Who is BlueOregon?
We are a rowdy and progressive bunch of writers, activists, and hacks. Our goal: to start a statewide conversation about life in Oregon - and what that means to each of us.
Whether you're officially a contributor or not, if you're part of the conversation, then you're part of BlueOregon. Post a comment, think out loud, get into the rough and tumble. You are BlueOregon.
Our Founders & Editors
BlueOregon is the brainchild of Kari Chisholm, who says he helped launch it because, "well, it seemed like something I wanted to read." Once a political campaign hack, Chisholm now runs Mandate Media, a consulting firm that does "internet strategy for people changing the world." In 1999-2001, Chisholm was the volunteer board chair of X-PAC, a nonpartisan group that sought to build a new generation of political leaders and community activists in Oregon.
Jeff Alworth's mother fled her ancestral clan in eastern Oregon for the lights of the big city - Boise - robbing Jeff of his Oregon birthright. He addresses this inadequacy with prodigious displays of flannel and beer drinking. Jeff hosted Notes on the Atrocities and the Oregon Blog since January 2003 - which he retired to work on Blue Oregon. Jeff is a freelance writer and a researcher at Portland State University in the Graduate School of Social Work. An entirely different constituency knows him for his enthusiasm about beer.
Charlie has worked to elect Democrats on both sides of the Cascades and at all levels of Oregon government. Last election cycle, Burr managed the successful No on Constitutional Amendment 35 campaign (Med Mal). Despite being outspent by nearly $3 million dollars, the coalition achieved a narrow upset making Oregon the only Presidential battleground state to defeat "tort reform" in 2004. In 2002, Burr managed Charlie Ringo's winning race against Christian Coalition founder Bill Witt, making Oregon one of only two states in which Democrats regained control of a Legislative chamber that year. In 2005, Charlie worked in the Republican stronghold of Nassau County, New York, managing what the New York Times called the "Democrats first serious attempt at the Town's top job." Charlie has been active with the League of Conservation Voters, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, Community Alliance of Tenants, Oregon Bus Project and many other progressive groups. He lives in northeast Portland with his wife Libby Upham and chocolate lab Eads.
My parents are originally from Panama and it is the place of my birth. At about 2 years old, my family moved to Albuquerque, NM where I spent all of my formative years. I went to the University of New Mexico and received my degree in Political Science. I was raised in New Mexico politics and have great affinity for Governor Bill Richardson. I moved to Portland, Oregon in 2003.
Carla Axtman is a political animal and blogger who co-founded the Oregon-based blogs Preemptive Karma and Loaded Orygun. Most recently, she worked as the Netroots Outreach Director for Jeff Merkley for Oregon during the 2008 primary. Carla is in the process of readjusting to the real world and is now sleeping and eating on a regular schedule.
Jesse's career in Oregon politics spans more than a decade. In that time, he’s worked on higher education financing, campaign finance reform, advocated for veterans and has campaigned for countless Democrats. Jesse lives in the Lents neighborhood with his wife Molly, a dog, cat and several hens. In his free time Jesse can be found at home swinging a hammer in an attempt to convert his basement into living space, browsing the pages of a nearly complete set of Oregon Blue Books, including the original 1911 edition, or working in his garden.
Marc Abrams is a former Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon who was paroled from the Portland School Board after eight years, with no time off for good behavior. When he left the PPS Board, he swore he would take a year off from politics. He lasted five weeks. He can be heard every Sunday morning from 9 to 11 on Newsradio 750 KXL, agonizing Lars Larson's listeners, where he co- hosts "Kremer and Abrams." Marc, a card-carrying union and ACLU member, earns his living as a Senior Assistant Attorney General for the State of Oregon and is currently President of AFSCME Local 1085. He got his law degree from the University of Michigan, a powerhouse football team attached to a diploma mill. Not smart enough to be born in Oregon, he stumbled in in 1981 and stayed. In a time in which we can no longer tell whether the person mumbling to themselves on the street is a schizophrenic or is wearing a Bluetooth earphone, Marc, who is one or the other (possibly both), can be found on the streets of Portland, still muttering with happy disbelief about the 2006 election result. [NOTE: Marc speaks for himself only on these pages, and not for the Attorney General or Oregon Department of Justice.]
