Meet Ana, Irene and Kathy


Below is our fourth email to highlight our alumnae running for office this May. 

And a HUGE thanks to Governor Kate Brown for the Emerge Oregon shoutout on Facebook:  

Emerge Oregon
P.S. Counties start mailing out ballots TODAY!

Meet Ana del Roc¡o, Class 2016, running for the David Douglas School Board, Position 1. 

Why are you running? 

The David Douglas School District is one of Portland's most vibrant and diverse, one that must celebrate Portland's communities of color while advocating for equitable outcomes across all backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders. Our community is changing rapidly, and we need a school board that can adapt to the challenges that our neighbors, friends, and family struggle with every day. It is deeply troubling to me that our schools disproportionately discipline our students of color, and we have a support system that neglects reproductive rights in a community where unplanned pregnancy rates are on the rise.
I am running because I imagine a future for our schools where students share equitably in the opportunity to shape and improve their lives for the better. As a former educator, I fully understand the pressures that our teachers face in the classroom and beyond. Our David Douglas School Board lacks the experience needed to address these pressures.

What advice would you give another woman thinking about running for office?

My best advice: find what is meaningful and don't be afraid to stand up and make your voice heard.

Meet Irene Konev, Class of 2015, running for the Clackamas Community College Board, Position 7.

Why are you running?

Born in Oregon, the oldest of eleven children of an immigrant Russian family and now, as a mother myself, I have an understanding of the educational challenges faced by families in our state. I see clearly the positive, generational impact of a college education - and how important it is that post-secondary education is financially accessible. 
I will bring with me to the board my years of outreach and community work in our region. I will make sure that what CCC offers stays relevant to the needs of our students and our local, regional and state economy. In addition, with eight years of working in civilian law enforcement oversight, I bring an understanding of campus security practices and policies. This includes working at Clackamas Women’s Services and the very real problem of campus sexual assault.

What advice would you give another woman thinking about running for office?

Run. Empower other women to run. When the voices of women are present at the table, we have better outcomes for the entire community.

Meet Kathy Wai, Class of 2013, running for the North Clackamas School Board, Position 5. 

Why are you running?

I immigrated with my parents when I was 6 years old from Burma (Myanmar) because of violence and war. My parents sacrificed everything, so that I could have access to a free public education. From that moment of having to leave my homeland to now, I’ve been on an incredible journey where I have been able to give back to students like me, serve families from different countries and backgrounds, and motivate others to pursue their dreams.
My story resonates with so many immigrant children who are here today; and although oceans and walls separate us from our original homelands, we are determined to thrive in our new homes. Our communities in North Clackamas need strong leadership that will champion inclusion, equity, and authentic partnerships between families and schools.

What advice would you give another woman thinking about running for office?

My advice to women who want to run: Don't be afraid to tell your story, because you never know who you will inspire. 

Put Yourself On The Ballot

Learn about the Emerge program and how to apply:

Support Our Work

Emerge Oregon needs your help to expand our training.