Text Size:   A+ A- A   •   Text Only
Site Image

Chair James Morris

James Morris, Portland

James is a South Carolina Native though, after living in Portland for 15 years he considers himself an Oregonian, born into a family of life-long educators.  His parents have engrained the importance of achieving an education in him since early childhood.   He is an Air Force veteran and attended a small liberal arts college in SC by the name of Lander University.

James believes in the importance of everyone having the opportunity to have a voice in the political process.  He also believes that the best way to make that happen is for people of conscience, from varied cultural backgrounds, to come together, break down barriers and work collaboratively towards common goals.



Vice Chair
Vice Chair Robin Morris Collin
Robin Morris Collin, Salem
Robin Morris Collin is the Norma J. Paulus Professor of law at Willamette University College of Law in Oregon.
Her latest publications include
•    “Restoration and Redemption” in Moral Ground: Ethical Action for a Planet in Peril (a collection including the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Barack Obama, and others) and
•    the Encyclopedia of Sustainability: volume 1: Environment and Ecology, volume 2: Business and Economics, volume 3:Equity and Fairness (coauthored with Robert William Collin). 
She is the first US law professor to teach sustainability courses in a US law school.  She has been awarded the Oregon Woman of Achievement  Award for 2012, David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award from the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, the Leadership in Sustainability Award from the Oregon State Bar, the Campus Compact Faculty Award for Civic Engagement in Sustainability, and the national Environmental Justice Achievement Award from the Environmental Protection Agency for her work with the Oregon Environmental Justice Task Force.



Mariotta Gary-Smith, Portland
Commissioner Mariotta Gary-Smith 
Mariotta Gary-Smith is a native of Portland, OR; & a 3rd generation social justice activist/agitator deeply committed to working towards social justice, public health & sexual equity, in particular for communities of color/ethnic identity.

In 2009, she helped co-found the Women Of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN; www.wocshn.org), a domestic & international online resource collective for women of color sexuality professionals.

With over 15 years of experience working with diverse/multicultural communities and organizations on reproductive/sexual health and justice, sexuality & health education and harm reduction, Mariotta continues to advocate for & provides safe spaces for open discussion/collaboration, as well as presenting at professional conferences, conducting trainings & workshops that educate women and girls of color about identity, sexual health, sexuality, safer sex behavior practices & sexual health advocacy.

urrently, Mariotta serves as the ASHEP (Adolescent Sexual Health Equity Health Program) Health Educator in the STD/HIV Program for the Multnomah County Health Department in Portland, OR.

Kayse Jama, Portland

Commissioner Kayse Jama
Kayse Jama has led an incredible journey, fleeing war torn Somalia as a teenager to become a community organizer in Portland, Oregon. After Jama arrived in Portland, he returned to school and started working as a social worker for Lutheran Community Services Northwest serving as the African Youth Coordinator. After the September 11 attacks, he decided to leave social work and founded the Center for Intercultural Organizing. Currently, Jama is the Executive Director of the CIO. Mr. Jama has trained immigrant and refugee community leaders in five Western states—Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Utah and Idaho under a New Voices Fellowship at Western States Center. He has also served as an adjunct professor at Portland State University. He was awarded the 2009 Lowenstein Trust Award, which is presented yearly to "that person who demonstrated the greatest contribution to assisting the poor and underprivileged in the City of Portland, Oregon."

 Commissioner Musse Olol
Musse Olol, Portland

Musse Olol was born and raised in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia. He later immigrated to Oregon in the United States, where he would live for the next 33 years. He eventually became an American citizen.

For his post-secondary education, Olol attended the local Portland State University. There, he earned a degree in mechanical engineering.

Publicly, Olol is noted for his social work with the Somali American Council of Oregon (SACOO), serving as its Chairman and official spokesperson. His duties with the organization include volunteering as a counselor, facilitator, interpreter and co-sponsor. SACOO offers guidance to new Somali families and works closely with city, state and federal authorities to strengthen civic relations.

[see full bio]


Commissioner Gwendolyn Trice
Gwendolyn Trice, Enterprise

Gwendolyn Trice, a native of La Grande Oregon, moved back to the country after a career with Boeing in Seattle. Gwen has dedicated the past several years to uncovering and documenting her family’s migration to the West -- African American loggers in search of promise in the early 1900’s. She is the founder and Executive Director of the Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center, a federally recognized non-profit organization in Wallowa County.

Her experience growing up with a large family in eastern Oregon spurs Gwen’s commitment to infusing cultural history education opportunities to the core of Oregon’s curriculum standard.

Gwen’s experience and work in front of the camera plays a key role in her videography work providing a keen eye to the development of a legal video/audio, marketing and oral history business.
Oregon Legislative Assembly Representatives
Senator Rod Monroe  
Senator Rod Monroe
Senator Rod Monroe, D - Clackamas and Multnomah Counties, District 24 
Rod Monroe has been a life-long educator.  He taught high school and college and has served on the David Douglas School Board and currently is on the Mt Hood Community College Board.  Rod has been elected to public office 14 times.  He has served in the Oregon Legislature for 15 years and previously served on the Metro Council for 12 years.  Rod is an active runner and outdoorsman.  He currently serves as State Senator from District 24 (East Portland and Happy Valley). 

Representative Janelle Bynum 
Representative Janelle Bynum, D - East Portland, Damascus, Gresham, Boring, North Clackamas, and Happy Valley, District 51
Janelle Bynum is a Democrat from Happy Valley, Oregon who was elected State Representative for Oregon House District 51 in November 2016. In the Legislature she serves as Vice-Chair of the Business and Labor committee and sits on the Early Childhood and Higher Education committees. In addition to her duties as a citizen legislator, she and her husband own four restaurants in the Portland area.

Prior to becoming a business owner, Janelle worked in several capacities, including Summer Associate at Boeing Defense and Space Systems in Seattle, Washington, as well as a Steering Systems Engineer at General Motors in Saginaw, Michigan.  Her experience includes product development in hybrid vehicle technology and working with global electronics suppliers in Mexico, Taiwan, and France.

Janelle got her start in politics her senior year as Head of the Boarding School at the Madeira School in McLean, Virginia.

[Read full bio]
​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​