Les AuCoin is a retired, nine-term U.S. congressman, the first Democrat in Oregon history to win in Oregon’s First District (1974). At the time Les left the Congress, he was 85th in overall seniority, dean of the Oregon delegation, a Democratic whip at large, and a senior member of the House appropriations committee and its defense and interior subcommittees. He served two terms in the Oregon legislature, the second, at age 32 (a record), as House majority leader. He is a Pacific Northwest newspaper columnist and former public radio commentator and professor of political science at Southern Oregon University in Ashland.
Caitlin Baggott is one of the directors of the Bus Project, a "democracy non-profit" that engages new and young people as volunteers in politics. Part of the team of volunteers who kick-started the Bus in 2002, Caitlin's work has focused on leadership development and civic engagement. She helped launch and now runs the Bus Project's national leadership training program, PolitiCorps, which teaches college students about organizing skills and habits of leadership. Caitlin's background includes several years working with homeless and incarcerated youth, teaching creative writing and arts in low income schools, and managing a study abroad program. She lives in NE Portland with her wonky husband, Rich Rodgers, and their daughter.
Deborah has taught the Media Communications class at the Sabin-Schellenberg Center in the North Clackamas School District for the past 14 years. Prior to becoming a CTE Instructor, Deborah was a broadcast news reporter in Oregon and served as President of the Oregon Association of Associated Press Broadcasters and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists Union in Portland. In addition to her teaching duties, she is on the Milwaukie City Council. She is also on the executive board of the OACTE. She holds a Masters Degree in Education Administration from PSU.
T.A. Barnhart is a native Oregonian and life-long resident of the West. He is a veteran, but very glad he got to serve during the Carter Peace Epoch. He has been involved in politics sporadically, from the nuclear freeze movement in the 80s to volunteering on various campaigns in the 90s. As a student at PSU & UO, he was involved in campus politics, working on child care and family housing issues. In 2003, he helped form Linn-Benton for Dean; he remains a hardcore deanista. He worked extensively on the Benton County Kerry campaign, organizing and leading the canvas, running the website, and doing enough to take that loss very much to heart. His kids are now grown, but he's still working to ensure they have a good, happy future. He loves music, literature, the American West, salmon, Italian cheese, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Jon works for OSPIRG as a Policy Advocate on government transparency, consumer protection and democracy issues. He now lives in Portland, Oregon. Previously he was the Associate Director of Media and Democracy for Common Cause based in Portland, Maine. In that role he directed national and state chapter activity for Common Cause on media reform issues. He served on the boards of Maine Citizens for Clean Elections and the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition. Prior to this, he was the Communications Director for the Maine Citizen Leadership Fund and the Dirigo Alliance in Maine. He also worked for three years for Citizen Action of New York leading their Clean Money/Clean Elections campaign and staffing the Coalition for After-School Funding. While living in Washington State, he was a field organizer for Planned Parenthood of Western Washington for three years, and earned his Masters of Public Administration from the University of Washington. He has been involved in many political campaigns through the years, both for candidates and on ballot measures.
Paulie Brading is a retired school administrator and teacher. She's been a teaching fellow at Harvard University, an adjunct professor at Lewis & Clark College, and the president of Northwest Women in Education. An active Democrat, she's presently the Chair of the Jackson County Democrats.
Chris Bouneff is a native east-sider of Portland. He started his professional life as a newspaper reporter in California covering the U.S. Navy and its advanced aircraft weapons systems. He worked in Idaho covering public policy and enterprise stories before making the shift into media relations. After 12 years living in exile, he returned to Portland and resettled on the east side, where he continues his lifelong suspicion of anything west of the Willamette River.
Nicholas operates in a realm somewhere between law, politics, activism, and academia. He has degrees in biological sciences, law, and technology policy. In addition, he's worked in positions such as policy advisor for Vandana Shiva's NGO The Research Foundation for Science, Technology, & Ecology, field organizer for Democratic candidates in Washington County, and had a brief stint working for Chief Judge Ann Aiken in the U.S. District Court of Oregon. Currently, Nicholas works as a professor of government, cultural geography, and public speaking at Concordia University. Like a lot of people who write for BO, he loves beer, thoughtful discussion, and trying to make the world a better place.
