Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs (OCHA)
The public is invited to attend.
Monday, June 12, 2023, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm Virtual & In Person
June 12, 2023, Agenda - Click Here
LCA Office, 2680 Twin Knolls Drive, Suite 110, Bend, OR 97701
To attend via Zoom:
To register follow this link: Click Here
We serve the people of Oregon to empower and support Latinos through our special roles as policy advisors to Oregon state policy makers and leaders. The OCHA is a catalyst that empowers partnerships between state government and Hispanic communities in rural and urban areas to ensure success for all Latinos by addressing issues at the policy level.
Organized in its current role under Governor Atiyeh, and serving 7 administrations, the mission of the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs is to work toward economic, social, political and legal equality for Oregon´s Hispanic population.
Our principles and Values:
- Equity for Hispanic Oregonians in jobs and the economy, education, health, safety, family stability, environment, and civic engagement.
- Equal treatment and protection against discrimination.
- Access to helpful information on services and available resources.
- Working in partnership on research and policy analysis of longstanding issues and barriers to success within the Hispanic community statewide.
- Inclusion of viewpoints of the Hispanic community in policy making at the state level.
- Celebration of and awareness about the contributions and achievements of Hispanic Oregonians.
Our Statutory Goals and Strategic Priorities
- Advocate for equitable policies assuring the success of Latino and Hispanic Oregonians at the state level.
- Engage community and state partners to promote equity for Latinos statewide.
- Study and analyze issues affecting the Hispanic community statewide and recommend policy remedies to state policy makers.
- Grow and develop leaders the Hispanic community at the state level in all branches.
- Increase the viability and visibility of the contributions and achievements of Hispanic Oregonians statewide.
OCHA is actively engaged in its statutory work focused on 7 Strategic Priorities each biennium. These are:
- Jobs and the economy
- Justice, safety and policing
- Stable families and housing
- Environmental Justice/Equity
- Civic engagement
Meet the Commissioners
Melina Moran is a second-generation Latina of Mexican and Irish heritage, born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. She is the mother of two active children and enjoys exploring the outdoors with them.
Ms. Moran is a Family Nurse Practitioner and a Doctoral candidate at Frontier Nursing University. Her doctoral project focuses on health equity and policy, she will earn her Doctor of Nursing Practice early 2023. She earned her Master of Science degree from Frontier Nursing University and her Bachelor of Science from Portland State University.
Melina has been in the medical field for 20 years working as an ER/critical care flight nurse, family medicine/primary care provider and has been a member of federal and local disaster teams working over-seas in Haiti and the UK.
In addition to her extensive work experience, Melina is a member of The National Nurse Led Care Consortium, Central Oregon Health Quality Alliance Grant Committee, and volunteers at the Latino Community Association of Central Oregon.
As a member of the Latino/a/x community, she is passionate about being a change agent in her local, state, and national communities. Her passion is health equity and vows to work toward decreasing disparities and improving health outcomes.
In February 2022, Melina was appointed to the Commission of Hispanic Affairs by Governor Kate Brown.
My name is Josefina Nury Riggs. I arrived in United States from Venezuela on July 4, 1995, with my son Zydlei who was 3 years old. We lived in El Paso, Texas for over a year and then moved to Troutdale, Oregon.
My son and I went through many circumstances and obstacles, and it was a difficult time for us. I met my husband Bill while living in Gresham and after several years of being together, we decided to move to Redmond.
Since arriving in the US, I have worked as a volunteer at Head Start, Cascade Aids Project (Apoyo Latino) and Catholic Charities. While living in Central Oregon, I became an activist for CAUSA, Jobs with Justice, Strong Voice and I am a Board member of Rural Organizing Project (ROP).
I began working as a Personal Support Worker and a member of SEIU local 503. I have participated in different activities related to the union and the rights of people who, like me, volunteer to aid people with disabilities. In my case, I have spent 4 years working with children in need and in particular, my current client, who is very special to me. I will be teaching a workshop about Alzheimer and other dementias in Central Oregon, part of a program from Alzheimer’s Association.
My path to the US is not that different from those who emigrate from other countries or from those who seek a safe place to live, work or develop as individuals.
I enjoy work for the community and with my background and experience I will like to work more close with the Latino community and serve as Commission of Hispanic Affair.
I was running for Redmond City Council in the last election period 2018, and it was a good experience for me and one way or another I will continue my work with my community in here or in a different level.
