Meet APA Members

This is part of a series of profiles of individuals involved with Arvadans for Progressive Action (APA). APA has about 475 subscribing members. This is a snapshot of some of our most active members.

Dar-Lon Chang

Dar-Lon Chang

Dar-Lon at a glance:

  • Position in APA:  Climate Action Team Lead
  • My Favorite Arvada Restaurants:  Hu Hot
  • Top Reason I Love Arvada area:  Geos Neighborhood
  • My Favorite Arvada Park: Alice Sweet Thomas Park

Dar-Lon Chang has lived in Arvada for about 5 years, and is a volunteer and frequent contributor to the success of APA. He was drawn to APA to find common ground in addressing the climate crisis. 

Dar-Lon’s passions include Affordable Housing, the Environment, and Political Action. Something you might not know about Dar-Lon is that at one time he worked for as a researcher for Exxon Mobil. When he found that changing the company from within to be more environmentally friendly was not possible, he took a career break to focus his energy on advocacy for transitioning away from fossil fuels.

Dar-Lon lives in the Geos neighborhood and is passionate about sustainable living and addressing climate change.  

When he’s not advocating for a clean environment, you may find him at Alice Sweet Thomas Park where he enjoys playing basketball. 


Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall

Harriet at a glance:

  • Position in APA:  Active Member
  • My Favorite Arvada Restaurants:  Teocali Cocina and Namiko’s
  • Top Reason I Love Arvada area:  Olde town (I loved it when it was mostly antique stores too)
  • My Favorite Arvada Park: McIlvoy, before they made it Park Place Olde Town’s front yard

Harriet Hall has lived in Arvada for over ten years, and is a leading voice for mental health in greater Jefferson County. She is a long-time member of APA and part of the Affordable Housing Team and the Political Action Team. She values finding like-minded people in APA as politics became nasty and divisive, helping to bring about change at a local level.  

Harriet’s passions include the Environment, Affordable Housing, and Political Action.

“As a long-time (now retired) mental health professional, I know how important housing is for individuals’ emotional and physical health. As a gardener and a grandparent, the future of our planet is vitally important. And I believe that in both these issues–and many more–the City of Arvada must do better.”

Something you might not know about Harriet?  “I’m a flaming introvert.”

Harriet’s priorities include making her garden beautiful, traveling to beautiful places, and drinking beautiful wines.


Joyce Richardson

Joyce Richardson

Joyce at a glance:

  • Position in APA:  Political Action Team Lead
  • My Favorite Arvada Restaurants: La Dolce Vita
  • Top Reason I Love Arvada area: All the parks
  • My Favorite Arvada Park: Sunrise Park

Joyce Richardson has lived in Arvada for over ten years and is the leader of the Political Action Group within APA.  She is a founding member of APA and was drawn to APA to do everything possible to overcome, what we all feared would be, the excesses of the Trump years.

Joyce’s passions include Affordable Housing, Healthcare, and Political Action. Something you might not know about Joyce is that she worked in a male juvenile prison as the manager of the recreation room when she got back from the Peace Corps in 1978.

“I lead political action because, to me, it is the avenue to make a difference with affordable housing and healthcare. The lack of these two necessities cause great harm in our society.”

Joyce’s interests include reading and taking her dog, Pratchett, to the dog park


Karen Tonso

Karen Tonso

Karen at a glance:

  • Position in APA:  Active Member
  • My Favorite Arvada Restaurants:  Namiko’s (unfortunately just closed)
  • Top Reason I Love Arvada area:   Close to where my kids and grandkids live.
  • My Favorite Arvada Park:  Little Dry Creek Trail, esp Pomona Lake #2

Karen Tonso has lived in Arvada for over ten years and is a widely read author and expert in gender, relations of power in STEM education, and rampage gun violence in schools. She is a long-time member of APA and was drawn to APA as a like-minded, politically active group. 

Karen’s passions include the Environment, Education, and Political Action, but she is particularly focused on social equity.  

“I believe we only make “progress” with a consistent notion of social justice that understands how important societal issues interconnect.”

Karen’s interests include quilting, fishing, travel, and astronomy.


Allison Phipps

Allison Phipps

Allison at a glance:

  • Position in APA:  EducationTeam Lead
  • My Favorite Arvada Restaurants:  Teocalli Cocina in Olde Town
  • Top Reason I Love Arvada area:  Parks! There are so many great parks and playgrounds in Arvada. We love being just a short drive to the foothills as well.
  • My Favorite Arvada Park:  Skyline Park is our favorite because we can walk there are great bike trails.

