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Promoting Participation in the Moraga Community

Moraga Citizens Network is a grassroots organization dedicated to encouraging participation in the life of Moraga in these ways: First, we provide or direct members to non-partisan, factual information on current issues. Secondly, we assist the town staff in publicizing public meetings and town-sponsored events when needed. Finally, Moraga Citizens Network announces many recreational, educational, and fund raising events offered in Moraga by the Town's service organizations, library, non-profit organizations, and Saint Mary's College.


What We Do


    1. Send out a bi-monthly email called The MCN Link that announces Town Council and Planning Commission meetings and agendas, special events, requests for citizen participation, and a community calendar. Sign up for The MCN Link here!
    2. Assist the Town Council and/or Town staff in notifying Moraga residents of important public town meetings.
    3. Plan and host a Candidates' Night for Town Council elections.
    4. Solicit email addresses every chance we get, in order to keep more citizens informed about issues, important town meetings, and local events.


Who We Are


President - Shari Simon
V.P. - George Barron
Secretary - Diana Obrand/Gim Crew
Treasurer - Dick Courtney
Executive Director - Ellen Beans

Web Masters - Leslie Engler, Diane Claytor

The Moraga Citizens Network is an all-volunteer organization. Here are the members of the MCN Board:

gbarron George Barron and his wife Trudy have lived in Moraga since 1985. He is currently Of Counsel with the Walnut Creek/Oakland law firm of Donahue Fitzgerald, where previously he was a partner for many years, specializing in Employment Law. He was named a Northern California Super Lawyer for nine consecutive years. He helped coach some of his daughter's sports teams when she was in Moraga schools. More recently he had been driving cancer patients and making deliveries for Meals on Wheels. George enjoys humor in many forms and has been thankful for the opportunity to be part of the Moraga community.
ellen Ellen Beans has lived in Moraga since 1981. Trained to teach elementary school, she has spent most of her life in public service and education. In 2006, she helped launch the first Moraga Community Faire. Ellen was also an active member on the Board of the Moraga Chamber of Commerce for many years. Since helping to found Moraga Citizens Network in 2005, she has promoted transparency in town government and assisted in getting out information on public meetings to residents. She writes the bi-monthly MCN Link to keep residents informed about Council agenda items, issues, and local events. Her favorite hobby is caring for her garden and enjoying her membership in the Moraga Garden Club.
Ranstrom headshot Kathy Ranstrom grew up in Moraga and returned with her own family in 1993. A retired attorney, she has served on the boards of the Moraga Education Foundation, the Camino Pablo and Joaquin Moraga PTAs, the Las Trampas Creek Council of PTAs, and the 32nd District PTA, and currently serves on the Moraga School District Citizens Bond Oversight Committee. She also served on the Moraga School District Governing Board from 2010 to 2014 and on the Moraga Country Club Green Committee from 2014-2019. Kathy enjoys spending time with her family, golf, and reading.
 DianaObrand Diana Obrand moved to Moraga with her family in 2002. Diana has a degree in Economics from Claremont McKenna and worked in retail management for 10 years before taking time off to raise her children. Diana served 2 years as both President of the the Joaquin Moraga PTA and the Moraga Education Foundation. She was a member of the Campolindo Parents Club board and has received 2 Su Stauffer Friends of Education Awards for her work with MEF and the Measure A Steering Committee. Outside of school, Diana was a member of the Climate Action Committee for the town of Moraga and is currently a committee member on the Las Trampas Creek Council Board. Diana also delivered Meals on Wheels in Lafayette and Walnut Creek for 10 years. Diana enjoys traveling with her family, taking long walks with her dogs and cheering for the San Francisco Giants.
Shari Simon  Shari Simon has lived in Moraga since 2003. Her Moraga community involvement began with Moraga Juniors, co-chairing the annual Garden Tour in 2005. Drawn to education and education policy-making, Shari served on the Rheem Elementary and Joaquin Moraga School Site Councils, the Moraga Education Foundation (MEF) Board, the Moraga School District’s Coordinating Council and Safety Committee. Ultimately, Shari ran for and was elected to serve on the Moraga School District Governing Board from 2012-2016. An early supporter of the Rheem Theater and an active participant in many town and community conversations, Shari is excited to join the MCN Board and help foster greater awareness, communication, and participation within the greater Moraga community.
 Sheila Apte Sheila Apte raised her two children in Moraga and has been living here since 1977. She worked as a Civil engineer specializing in structural engineering and was instrumental in the design of various structures, mainly bridges, in the Bay Area and around the country. She is an active member of CERT and enjoys volunteering at the Moraga Triathlon and the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival. She is actively involved with the local chapter of AAUW through which she tutors math at an elementary school in Oakland. Encouraging young women and girls to pursue careers in STEM is one of her passions. Through AAUW, she is active in the Tech Trek program for local middle school girls and she also conducts bridge-building workshops for this same demographic at St. Mary’s College during the yearly STEM conference for teens. She likes travelling and playing bridge with her husband and enjoys painting and writing memoirs
 ANA ZIMMANK 2014   Ana Zimmank moved to Moraga in 1978 with her husband and 2 sons, both of whom went through Moraga’s fine public schools. Prior to this move, Ana graduated from Dominican College with a major in Business and Finance. She loves her work as a real estate agent, working for over 30 years with Coldwell Banker of Orinda. But she also serves on two board of directors: the Women’s Guild of the Santa Maria Church, Orinda, and the San Francisco Opera East Bay Guild. She was born and raised in El Salvador. Ana loves classical music, helping to protect our fragile environment, and helping other people who are not as fortunate as she has been.
 Dick C Dick Courtney has lived in Moraga since 1987. He was an economist with Bank of America until 1998 and then was employed as a Professor of Economics at Saint Mary’s College of California until his retirement in 2017. He is active in the SIR organization, the Moraga Valley Club of Kiwanis, the Moraga Park Foundation, and his church. He appreciates the opportunity to be a member of the MCN Board as a further means of “giving back” to the Moraga community. He
enjoys travel, reading, playing bridge, and hiking.
Head shot  Leslie Engler (webmaster)has lived in Moraga since 1979, in 5 different houses! She raised 3 boys in town and is a retired chemist, a Board member of Moraga Valley Kiwanis and a duplicate bridge player. She also enjoys gardening, is a member of the Moraga Garden Farm and plays lawn bowls in Berkeley when she is not traveling with her husband. She is the webmaster for MCN.