John Calhoun is currently managing partner and CFO of InsideValuation Partners, a property valuation company. He has been CFO of AcryMed, Inc., a medical device company, CEO of CMC ReSearch, a medical informatics company and Chairman of Creative Multimedia, a software company. John chaired the Portland Angel Network and has been an investor and board member of several entrepreneurial businesses. He spent 19 years with Intel Corporation in a variety of senior financial and administrative positions, including Corporate Controller and Director of Business Development. During 1983 and 1984, he was acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Science and Electronics at the U. S. Department of Commerce. He also served in Vietnam as a Lieutenant in the artillery. John has a BA degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Stanford University. He is active in the community and currently serves on several non-profit boards.
Laura comes to Democratic politics from a background in social justice and public service. Born and raised in San Francisco, the child of immigrant parents, Laura began her career in public service as a paramedic working for the San Francisco Department of Public Health. In 1980, a move to southern Oregon launched a distinguished career in law enforcement and an eventual passion for political activism. Laura also served in the U.S. Navy Reserve. After an injury suffered in the line-of-duty resulted in retirement from law enforcement, Laura turned her attentions to Democratic politics.
Leslie Carlson is an Oregon native who fled the state in 1989 because it seemed "too small; a state where everyone seemed to know one another or were related by birth or marriage." She came back for precisely the same reason: she valued the deep personal connections that one could forge in Oregon with neighbors, colleagues, politicians and other citizens. "It sounds trite, but I believe that Oregon is a place where ordinary citizens can and do make a difference."
Elleanor was born in the Blue Ridge Mountains to one Appalachian and one immigrant parent, raised in the Midwest and moved to Oregon in 2005. She has a degree in American History and Ethnic Issues from Bryn Mawr College and her JD and MSW degrees from the University of Michigan. She has lived in all three of the states that begin with “O”. She lives in Portland with her husband and children.
After fourteen years as a commercial litigator she is working as a litigation consultant, writer and freelance troublemaker. She is on the Boards of the Oregon Chapter of the National Organization for Women and Family Forward Oregon. Unless specifically stated, the opinions published here are Elleanor's, not those of Oregon NOW or Family Forward Oregon. When not preoccupied with the infamous “work/family balance,” Elleanor enjoys reading biographies, baking yeast bread, and digging in her garden.
Kyle is a life-long resident of the Pacific Northwest. After the dispiriting re-election of George W. Bush in 2004, Kyle was a production intern for Thom Hartmann's morning local show on AM 620 KPOJ. Kyle's experience through this internship inspired him to pursue a Masters of Public Administration degree at Portland State's Hatfield School of Government.
As a grad student, Kyle interned at Congressman Blumenauer's district office, handling constituent services during the Great Health Care Debate of 2009- the epitome of "trial by fire." Barraged daily by a steady steam of lies and misinformation, Kyle recognized that truth and facts have little currency in the marketplace of political rhetoric. Kyle completed his degree in December 2010, with a focus on sustainable food policy.
The past couple of years he has been active in regional food issues, helping manage his neighborhood farmers market and serving on the steering committee of the Multnomah Food Initiative. Kyle lives in a tiny house in Northeast Portland with his wife and two daughters. When the zombie apocalypse hits, Kyle plans on living on a couple of acres on Sauvie Island with a couple of goats and chickens.
Nick Engelfried is a freelance writer and progressive activist with a special penchant for environmental and energy issues. A proud member of Oregon’s increasingly large and vibrant youth climate movement, Nick graduated from Pacific University in 2009, and now spends the majority of his time facilitating college campus involvement in the big issues that will determine the course of Oregon's energy future. Nick’s current priority projects include fighting to protect our state from liquefied natural gas development, and to transition Oregon away from its unhealthy reliance on coal-generated electricity.
Paul Evans is the managing partner for Northwest Passage Trading Company (an import/export company dedicated to marketing Oregon products throughout Asia), an author (VeteranSpeak: An Introduction to the Language of Veterans), and an adjunct professor of public policy and speech.
Paul served as a senior policy advisor to Governor Ted Kulongoski for military and veterans’ affairs from 2007-2010 after running for the Oregon State Senate in 2006. He served his community as a city councilor, mayor, and school board member. Paul is a 20-year veteran with overseas service in Central/South America, Europe, Afghanistan, Iraq, and other “hot spots” throughout the Middle East. He graduated from Oregon State University (MAIS) in 2001, and Western Oregon State College (BS) in 1992.