Allison’s passions include Education, the Environment, and Affordable Housing. 

“I have a 7-year-old in Jeffco public schools and a 4-year-old who will start next year so education that is strong, inclusive, well-funded is very important to me. I worry about the political pawn that education has become and I want schools to be equitable for all students as well as teachers and staff to get the pay they deserve and the funding they need to run schools so they can focus on teaching our kids.

The environment has always been something that filled me with joy and peace, but I also worry deeply about the havoc humans are causing in the natural world. I believe strongly that we need more environmental protections built into all aspects of human life.

Affordable housing is another passion of mine top earners in the country/state/city are buying multiple homes, while hard-working Americans in very vital jobs like grocery store workers, teachers, bus drivers, nurses, etc can’t afford to buy or rent and are pushed into concentrated areas far away from their jobs, or are sharing tiny living spaces to just make ends meet. We need to make sure these essential workers can afford to live in the communities they work in.”

Something you might not know about Allison: “I have double-jointed thumbs, I’m pretty decent at hula hooping, and I’m an easy cry (like any Disney movie ever or sometimes just commercials I have tears welling up in my eyes and some strong sniffles)”

Other likes: Allison likes skiing, camping, hiking, tending to her garden (both veggies and flowers), going to get ice cream and playing outside with her kids, and going to see musicals and concerts with her husband.


Mindy Mohr

Mindy Mohr

Mindy at a glance:

  • Position in APA: Affordable Housing Team Lead
  • My Favorite Arvada Restaurants:  Mika Sushi
  • Top Reason I Love Arvada area: Close to open spaces and has Ralston Creek Trail
  • My Favorite Arvada Park: Davis Lane/Ralston Creek

Mindy Mohr has lived in Arvada for over twenty years and is the leader of APA’s Affordable Housing Team. She joined APA after the results of the 2016 election, and learned that there was a Progressive group in Arvada!

Mindy’s passions include the Environment and Affordable Housing, and her efforts in leading the Affordable Housing team have included working with the city to recommend the creation of a resident Housing Advisory Committee, hiring a new City Affordable Housing Specialist, and encouraging Arvada to apply for available state and federal monies for housing. 

Mindy’s passion for affordable housing stems in part from her situation: her married adult children (one a social worker and the other an early childhood center director) could not afford to buy houses here. She sold them her townhome and now, as a renter, is dismayed by rapidly increasing rents, and worries that our city (and county) has become more a home for the “haves”, and we are losing so many of our neighbors who are working-class, seniors and other “have nots”. She has also seen the challenges faced by the unhoused while volunteering at The Rising and for Family Promise.

Mindy is a former EPA employee, a backpacker, horse owner, and rode a number of century (100-mile) bike rides – in her early days. She still enjoys hiking – especially with her daughter and son-in-law, bike rides, volunteering, and loves to read (she says her second home is the Standley Lake library).


Pat Malone

Pat Malone

Pat at a glance:

  • Position in APA: New Member Coordinator
  • My Favorite Arvada Restaurants:  Lot One
  • Top Reason I Love Arvada area: It’s where I found my political ‘tribe’ after moving here 11 years ago.
  • My Favorite Arvada Park: Wood Run, in my former neighborhood

Pat Malone has lived in Arvada for 11 years, and is often the first face you will encounter when attending or joining APA. Though she was on the original leadership team she stepped away to be an active member, primarily focusing on new members when they join APA, either via Facebook, showing up at a meeting, or via our website. “The devastation of Trump being elected brought me to the very first gathering that later became Arvadans for Progressive Action.”

Pat’s passions include Healthcare, Political Action, and Communications. “Health care is a human right. The fact that Americans go bankrupt or have to set up GoFundMe pages to pay medical bills is outrageous in the richest country in the world. I am passionate about seeing universal health care in Colorado, if not supported federally. I am also part of the APA Communications Team because it’s so important that we keep talking with each other, and sharing stories, to remain vigilant in protecting democracy. Political Action inspires me to support campaigns of candidates whose values reflect my own.” If you see someone keeping notes during a meeting for follow-up action items, you can bet it’s Pat. 

