Alumnae

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Oregon State House Representative, District 41

My professional experience spans the private, public and non-profit/volunteer sectors.  I started my career as a VISTA volunteer working with at risk youth.  I later worked as a recruiter for a small women-owned firm in Portland.  In 2014, I was elected as state representative in Oregon's House District 41.

Keisha Josephine Thomas (Rhines), Ph.D. is an Electrical Engineer residing in the Cedar Mill community.  Keisha is originally from Brooklyn, NY born to a mother (from Trinidad) and a father (from North Carolina).  Keisha is a middle child of a blended family, where it was a family member that first introduced Keisha to political volunteering at 13 years old on Bill Clinton’s 1991 presidential campaign.
Keisha received her B.S. degree in Physics/Engineering Emphasis from Delaware State University.  Keisha later went on to receive both her Masters of Science and Ph.D.

Parkrose School District

Dr. Thuy Tran received her Doctor of Optometry from Pacific University in 1994. She immediately chose the city that captured her heart, Portland, to establish her first private practice, Rose City Vision Care. Throughout her 17- year career as an established optometrist and active community member, Thuy, has successfully managed to perfect her natural talents of leadership and conviction to equality.

Regional Outreach Director, Family Forward Oregon

Raised in Philadelphia PA, Laurie has lived in Oregon since 1984 and in Eugene since 1987, where she’s worked on numerous initiatives related to social justice, food policy, public health, community improvement, child wellness, and poverty reduction. She is the Regional Outreach Director for Family Forward Oregon organizing and advocating for policies that help mothers and other family caregivers stay economically secure. Laurie is a parent of two adult children, grandparent of twin boys, and a former foster parent.

Ana del Rocío Valderrama, currently a legislative staff member for House District 47--East Portland, will join Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson’s staff in 2017 as the policy and research director.

It is no coincidence Andrea began her career in the labor and student rights movements. Growing up in a single parent household, cleaning houses while in school and her family’s lack of economic and racial justices are the foundation of Andrea’s community-based activism and policy work.
Andrea currently serves as the Outreach and Policy Advisor for Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick.

Irma Valdez has been an attorney for 17 years, and concentrates exclusively in Immigration Law. Born in a small village in Michoacán, Mexico, Irma spent several years growing up in the migrant camps of California -- where her mother and father worked as fruit pickers.  Later, to stabilize their children’s education, Irma’s parents took factory jobs in Chicago, living in the low-income Pilsen neighborhood. 
After graduating from Benito Juarez H.S., Irma attended Brown University in Providence R.I., majoring in Latino Studies.

Multnomah County Commissioner, District 3

Jessica Vega Pederson serves as Multnomah County Commissioner for District 3. Prior to her election to the County Commission, Jessica was a State Representative in the Oregon Legislature. When elected in 2012 she became the first Latina to serve in the Oregon House. In the legislature, Jessica fought for issues such as paid sick time and pay equity to improve the lives of working Oregonians. As chair of the House Energy and Environment committee she championed the renewal of the Clean Fuels Program and passage of a bill to remove coal from Oregon's energy mix.

Field Organizer, Basic Rights Oregon

Jessica Ventura, one of the Field Organizer for Basic Rights Oregon’s marriage campaign, was originally born in El Salvador but has lived in North Portland since she was five years old. As a first generation college graduate, Jessica received a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics from Portland State University and received her citizenship last summer. She is now committed to serve the public out of the gratefulness to those who struggled for justice before her and because of a sense of obligation to those who will come after her.

Mayor-Elect of Eugene

Lucy and her family moved to Oregon in 1991 because they were drawn to our state's natural beauty and quality schools. Over the last 25 years, she has devoted herself to working on behalf on her Eugene community. Lucy is the Mayor-Elect of Eugene and is Emerge Oregon's first mayor! Prior to her election, Lucy was the Development Director at ShelterCare, a Eugene-based non-profit which houses and supports at-risk Oregonians. Lucy also worked for several other non-profits including EarthShare of Oregon and the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides.

Kathy is a proud alumnus of St. Mary's Academy, the only all-girls school in Oregon. This empowering environment propelled her interest in women’s rights, leadership development, and social justice. She graduated with institutional honors from Portland State University’s School of Community Health in 2008. Since then, she has worked for locally-based non-profits, city government, and international organizations.

Eugene 4J School Board Member

Having lived most of her adult life in Lane County, Mary Walston, is nearly a native Oregonian.  After graduating from high school in Sioux City, Iowa, Mary packed her bags and headed to Eugene to attend the University of Oregon.  At the U of O, Mary earned a degree in public administration and then enjoyed a long career working in a number of public agencies including the State of Oregon, Lane County, and with the City of Eugene. 
Mary retired from her professional career in public administration in 2009 and now volunteers in a number of roles.  Those roles include serving as a elected board

Sandy N. Webb, born and raised in Maryland, now happily lives and works in Washington County, Oregon. An attorney and small business owner, Sandy also volunteers at a suicide prevention call center. A believer in the possibilities of good governance, Sandy is interested in advocating for her fellow citizens of Oregon and looks forward to a run for the Oregon State Legislature.
Sandy quickly learned she loved working in a political environment when she worked for the Mayor's Office in Frederick, Maryland.

Rose Wilde was born in Cottage Grove, Oregon, and grew up in the even smaller town of Horton, Oregon. After college in Texas and AmeriCorps service in Washington, DC, she moved back west, settling in Lane County in 1999. Wilde just completed her first public budget process as a newly-appointed member of the Lane County Budget Committee.
After several years working in the non-profit sector, Wilde completed a Master's degree in public health at Oregon State University.

After separating from the military in 2001, Felicia moved to Oregon and immediately realized that it was the first place she had ever felt truly at home. She completed her B.A. at the University of Portland and attended graduate school at Portland State University, where she focused her research on race, education, and urban renewal.

Oregon State House Representative, District 36

Jennifer is a fourth generation Oregonian, who first entered the world of politics by chance. While attending the University of Oregon, proposed cuts in financial aid, Pell grants and work-study programs threatened to end her academic career before it had really started. Unwilling to let go of her dream of a college education, she became an education activist. That path led her to Washington D.C. to work for Senator Mark O.

Maureen is an active leader in her East Vancouver community, where she lives with her young daughter, Keira, and husband, Johnny, an Artistic Director.  An active volunteer for those battling adolescent drug abuse and alcoholism, Maureen also volunteers at the Children’s Book Bank, local PTA, Homeowners Association, Mentoring Young Women to enter STEM careers and apply for college scholarships. Head of Global Learning for Research & Development and IT employees for Intel Security (formerly McAfee), Maureen has spent the majority of her career in leadership for Fortune 500.

Anita is the founding partner of the MultiCultural Collaborative, an cutting edge, innovative consulting firm providing urban design, creative placemaking, public policy, community engagement and equity consulting to governments and non-profits.

Candidate for Metro Council, District 5

Helen is currently running as a candidate for the District 5 position on Metro Council. Helen was born in Hong Kong and her family joined the extended family of grandmother, brother, uncles and aunts in the United States when she was eleven years old. Staying closely connected to the Chinese community through her church and community involvement has enabled her to fully embrace the best of both cultures: East meeting the West.

Erin is a native Oregonian, and has long been engaged politically, beginning in 1992 with the campaign to defeat a ballot initiative, known as Measure 9, which was a direct attack on the LGBT community in Oregon. Since then, Erin has become increasingly active in local politics in Lane County. She has recruited and trained volunteers for the Democratic Party of Oregon, volunteered with Planned Parenthood and Womanspace, and held the position of House District 13 Chair for the Democrat Party of Lane County.

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