Stoney grew up on the East Coast. He didn’t realize it at the time, but his father was working for the CIA. His father was allowed to tell Stoney who his employer was once Stoney turned 18. At that point the family was living in Ghana, and Stoney’s father was working undercover as a Pillsbury flour salesman. At the time, Stoney had no significant independent knowledge of what the CIA was up to, but now – 25 years after his father died – he would have many questions to ask.
After serving in the Peace Corps in Libya and Tunisia in the late 1960s, Stoney went to law school. For many years he worked as a corporate lawyer for big companies, first Mobil Oil and then Harris Corporation, a Fortune 300 electronics firm. By the late 1980s he was serving as Harris’ European Counsel, based in England, mostly doing corporate deals.
He was also in his mid-40s and began wondering if corporate legal work was the way he wanted to spend the rest of his life. So he moved to the Skagit Valley, thinking he would take a six month sabbatical living in the woods – only the sabbatical never ended (except for a brief relapse in the 2006-2010 period).
Relieved of both the time and ethical constraints that employment imposes, he was able to follow his heart in ways he had never been able to before. He was able to get involved in the life of the community where he was living for the first time in his life, and worked on environmental, growth management, and transportation issues. Later he realized the need for overall community organizing, and worked to establish an alliance among unions, religious congregations and non-profits.
In 2003, helped to found People for a Peaceable Planet, a Skagit Valley peace group. PPP started the Skagit Human Rights Film Festival, the annual Martin Luther King celebration in the Skagit Valley, and the Magic Skagit music festival – all devoted to themes of peace and human rights.
In 2008 he led a successful campaign for voters to approve a 0.2% sales tax increase for maintenance and improvement of the Skagit transit system.
Since 2008 he has been a member of various local and national groups seeking a rigorous and truthful investigation of 9/11, for example, the Lawyers Committee for 9/11 Inquiry and Whatcom for 9/11 Truth.
In 2011, he moved to Bellingham to be closer to the work he was doing on a community bill of rights that would have stopped the coal trains headed for the proposed Cherry Point coal port.
In 2014 and 2015 he wrote a series of 17 articles for Whatcom Watch on the theme of impediments to democracy and well-being in the United States.
For the last four years he has made a trip to northern BC and stopped to support the work of several indigenous camps and settlements that are resisting fossil fuel projects in their territories.
In 2015 he spoke at almost every meeting of the Whatcom County Charter Review Commission about the desirability of adopting proportional representation for elections to the County Council. They put it on their agenda, and it came within one vote of being put on the ballot for voters to vote on.
Beginning in 2000, he has voted exclusively for the Green candidates for President. In 2014-15, he served on the Coordinating Committee of the Green Party of Washington State. Since 2016, he has been active with the Green Party of Whatcom County, serving as Acting Secretary most of that time.