Pat’s interests include travel and staying connected with family and friends. “I spent 10 days visiting my 5 siblings and extended family back east this summer. This year I’ve gone to Puerto Vallarta, Washington, DC, Santa Fe, New York State, and have a Chicago trip coming up in October. My idea of fun is being with family and friends. Although I never had children, I managed to have 6 grandchildren and one great-granddaughter who all live locally.”


Taylor Jarnagin

Taylor Jarnagin

Taylor at a glance:

  • Position in APA: Active Member (former Environment Team Lead)
  • My Favorite Arvada Restaurants:  Las Potrancas – 64th & Simms
  • Top Reason I Love Arvada area: It is where my family is: one spouse, two daughters, one son-in-law, and two of the best grandchildren in the world.
  • My Favorite Arvada Park: Ralston Central Park

Taylor Jarnagin has lived in Arvada for five years, and joined APA because “I want to be involved in Progressive issues and make a difference at the local level: Think globally, act locally!” RFK said it best: “Some men see things as they are and ask why. I dream of things that never were and ask why not.” This is what I feel is the beating heart of Progressivism. The belief that it is possible to improve human societies through personal, social, and political action.

Taylor’s passions include affordable housing, political action, and the environment – the latter of which he shepherds through leading APA’s Environment Action Team.  

I think that environmental degradation and global warming are the greatest physical threats humans face, today and in the future. I think income and wealth inequality are the root of the largest social issues we face as a community and country. I think the rise of authoritarian ideology and social/religious intolerance are the greatest societal threats we face today. I refuse not to fight back.

I believe that how we treat animals is a reflection of how we treat ourselves and others. “Love me, love my dog” quote from Ernest Thompson Seton, “Wild Animals I Have Known” Published: 1898

When Taylor is not leading a clean-up of the Ralston Creek, he enjoys reading, gaming (Lord of the Rings Online), walking, playing with his dog and grandsons, and working to elect local folks who will work to improve the quality of life in Arvada. Taylor was our grillmaster at the APA BBQ this summer.


Julie Callahan

Julie Callahan

Julie at a glance:

  • Position in APA: Social Coordinator
  • My Favorite Arvada Restaurants: Home Cookin’ and Tequila’s
  • Top Reason I Love Arvada area: The people are friendly and the trails are epic!!
  • My Favorite Arvada Park: Ralston Creek Trail and Danny Kendrick East Park

Julie Callahan has lived in Arvada for several years. She is active in APA and champions our social activities and other social events in the community. Julie’s passions include women’s rights and voting rights. 

Julie joined APA when Trump was elected because it was a “wake-up call” that we were losing the narrative to a (in my opinion) dangerous cult. Breaking through the “Fox News” cultish mindset is not easy. She considers herself an optimist and believes it can and must be done if we are to get back to any type of normal in our country.

“I believe most people agree on most things regarding our lives: good health, safe environment, good jobs, hope for the future. We are divided when bad actors stir up nonsensical issues (i.e. Hunter Biden’s laptop; migrant workers “invading”)  If we are open to meeting, chatting, discussing… we can impact others’ beliefs and experiences.”  

Something you might not know about Julie: “I was an MP in Desert Storm and guarded enemy prisoners of war.”

Hobbies: When not pursuing her passions, Julie enjoys reading, gardening, being outdoors, TALKING to people, watching movies, listening to some epic podcasts, and hanging out with my family!

A great way to meet Julie is to join the APA book club! Please send her a text (720-633-1348) if you would like to join!


Jim Crider

Jim Crider

Jim at a glance:

  • Position in APA: Treasurer
  • My Favorite Arvada Restaurant: Still deciding
  • Top Reason I Love Arvada area: Mountains and progressives!
  • My Favorite Arvada Park: Ralston Creek Trail

Jim Crider has lived in Arvada for several years and joined APA because he believes that societies and communities need voluntarism and connection in order to thrive, and he wanted to meet like-minded people. Jim serves as the Treasurer for APA, and when he’s not advocating for the environment he enjoys reading, writing, hiking, and playing games.  

“Climate change is the essential issue of our time, affecting everyone in the world. Political action is how we make an impact on that and other big issues,” according to Jim. 

Jim grew up on the west coast, got history degrees from the University of the Pacific and Northern Illinois, and taught U.S. History, Sociology of Gender, and Contemporary American Issues in the Chicago suburbs.

He has written an unpublished book called “POTUS in Heels: 42 Women Who Should Have Been President (and what they’d have done with the job).”