After losing her election for 8th Grade Treasurer to “Donald Duck,” Kristin redoubled her efforts to be a political force. Raised in Idaho, she came to Oregon for college and never really left. She received a business degree from Lewis and Clark and a law degree from Willamette, preparing her to work on legal opinions for state and county government; fight to keep discrimination out of Oregon’s Constitution, legislature, and local governments; battle against the double majority to bring adequate funding to schools; and ask strangers for money.
For 25 years, Bill Gallagher has been a fixture in Portland radio, including seven years as the host of the top-rated "Bill Gallagher Show" on KXL. Until September 2007, he was the news director at KPAM.
Jeff Golden came to Oregon after half an Ivy League education the last time the sky was falling (1972) to settle in the woods of Southern Oregon and learn how to take care of himself. He dropped back in by way of public broadcasting and then politics, winning a seat on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners during the Spotted Owl wars and surviving a timber industry-sponsored recall to become the first Oregonian even nominated for the JFK Profile in Courage award. He was Chief of Staff to then-Senate President Bill Bradbury and spent ten years behind the mic as host of a daily NPR talk show in Southern Oregon and Northern California. That sparked his quaint notion that Americans are ready for much more than the pablum served up by political consultants and candidates, an ongoing tantrum he managed to contain within the pages of As If we Were Grownups (2004) and Unafraid: A Novel of the Possible, which branches off from history on November 22, 1963, when the bullets fired in Dallas miss their mark. Jeff still believes we can govern ourselves.
J. Graber is a recovering journalist who has pretty much lived all over the country before moving from Toledo, Ohio to Portland in 2008. While he is grateful beyond measure to have experienced a little piece of so many people's lives as a newspaper reporter, he is currently focusing on political communications as a second-year graduate student in in the strategic communications program at the University of Oregon Portland campus. In his spare time he volunteers with several charitable organizations, is trying to learn jazz guitar and spends an unhealthy amount of time with his dog, who wears the pants in the relationship.
Carla "KC" Hanson describes herself as a CalavadaKansaGonian: Western raised, Midwestern educated and Oregon politicized. KC's Oregon political immersion began shortly after her arrival; she jumped into LGBT activism in the early 90's when the Oregon Citizen's Alliance was attacking all things gay. The spectacle of the GW Bush selection and escalating tragedy of his administration moved KC to Democratic Party involvement in late 2003. KC is currently the chair of the Multnomah County Democrats, a position - and a passion - she's held since 2008, as she firmly believe in the power of local, grassroots energy.
Jo Ann Hardesty (formerly Bowman) is a former State Representative from NE Portland from 1995-2001. Most recently, Jo Ann served as Executive Director of Oregon Action, a non-profit dedicated to building new leaders from underrepresented community members. Hardesty serves on several local & national boards including: Portland Community Media, US Action, NW Constitutional Rights Center and Coalition for a Livable Future. Hardesty also co-chairs the City of Portland Racial Profiling Committee; a joint community & police partnership to eliminate the practice of racial profiling from the practices of Portland Police.
No matter where Cody goes, he's always glad to come back home to Oregon. Cody lives in Portland and has an identical twin brother.
Jon Isaacs is Jon is a cofounder and principal of Innovative Campaign Strategies, a Portland-based political consulting firm focused on helping progressive leaders and organzations achieve social change victories. He started ICS after serving as the executive director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (where he still serves as a strategic advisor). Previously, Jon served as the first state director in the office of U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley. Jon took that position after managing Merkley’s successful campaign against Senator Gordon Smith in 2008. That campaign was the first to unseat an incumbent United States Senator in Oregon in 40 years. Jon also served as executive director of FuturePAC, the political committee for the Oregon House Democrats - where he erased a ten seat Republican majority and lead the Democrats back to the majority for the first time in 16 years. Jon has worked for a number of political organizations and candidates in Oregon and Washington, D.C. In 2007, Jon was named a “Rising Star” by Campaigns and Elections magazine. In 2010, Jon received the “YoungAlumni of the Year” award from the Oregon State University Alumni Association. The award “recognizes alumni, age 35 or younger, for exceptional achievements in career, public service and/or volunteer activities, which bring credit to Oregon State University.” Jon currently serves on the boards of the Oregon Children’s Trust Fund and the Oregon Student Foundation. When he’s not helping progressive leaders achieve their goals, Jon spends his time with his wife, Vinay, and their son, Jay - and managing and playing on two adult soccer teams.