Jonathan Chavez Baez was born in Cuautla Morelos, Mexico. He immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 10. He graduated from Phoenix High School, received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Southern Oregon University and his Master of Arts in Education: Educational Leadership and Policy in Higher Education from Portland State University. For the past 12 years, Jonathan has been working for Southern Oregon University in various capacities. Currently, he is the Assistant Director for Latino/a/x Programs at SOU. In May 2020, the SOU President appointed Jonathan to form the Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Team. Throughout his career, Jonathan has devoted his time working with the Latino/a/x community to increase high school graduation, college enrollment, parent engagement, support to undocumented/DACAmented students, and the creation of numerous programs for underrepresented students. He also has over 18 years of experience working with youth in Southern Oregon. In addition, he is currently the Co-Director of Academia Latina hosted at Southern Oregon University. Jonathan's passion is the implementation of programs in higher education institutions that can help guide underrepresented students obtain a college education. Also at SOU, Jonathan is now chair of the Committee for Equity & Diversity (CED), Enrollment Management Council, Diversity Scholarship and Strategic Planning Committees. In his free time, he is a member of numerous boards and organizations that include the Oregon Community Foundation's Latino Partnership Program, the Southern Oregon Latino Scholarship Fund, Oregon Shakespeare Festival's Cultural Connections, Latinx/a/o Interagency Committee, and Listo Core Champions Advisory Council. In March 2017, Jonathan was appointed to the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs (OCHA) by Governor Kate Brown. He is now serving his second term with OCHA.
Ontario, Forest Grove
Gustavo is the
executive director of EUVALCREE, based in Eastern Oregon, an organization that
develops the social capital and leadership capacity of community members.
Gustavo is appointed by Governor Kate Brown to sit on four positions as: 1)
Commissioner on the Oregon Advocacy Commission-Commission on Hispanic Affairs
and 2) Board Member for the Cultural Development Board for the State of
Oregon-Oregon Cultural Trust, 3) Environmental Justice Council and 4) Oregon
State Board of Education. He received his Bachelor of Science in Psychology
with a Neuroscience emphasis from Pacific University and is completing his
Master's in Business Administration from Boise State University. In addition to
continuing his education and managing a non-profit organization, Gustavo works
as an independent consultant supporting businesses to improve their economies
of scale, strategize to develop competitive advantage and increase business
Katya Butler is a proud Latin Indigenous queer femme and neurodivergent
activist, community organizer, instructor, and business owner. Over the last
5 years, they owned and operated a BIPOC/LGBTQ+/femme/neurodivergent centric
company called Klip Klop Events and Productions, which provides event, media
and resourcing/advocacy services for those communities in Portland! They have produced hundreds of
events, raised thousands of dollars, and especially over the last three
years, has provided resources, media accessibility and mutual aid for
hundreds of individuals. |
And as a purveyor of community engagement and creativity, they strongly
believe that community, health and activism is best when it's multi faceted,
inclusive and unconventional! They prioritize diversity, equity, and
inclusivity and foster a variety spaces, leaders and organizations that are
safe, mindful and celebrate our differences and potentials for the inherent
good, abundance, and success in everyone!
Motto: The future is bright with you in it!
Las Cruces, NM
was born in Las Cruces, NM in October of 1973, the second oldest of five
siblings. She was raised mostly by her mother on the poor side of town, and
while they didn't have much, they were well-cared for. Christina graduated
from Las Cruces High School before pursuing a degree in finance in college.
However, she had to leave college to work and help support her family.|
Christina started working for a small loan company before being hired by a
local non-profit organization that assisted individuals with barriers to
employment through a state-sponsored on-the-job training program. Although
she has worked in customer service, retail, and caregiving, she found her
passion in working to help others.
In 2017, Christina moved to Oregon and enrolled in Lane Community College
to complete her degree in Business Administration in 2020. Soon after
graduating, she was hired by the Oregon Employment Department in the Pandemic
Unemployment Assistance division before transferring to the Central Trade Act
Unit, where she currently provides case management services to individuals
who have lost their jobs due to foreign trade. She advocates for these
individuals to help them get the necessary training and find suitable
employment. In addition to her job, Christina is also pursuing a
certification in data analytics.
Christina has completed a leadership cohort with Basic Rights Oregon and is
currently enrolled in a Leadership Lab sponsored by the Oregon Employment Department.
During her free time, Christina enjoys working on crafts, spending time
with her partner and pets, reading, and journaling. She is also learning to
sew and paint with acrylics. Christina is a member of the Fraternal Order of
Eagles and the Loyal Order of Moose, where she volunteers her time whenever
Looking toward the future, Christina plans to complete a degree in Public
Administration and continue working to improve the lives of Oregonians.
Representative Ricki Ruiz was born in Portland, Oregon and raised in the Rockwood Neighborhood of Gresham as a proud son of immigrants from Michoacán, Mexico. His upbringing is what inspired him to pursue a career in politics and organizing.
Before graduating college in 2016, Ricki and his close friends started a community organization called the Rockwood Initiative. This organization aimed to establish safe places for youth to play the sport of soccer in the Rockwood community. In 2015, Ricki and friends successfully secured over $100,000 to build a set of futsal courts (small-sided soccer fields) in the Rockwood community with the purpose of creating a place in which youth and families can go and play soccer without having to pay a fee.
In 2017. Ricki was elected as the youngest school board member in the Reynolds School District at age 22 and was re-elected again in 2019. In 2020, Ricki went on to become the next State Legislator for House District 50 where he was able to serve on numerous committees such as the House Committees on Education, Economic Recovery and Prosperity, Human Services (Vice-Chair), and the Joint Ways & Means Subcommittee on Education. Ricki recently championed the Menstrual Dignity Act, which is the country’s most inclusive menstrual product policy.