Candidate for UUA Board of Trustees

The Fifth Principle Project is announcing that one of its co-founders, Jay Kiskel, has decided to run by petition for a position on the UUA Board of Trustees.  Per the UUA bylaws, an individual may submit their name for consideration by obtaining 50 signatures with no more than ten signatures from a single congregation. An effort is currently underway to gather those signatures.

Typically, the slate of board candidates is identified by a Nominating Committee.  If only a single candidate is identified for a board position, per our UUA bylaws, no vote is required to “elect” a board candidate. Jay’s candidacy is an effort to restore the use of the democratic process and provide General Assembly delegates an opportunity to cast a vote for a UUA Board Trustee.

Who is Jay Kiskel?

I have been a member of my home congregation, Northwest Unitarian Universalist Congregation, in the Atlanta area for 30 years.  I have served on numerous positions on my congregation’s board of trustees as well as served on the Mid-South District board and the board of The Mountain, a UU identified camp and retreat center in North Carolina.  I am currently the president of the Universalist Convocation which sponsors annual meetings so Universalists can gather and celebrate our Universalist heritage.  After my retirement from a 35-year IT career, I have dedicated my time to gather, arrange, archive and write about Southern Unitarian and Universalist history. I am a member of the UU History and Heritage Society.

Why I Want to be a UUA Trustee

Like many UUs, I had a distant relationship with our national leadership.  My focus was on my local congregation. However, the 2017 controversy over the resignation of Rev. Morales, the UUA president, and the 2019 controversy at the Spokane General Assembly regarding the distribution of the book The Gadfly Papers caused me to look more closely at the decisioning process at the national level.  I observed that there has been a breakdown of representative democracy that has left our UU leadership bereft of a diversity of voices. I am a liberal UU and hold a deep belief in the power of our Seven Principles and wish to represent those who share my beliefs on our UUA Board of Trustees.

How You Can Help

You can help my candidacy in three ways.

  • Join the Fifth Principle Project (it’s free) so you can stay connected with others who want to reinvigorate the right of conscience and renew the democratic process in the governing of our denomination.
  • Register for the 2021 virtual General Assembly and become a voting delegate from your congregation. Congregation delegates will cast votes for competitive board positions.
  • I ask for your vote. Support my candidacy to be a Board Trustee by encouraging other congregation delegates to be informed, involved and help restore our Fifth Principle as the governing principle of our Association.

For more information, contact me at

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Mariah Springstead
Mariah Springstead
12 days ago

Hi! How do I go about signing my name to help with this? I am a member at UUCCWC in Hillsboro, OR.

Jonathan Tweet
7 days ago

Go for it, Jay! Happy to see this happening.

Jonathan Tweet
7 days ago

Maybe spell out how to sign on in support of Jay’s candidacy. My understanding is that individual church members only need to submit an email with the statement that they are supporting Jay Kiskel’s candidacy, give their name and the name of their congregation. That email should be sent to Hope that’s right.

Jonathan Tweet
4 days ago
Reply to  WebMaster

I posted to Reddit

Adrienne Y
Adrienne Y
4 days ago

I don’t understand how compelling the Nominating Committee to find more trustee candidates than Board of Trustees seats increases democracy. Please explain?

Also did you fill out a Volunteer Leadership application? Do you know that the Nominating Committee would not welcome you as a potential Trustee?

Jonathan Tweet
3 days ago

Do you know who you’re running against, Jay?

Jonathan Tweet
2 days ago
Reply to  WebMaster

Happy that the prospect of an election gets people talking. Thanks for sharing.

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