Albert Kaufman is an activist, writer, and social-networking tutor for individuals and small businesses. His blog is located at albertideation.com.
Angelica is an author, artist and activist currently living in Portland. She graduated from San Francisco State University with degrees in Technical and Creative Writing and went on to run field projects for environmental and human rights campaigns. Angelica continues to engage in political work through volunteer activism, writing and art. Her current focus is women's economic issues, and she is working to expose the disparities women of all colors and classes continue to face in Oregon.
Evan Manvel is a long-time community advocate who serves as the Director of Policy, Planning and Government Affairs of the Cascade Bicycle Club in Seattle, WA. He has a Masters in Public Policy and Urban Planning from Harvard University, and has worked for Oregon’s leading conservation groups – 1000 Friends of Oregon, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, and the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. He’s been sued by Bill Sizemore and invited to appear on The O’Reilly Factor. When he’s not fighting the fight, Evan loves to travel internationally, enjoy the world’s beers, and backpack around the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
Elizabeth’s first foray into politics as a profession was in 2007 when she worked for then-Labor Commissioner Dan Gardner. From BOLI Elizabeth moved into policy and lobbying work, focusing mainly on health care issues. She also led the fight in 2008 against a poorly crafted open primary initiative. Most recently she worked a brief stint as Finance Director to elect Bill Bradbury as Governor. Pre-political life Elizabeth owned a bar and promotions company (in Hood River) and finished her doctoral exams in Political Science with an emphasis on Public Law and American Politics. Elizabeth has more cats than she would like to admit, loves sunshine and believes with all her might that the Democratic Party needs to embrace progressivism.
Nels works for the government relations firm State Street Solutions. Prior to joining the firm Nels worked on state, local and federal election campaigns. He enjoys the challenges of implementing a legislative agenda. Nels holds degrees from Whitworth University and Willamette University College of Law. While in law school Nels served as the Managing Editor for the Willamette Journal of International Law and Dispute Resolution. He was the President of the American Constitution Society and earned numerous awards for oral advocacy including Order of the Barristers. He lives with his wife Lauren and their goldendoodle “Lincoln” in Rose City Park in NE Portland. In his free time Nels can be seen at farmers markets, local breweries, foodie hang outs or yelling at the TV, urging his beloved Trail Blazers to victory.
Nova Newcomer's first political opus was a short essay (which she still has in her possession) in 4th grade on Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. A Political Science degree, several hundred pages and a career in communication later, Nova is currently doing what she loves best — providing people with tools to communicate better about important policy issues and helping women develop their leadership potential. A strategic communication consultant, Nova has worked in various capacities for local non-profits as well as small and large businesses. She has been active behind the scenes as a volunteer and contributor to local campaigns and organizations that advocate for women. Nova is also a member of the 2010 Emerge Oregon class. Nova is a loyal fan of the Trail Blazers (from birth), a baseball fanatic and a proud resident of North Portland with her husband and young son.
Rick started his career teaching high school social studies in Canton, Ohio, then worked 21 years for the American Cancer Society, the last five from 1993-1998 as the executive vice president of the Oregon chapter. He served over seven years as founder and project director of Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility’s Campaign For Safe Food, confronting the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMO’s). He co-founded and led a national coalition opposing recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST) in dairy products. As a volunteer, he conceived and developed a faith-based program in 2001 to reduce global warming that was picked up by numerous denominations and congregations all over the country. He “retired” in 2011 to address undue corporate influence on our elections, government and most aspects of our lives. Rick is married with two mature children and an immature dog. He enjoys reading, hiking, biking, travel, the Blazers and the Ducks.
A few years ago, Willamette Week described Steve Novick: "Oregon native, U of O grad, Harvard Law. Big law firms in San Francisco and New York. U.S. Justice Department's environmental-enforcement division. Lead counsel in the eventual Love Canal lawsuit, in which the feds won $129 million against Occidental Chemical. Back to Oregon to be the issues director for Tom Bruggere's failed U.S. Senate campaign (and, later, Ted Kulongoski's successful bid for governor). Caucus administrator for the Senate Democrats in Salem, policy advisor for Multnomah County Chair Diane Linn and then legislative coordinator for the Oregon Department of Education." But more interestingly, this: "Novick gives you the feeling that he will never be outworked or outstudied. Add to that a Howard Dean-like combativeness and the punchline skills of a sitcom writer. The Nose gets the sense that Novick is the kind of guy who follows his convictions - damn the consequences." In 2008, Steve Novick ran for the U.S. Senate.
