MICHELE GANGNES, Esq., is co-founder of LIV and a long-time resident of the Blue community in Lee County, a rural county 40 miles east of Austin. Michele is a native Texan, and graduated from Rice University and the University of Texas School of Law. She is a member of the Washington State Bar and the State Bar of Texas.
Before retiring in 2019, Michele practiced banking and public finance law for over 4 decades, first as a partner in two Pacific Northwest law firms before returning to her native Texas as a sole practitioner. Michele is nationally recognized as a peer-reviewed attorney in the highest categories of legal ability and ethics, and her legal opinions are accepted in the U.S. capital markets.
Michele is a premier "water rights activist" and, as such, was a founding board member of Neighbors for Neighbors (NFN), a Central Texas 501(c)(3) organization, and more recently as a founder of the Simsboro Aquifer Water Defense Fund, also a 501(c)(3), which advocates for aquifer protection and private property rights in groundwater.
Michele authored an extensive analysis of Proposition 6, the Water Amendment that passed in November 2013. See news release here.
Michele has donated thousands of hours-- pro bono (free!) -- to protect the aquifers of Texas for generations to come. She has also never been a member of any organized political party, having considered herself an “independent” voter for fifty years.
DR. MARK MILLER enjoyed a long and varied career in the oil and gas industry – petroleum engineer, University of Texas faculty member, worldwide consultant, and small business owner. In 2014 and 2016, he was the Libertarian Party nominee for Texas Railroad Commissioner, a position that regulates the state’s oil and gas industry. In 2016, Mark received all of the endorsements of Texas’ major newspapers and managed to garner the 5% of the vote required to retain ballot access for the Libertarian Party.
Mark is currently semiretired, does occasional consulting, and remains politically active. He IS LIV's "doctor of democracy." He has made it his business to understand what must be done in Texas to represent the 8 million (more or less) voters who do not identify with any political party and call themselves "independent" -- notice the small i.
Watch for Mark's op-eds in major newspapers and read his four part series on our LIV News blog, "The Quest to End Two-Party Rule." Miller lives in Hays County.
CALVIN TILLMAN is the former town commissioner and mayor of the small town DISH, Texas. He also served on the Aubrey City Council in 2015. Calvin is a well-respected rural Texas leader who took on the pipeline industry with humility and grace.
DISH is at the crossroads of many natural gas pipelines. Tillman was active in pursuing state legislation regarding the routing of natural gas pipelines as well as efforts to curb the powers that the pipeline companies have been given over property owners. A resolution to curb these powers was passed by the town of DISH and was passed by forty other towns with well over a million people represented.
Mayor Tillman has served on work groups with the members of the state legislature and the natural gas industry, regarding pipeline routing and regulation of the industry. He has traveled around the United States speaking on responsible drilling. Mayor Tillman was recognized for his contributions by the Texas Progressive Alliance with the Gold Star Texan award. A veteran of the United States Air Force, he has degrees from the Community College of the Air Force, and Concordia University of Texas.
Tillman was featured in the award winning, Oscar nominated documentary Gasland and Gasland Part 2; and also Detroit PBS documentary Beyond the Light Switch.
Tillman now focuses on private property rights at the state level. He is very active in championing legislation that enhances and protects private property rights for Texans. A lifelong Republican, he now calls himself a committed independent. Mr. Tillman lives in Cook County -- north Texas.