neighborhood cleanup to systemic change, we believe solutions for the common good are at our fingertips.
Jessica Brackett (She/Her), M.P.A., President
Maya Angelou wrote, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better.” Jessica agrees. She sees Progress Muscatine as an opportunity for the community to learn together and do better together.
Jessica has more than 20 years of experience in field, political, and issue campaigns; research, media, and independent publishing; non-profit creation and management; and currently has a consulting business, Grassroots Rising.
She attended the University of Iowa on a Matthew Shepard Scholarship. While she started as an elementary education major, after spending a summer with Pastors for Peace, and traveling to El Salvador, first to a pastoral community with the Wesley Center, and later as an international election observer with Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad, she changed her major to political science and focused on developing areas.
After undergrad she published a statewide magazine, The Voice of LGBTQA Youth of Iowa, helping to educate, empower and organize students to advocate for (and WIN!) safe schools and civil rights legislation, which enumerated sexual orientation and gender identity in state code. Then she worked for One Iowa as Volunteer and Outreach Coordinator and Director of the Marriage Initiative.
Jessica has a passion for sustainable agriculture and smart growth. While earning an MPA from Drake University she had internships with 1,000 Friends of Iowa and The Women’s Food and Agricultural Network. She then moved into environmental work and was a campaign manager for Plains Justice and Iowa Physicians for Social Responsibility, then became executive director of Clean Air Muscatine, and later worked on refugee rights and accessibility issues with the Eychaner Foundation.
On a good day you will find her shooting hoops on the riverfront, playing banjo, kicking around a hacky sack, or taking pictures of her Siamese cats Henry and Eleanor.
Christine Moad (They/Them), Secretary
Christine is passionate about education. They believe accurate and easily accessible information is needed to make good decisions for the future of our people and planet.
Christine is a music educator with students across the US and a touring musician with their band, Miss Christine. The fall 2022 release of “Google University,” a music video from their sophomore album, Bittersweet won Best Music Video Award of Prestige in the Vegas Movie Awards; received Honorable Mention at the DaVinci International Film Festival; and is under consideration at festivals around the globe. Christine has a BA in electric bass performance with a minor in gender studies from Berklee College of Music in Boston and was a session musician in Nashville.
Christine is an advocate for universal healthcare, sustainable food production, and renewable energy. Also, they worked as a field organizer and was elected non-binary delegate for Bernie Sanders to the 2020 Democratic National Convention. They enjoy a good cup of tea, gardening on their family’s century farm outside of Nichols, reading non-fiction, and learning about history and the environment. They have two cats, a calico named Lucy and tuxedo named Zucchini, and can often be found wearing purple.
Linda Schmarje (She/Her), DPT, Treasurer
Linda is deeply concerned about climate change and feels hopeful about efforts on the grassroots level to turn us away from fossil fuel and toward cleaner energy.
She was born and raised in Muscatine and attended the attended the University of Iowa, graduating with a BS in psychology. Having spent much of her twenties and thirties living in Iowa City, Linda worked for a few non-profit agencies there. She supported others as an advocate for survivors of domestic violence, a counselor for mothers participating in substance abuse treatment, and a mentor for youth aging out of the foster care system.
Linda returned to her hometown and pursued a graduate degree from St Ambrose University. She obtained a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2010, working as a physical therapist for a decade. Linda is retired from the physical therapy field and spends her time caring for her mother, hiking, and supporting local live music and comedy.
Michael Salino-Hugg (He/Him), Ph.D., Board Member
Michael was born and raised in Burlington, IA and now lives in rural Muscatine County. After initially pursuing a degree in music, he switched to studying electrical & computer engineering. In 2020, he completed his Ph.D. in electrical & computer engineering at the University of Iowa. His research interests consist of a wide range of topics including developing ecological sensing systems, energy efficient computing, and optimal distributed energy resource control. He has had his work presented at IEEE SAS, IEEE IECON, and published in Frontiers in Plant Science.
He is a strong advocate for socially responsible engineering and the adoption of renewable energy.
In his free time, Michael enjoys working on art projects, playing guitar, cooking, and working on various video game related projects (such as reverse engineering N64 games).
If you are interested in becoming a board member, send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why you want to get involved.