Jake Oken-Berg is a professional musician currently touring with his self-tilted Jake Oken-Berg Band. He is a native Oregonian and graduated from Lincoln High School where he was editor of the Cardinal Times and one of Oregon's top track runners. In 2000 at age 19, Jake ran for Mayor of Portland, finishing 2nd out of 17 candidates with 27% of the vote and nearly forcing the incumbent mayor into a runoff. Jake graduated with a degree in Politics from Pomona College in Claremont, CA where he was elected Student Body President his senior year. Jake worked as a policy analyst for the Oregon Business Council from 2002-05, special assistant to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden from 2005-2007, and is an Oregon Bus Project board member. A C-SPAN viewer since age 8, Jake now enjoys tormenting his bandmates with his observations on local, national and international politics.>runoff. Jake graduated with a degree in Politics from Pomona College in Claremont, CA where he was elected Student Body President his senior year. Jake worked as a policy analyst for the Oregon Business Council from 2002-05, special assistant to U.S. Senator Ron Wyden from 2005-2007, and is an Oregon Bus Project board member. A C-SPAN viewer since age 8, Jake now enjoys tormenting his bandmates with his observations on local, national and international politics.
Michael O’Leary’s first volunteer organizing experience was leading a student walk-out during the 1987 Eugene school teachers strike. Since then, he has worked on electoral campaigns, with organized labor, and for environmental advocacy groups. Michael is a certified cycling instructor and a certifiable bike enthusiast, and can often be found riding around town or volunteering within the active transportation community, including with Bike Walk Vote. Currently, Michael is a campaign consultant focusing on climate and fuel politics.
Jon Perr is a technology marketing consultant based in Portland, Oregon. Jon has long been active in Democratic politics and public policy as an organizer and advisor in California and Massachusetts. His past roles include field staffer for Gary Hart for President (1984), organizer of Silicon Valley tech executives backing President Clinton's call for national education standards (1997), recruiter of tech executives for Al Gore's and John Kerry's presidential campaigns, and co-coordinator of MassTech for Robert Reich (2002). A member of the New Democrat Network, Jon also blogs at perrspectives.com.
Patch Adam Perryman is a political and non-fiction writer. He is a longtime advocate for skilled medical technicians' rights and furthering the education of all health professionals. He has 20 years of direct patient care experience and currently works in surgery at Oregon Health & Science University. Patch is a native Oregonian with southwest coastal roots to which he credits his focused passions to resolve environmental and blue-collar issues. He is a 2006 graduate of Portland State University with a Bachelor's Degree in General Science and plans to enter the University of Oregon's School of Communications and Journalism in 2010. He lives in Milwaukie, Oregon with his radiant wife and rowdy puppy.
Dan has lived in Oregon since 1996, when he moved from Seattle to take over as Executive Director of Western States Center. He's been active in the social change movement since the late '60s, when he was first recruited at a United Farm Workers house meeting (it really does work!). Dan helped found the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center and the Institute on Money in State Politics, and also serves on the board of Public Campaign. He shares his twisted sense of humor with his twin brother.
Jonathan Poisner is a consultant who helps progressive nonprofit organizations with strategic planning, fundraising, and communications. From 1997-2009, Jonathan served as Executive Director of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. Prior to that, Jonathan worked on the northwest regional staff of the Sierra Club, as a writer, an adjunct law professor, a legal research fellow, and a lawyer. A native of Prairie Village, Kansas, Jonathan moved to the northwest in 1993 after living in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington, DC. When he's not hiking, traveling, or working, he's writing a novel and a screen play that should be finished in 2025.
Rich Rodgers has done policy and communications work on local, regional and state issues since 1994, including 11 years as an advisor to Portland City Commissioner Erik Sten. He now helps to run a consulting & technical training firm, and serves of the boards of Street Roots and the Northeast Community Child Development Center. Rich wrote his undergraduate history thesis at Yale on the lack of public involvement in major infrastructure decisions in historic African-American neighborhoods in Atlanta.
