Mark Dunlea has been an activist since he was a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1972, helping to found the New York Public Interest Research Group. As a student, he was active on a range on environmental and consumer issues, including the bottle bill and solar power. His lawsuit, Dunlea v. Goldmark, is the landmark Freedom of Information case in New York.
Upon graduating from Albany Law School, he became a community organizer for ACORN in the South and Southwest working on utility, health care and neighborhood issues. In 1979, he helped organize the 200,000-person No Nukes rally in NYC.
Upon returning to Albany, he became active in the Citizens Party, running for Congress in 1982. His report, "The Financial and Environmental Dangers of Garbage Incineration," helped convince environmentalists nationally to reverse their position and oppose garbage incineration. Mark became active in the peace movement, convincing Albany County to declare itself a nuclear free zone. He helped found the Albany chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
Mark helped managed the 1984 Citizens Party presidential campaign for Sonia Johnson, who became the first independent candidate to qualify for federal primary matching funds. In 1985, he and his wife, Judith Enck, built their own passive solar home in the hills of Poestenkill in an intentional ecological community with six other families. That is where they live with their son, Reed.
Also in 1985, Mark became the Executive Director of the Hunger Action Network of New York State, a statewide economic justice group working with food pantries and soup kitchens. He has worked through HANNYS on issues such as raising the minimum wage, corporate accountability, welfare rights and sustainable agriculture.
In 1991, Mark organized the first statewide meeting of the Green Party of New York State. Later that year, he was elected as a Green to the Poestenkill Town Board. In 1998, the Green Party obtained official ballot status in New York through the Gubernatorial candidacy of (Grandpa) Al Lewis.
Working with Ralph Nader, he helped stopped the $1.1 billion corporate welfare giveaway to the New York Stock Exchange in 2001.
Mark is active in the community media movement, helping to found the Hudson-Mohawk Independent Media Center. He also hosts a weekly public affairs radio show on WRPI, Troy NY.