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About OCHA

Our vision:

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.   

Our mission: 

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 eng
aged in its statutory work focused on 7 Strategic Priorities each biennium.  These are:
  1. Education
  2. Jobs and the economy
  3. Healthcare
  4. Justice, safety and policing
  5. Stable families and housing
  6. Environmental Justice/Equity
  7. Civic engagement

Meet the Commissioners

Portland

​Linda Castillo is a bilingual, bicultural first generation Latina of Mexican heritage. Her parents are from the Zacatecas and Michoacán. Born and raised in Northern California as the eldest daughter of farm workers, she was the first in her family to graduate from high school, attend college, and complete graduate school with a Masters in Clinical Psychology. Her upbringing was filled with experiences of and addressing poverty, violence, sexism, discrimination, social justice, protests in the streets for Chicano civil rights, civic engagement, community organizing, the power of resilience, authentic connection and trust building in communities of color. She is blessed to have a 26-year history working in local government in Clark and Multnomah County, as mental health consultant, program manager and director, and additional years, in nonprofits and in direct service to communities of color and managing, providing technical assistance to diverse teams who work with diverse communities in the Bay Area, Chicago and the Pacific NW.
She is a one of the founders of Latino Network, Bienestar de la Famila and other programs. She helped lead the team that developed the Communities of Color Organizational Assessment tool for Cultural Competence and has given input to the next tool on Assessing Cultural Responsiveness. She has served on the Boards of Milagro Theatre, Portland Schools Foundation/All Hands Raised and Latino Network and, for several years, the President of MANA de Oregon, a Latina organization. Independently, she works as a diversity & equity consultant, facilitator, and mental health cultural specialist. She was in Class 7 of the Portland State Leadership Fellows Program in the Hatfield School of Government and was in Class 1 of the EMERGE Program. As a staff member at Latino Network, she served as program manager for Unid@s Leadership and Civic Engagement Programs. This summer she became co-chair, along with Lee Po Cha, of the New Portlander’s Policy Council of the City of Portland. Together they work with a multitude of Refugee and Immigrant organization who also strive to improve the lives of our growing and diverse communities. Currently, she works at the City of Portland in the office of Neighborhood Involvement’s New Portlanders Program whose charge is immigrant and refugee integration.
Originally, from Northern California, she has long ties in Portland, Oregon where she raised twin daughters and survived the life of a ‘soccer mom’. She enjoys art, music, dance, foreign films, foodie adventures, team sports and relays. Her passion is equity, diversity inclusion, and social justice. Her mission and vision is capacitating healthy community, sharing relevant education and opportunities for growth & advocacy, and effective recruitment of grass roots & grass tops leaders to take pivotal & influential roles in the determination of their own futures and that of their representative communities.​

Ontario, Forest Grove

​Gustavo is the executive director of EUVALCREE in Ontario, Oregon, an organization that develops the social capital and leadership capacity of community members. Gustavo is appointed by Governor Kate Brown to sit on two 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. 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 minority owned businesses to improve their economies of scale, strategize to develop competitive advantage and increase business visibility.

Ashland

Jonathan Chavez Baez was born in Cuautla Morelos, Mexico. He immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 10. He is a graduate of Phoenix High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Southern Oregon University and his Masters of Arts in Education: Educational Leadership and Policy in Higher Education from Portland State University. For the past 10 years, Jonathan has been working for Southern Oregon University in various capacities. Currently, he is the Assistant Director for Latino/a/x Programs & Outreach Support and part of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Team. Throughout his career, Jonathan has devoted his time working with the Latino community to increase high school graduation, college enrollment, parent engagement, assistance to undocumented students, and the creation of numerous programs for underrepresented students. He also has over 17 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 a part of the Committee for Equity & Diversity, 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 by Governor Kate Brown.​

Eugene

Ashley Espinoza is the Sector Strategy Director of the Lane County Workforce Board, Lane Workforce Partnership.   She has proudly served the Eugene/Springfield and surrounding communities for over 10 years and is strong advocate for her community. She works hard to open doors between vulnerable, underrepresented communities and the larger community. Her passion and expertise is economic development, community & industry collaboration, and workforce training. Ashley was the recipient of the 2018 United Way of Lane County and The Register-Guards Volunteer of the Year award. She is the co-founder and President of Latino Professionals Connect, the only Latino Professionals networking group in Lane County. She serves on the development committee for Food for Lane County and is a member of the leadership council for The Oregon Community Foundation. Ashley is currently a participant in the 2019 cohort of Emerge Oregon, which is a state-based training program exclusively focused on women to change the face of power, politics, and leadership in this country in order to have policies that are responsive to all. Ashley is a first generation Latina of Mexican heritage. Her parents are from the beautiful state of Sinaloa, Mexico.  Born in San Diego, California her family made the decision to uproot their lives and start new in Junction City, Oregon when she was 2 years old. Ashley dedicates her free time to family, hosting friends and serving her community.​