Once a registered Libertarian, Pat Ryan decided to join the Democrats after the 2000 election meltdown. Though he "disagrees with party dogma on a broad range of issues, my wife Christine and I are now spending every free moment trying to get Dems elected." His hobbies? "Riding motorcycles, blowing up appliances with a 12 gauge shotgun, critical thinking and fact based reasoning." Pat Ryan lives southeast of Sandy, Oregon in the shadow of Mount Hood. A native Oregonian, he has traveled widely and spent four years in Paraguay and a year and a half in Iran in 1977-78.
For more than 30 years, Russell Sadler's daily radio and television commentaries were heard on broadcast stations in Oregon, Southwest Washington and Northern California. His weekly newspaper column appeared regularly in many newspapers throughout the region. Today, he lives aboard a 30-foot trawler and travels regularly to Salem, Eugene, and Ashland. Sadler is a registered independent.
Since the early 1970's, Joseph has migrated around Oregon, living in Clackamas, Marion, Lane and Multnomah counties. A hapa with three kids in school, a burgeoning urban garden and a divinity degree, he dedicates the rest of his time as staff for the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) working on racial equity in public policy and civic engagement. Previously he knocked on 1,000 doors mostly in N/NE Portland and phone banked 1,000 people to get involved. "We need to have more voices, leaders and ideas from all of Oregon's communities. At APANO, we envision a world where we are engaged in the political, economic and social issues that impact us."
Chuck Sheketoff is the Executive Director and a founder of the Oregon Center for Public Policy, a non-profit, non-partisan research institute that uses research and analysis to advance policies and practices that improve the economic and social opportunities of low- and moderate-income Oregonians, the majority of Oregonians. Prior to starting the OCPP in 1997, Chuck lobbied the Oregon Legislature on behalf of the low-income clients of legal aid programs (1993, 1995) and the Oregon Law Center (1997). Chuck participates in BlueOregon to inform debates among Oregon progressives with an eye toward getting Oregon back on track.
Chip Shields has been an Oregon State Representative for District 43 since 2005. District 43 includes inner N/NE Portland, Irvington and the Lloyd Center District. Prior to running for office, Shields founded Better People, a N/NE Portland living-wage employment and counseling program for adult probationers and parolees. Currently, he is employed by Oregon Tradeswomen Inc., a N/NE Portland organization that helps women succeed in the building trades.
Chris Smith is a citizen activist focusing on transportation, neighborhoods and civic engagement. He has served on the Portland Planning Commission since August of 2009. Chris is also a member of the Portland Bicycle Master Plan Steering Committee, the Streetcar System Plan Advisory Committeee, the Portland Streetcar Inc Board of Directors. He was a candidate for Portland City Council in 2008. His day job is with Xerox in Wilsonville, Oregon, where he is an Internet Technologist.
Kristin Teigen left Oregon almost two decades ago to be a political activist in San Francisco and Washington DC, and worked for, among others, CISPES, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Organization for Women. She returned with the hubby more than a decade ago, both ready for a garden, a family and a bit of fresh air. She worked in Oregon for few noble causes before returning to graduate school to pound out degrees in History and Education. Now, she’s a consultant, but really, her main job is taking care of two adorable boys and spending way too much time at PTSA meetings.
Our first Fellow, Nick Wirth came to Oregon from Minnesota in 2005 to attend Lewis and Clark College. There, he founded and was President of the College Democrats. In 2006, he helped organize a statewide youth organizing campaign for the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, and in 2008 he worked on Kurt Schrader's congressional campaign. He graduated from Lewis and Clark in 2009 with a BA in Political Science, and currently lives in Portland.
Tim studied political science and public administration at the University of Oregon and Portland State University. While in college, Tim was an active student leader in student governance, and later, university governance. He is currently the news editor at The Clackamas Print, a returning student studying journalism. “I spent a few years being covered by few papers in my public service experiences and writing opinion pieces, and am now experiencing what it is like on other side of the table,” said Tim. Tim has a lot of personal interests including music, writing, games, reading, outdoor activities, science, technology, psychology, sociology, the arts, philosophy, religion, economics, anthropology, history, literature, watching comedies, quantum physics, the cosmos and the sciences in general. Learn more about Tim.
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