Hillsboro

He was born in San Antonio, Texas. Parents moved to Portland during WWII to work in shipyards. After the war, the family transitioned to summer farm-work—living in migrant worker camps throughout the Willamette valley and finishing the season picking hops in Yakima valley. At 17, Gallegos spent his last summer working in the fields. He spent the next ten years working in the Portland shipyards while completing his Viet Nam era military duty with one year in the regular US Air Force and three years with the Oregon Air National Guard.

While working in the shipyard, he also attended night school at Portland Community College and then Portland State University. At PSU he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with a minor in sociology and a certificate in social work. He went directly into the MSW program at Portland state where his practicum experiences included an internship at the JD Long Juvenile Detention Center; Family Counseling (with Latino and Native American families) in NW Portland and community organizing with SE Impact; and as a Teaching Assistant with a student clinical unit at the Salem mental hospital and finally as an instructor during his final semester teaching a course on “Chicano Mental Health” to first-year MSW students. During this time, he also became involved in the Chicano movement, studied Spanish and Social Change (with Ivan Illich) in Cuernavaca, Mexico, started (with others, like Dr. John Longres as club advisor) the Chicano Student Union at PSU, attended a seminal conference on Chicano curriculum in Las Vegas, NM, and wrote a successful grant to address Chicano curriculum in the PSU MSW program.

After graduating from the MSW program at PSU, Gallegos accepted a position with the Chicano Indian Study Center of Oregon (CISCO) to provide family counseling services to Latino and Native American families in the Portland School District. After a year, the funding of this program ran out and he moved to a position as the director of a University of Oregon Teacher Corp program. He was out-stationed at Mt. Angel College where he was in charge of a Bi-lingual Bi-Cultural unit of Latino student educators who were assigned teaching internship in the Woodburn school district. Mt. Angel College lost its accreditation and disbanded at this time. Gallegos, along with other Latinos, assumed leadership of the college and transformed it into Colegio Cesar Chavez.

After securing accreditation for the Colegio, Gallegos went on to pursue his doctorate in cultural perspectives in mental health. After completing the doctorate (as a CSWE/NIMH minority fellow), his first academic job was that of Associate Director of the Indian Social Work Education program at Portland State. From there he was recruited to the University of Washington to help them develop a minority social work curriculum and that is where in 1982 he published the article for which he is cited as initiating the concept of cultural competence. While at the UW he was instrumental in the founding of Consejo in Seattle—a Latino mental health counseling agency that later went state-wide. Besides developing minority macro-social work content for the School of Social Work at UW, he was involved in extensive work on coalition building with Seattle’s communities of color.

After the UW he was a faculty member at San Diego State University from 1983-1988. While there, besides his regular teaching responsibilities, he secured and administered a minority training and research grants from the National Institute of Mental Health. In 1983 was awarded an NIMH Promising Researcher award spending a year at the NIMH Prevention Center and working with the Coalition of Spanish Speaking Mental Health Organizations in Washington DC. Following this, did a post-doc at the University of Maryland in Mental Health Research Management and the post-doc was followed by a Fellowship award with the Gerontological Society of America.

He returned to Portland in 1989 and established the Social Work Program at the University of Portland and also started a MEChA program there as well. He formally retired from his full-time academic career after more than forty years of teaching and research mainly related to policy issues of socially marginalized groups.

He spent twenty years (1990-2010) on the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities (Portland) where he helped to launch the low-income (migrant) housing initiative. As owner of Western Research Associates (a minority enterprise business since 1976), he has also been a consultant to various Latino organizations, OCHA, OHDC, and the Latino Network. He has led delegations to Oaxaca Mexico and taught summer courses regularly in Morelia, Mexico. He is was on the Advisory Council for the Latino Network Latino Leadership Project and conducting a needs assessment for the Adelante program of Volunteers of America. As a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum and past president of their Board of Directors, he continues to advocate regarding diversity issues for the state. He has received awards for his civil rights work, published numerous articles on Latino health and welfare. Elected in 2012 as an Oregon state representative (district 30) he served two term in the Legislature.

Semi-retired, Dr. Gallegos continues to offer his consulting services in training, social research, and program development. He currently serves the state of Oregon as a commission on the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs. As Professor Emeritus, he teaches occasional courses on social policy and social justice at local Universities. He lives in Hillsboro with his wife of over 30 years, Sheila, and his daughter Amelia who lives in San Francisco. Their cat Potato and Joe’s dog, Maya, complete the family.​​​

Corvallis
Daniel López-Cevallos​ is Associate Professor of Ethnic Studies, and Assistant Vice Provost of Undergraduate Education at Oregon State University (OSU). From 2008 - 2012, he was Assistant Professor of Community Health at Western Oregon University. His research focuses on the intersections of race/ethnicity, gender, class, and other socioeconomic and sociocultural constructs, and their relationship to health and health care issues. Furthermore, he is interested in the development and implementation of community, institutional, and policy-level strategies to better serve Latinx and other marginalized communities.

Dr. López-Cevallos has served on the boards of Upstream Public Health and the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation, and was a founding board member of the Oregon Latino Health Coalition and Casa Latinos Unidos de Benton County. Over the past decade, he has collaborated with Benton County Health Services and the Oregon Health Authority on a number of Latinx Health Equity initiatives. Dr. López-Cevallos earned his PhD in Public Health, with concentrations in International Health and Health Policy at OSU.​
Redmond

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.

Salem

​Marisa Salinas graduated George Fox University with Bachelor of Arts in Social Work/Sociology and Spanish. Ms. Salinas later attended and graduated from Willamette University College of Law. After law school, Ms. Salinas was one of just two recipients in Oregon of a two year fellowship from Equal Justice Works (formerly the National Association for Public Interest Law). Ms. Salinas has dedicated her career to working with diverse communities in Oregon and ensuring that individuals’ civil rights are protected. Ms. Salinas’ interest in civil rights began with personal experiences as someone that is both multiracial and cultural, the grandchild of migrant farmworkers and the sibling of a person with disabilities. Ms. Salinas has used her skills and dedication by working for organizations such as Legal Aid Services of Oregon Farmworkers Program, the Oregon Judicial Department Citizen Review Board and volunteered as a board member on the Eugene Civilian Review.

Lake Oswego

For more than 20 years, Representative Andrea Salinas has worked on the front lines of politics, to protect and pass policies that help women and children, working people, seniors and the environment. Andrea first served as an intern to Senator Dianne Feinstein in her San Francisco district office, then as legislative staff to Senator Harry Reid, as tax and trade policy advisor to Congressman Pete Stark and finally as a district aide to Congresswoman Darlene Hooley.
 
Prior to becoming a legislator, Andrea worked as an advocate in Salem to help provide Oregon families with a fair shot by increasing the minimum wage, fighting climate change and providing comprehensive reproductive health care coverage to all Oregon women.
 
Andrea was appointed to the legislature in September 2017 and won her first election in 2018. Since that time, she has been working to lower the price of prescription drugs, prevent bankruptcy from medical debt, increase the legal remedies for victims of strangulation, and improve sexual harassment investigations in K-12 schools.
 
Andrea quickly assumed leadership roles in the legislature where she serves as the Chair of the House Committee on Health Care, Co-Chair of the Oregon Complete Count Committee and Assistant Majority Leader.
 
In addition, Andrea serves on the newly formed House Subcommittee on Behavioral Health, Joint Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Services and the Energy & Environment Committee, the Willamette Falls Locks Commission and the Oregon Public Employees’ Benefit Board.
 
Andrea earned her BA in psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. She lives in Lake Oswego with her husband Chris, daughter Amelia and labradoodle Cooper.​


Public Records Requests (PRR)

The Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office (OACO) responds to requests for public records in the general way described in the Oregon Department of Administrative Services' (DAS) Public Records Requests policy (pdf).

The DAS Public Records Requests Fees and Charges policy outlines the fees the department charges for records, and the process the agency uses to fulfill requests.

Please choose one of the following methods to request public records from OACO:
1. Email your request to Lucy Baker, the Administrator of the OACO with "PRR" included in the subject line.

OR

2. Mail a written request to this address:

Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office
421 SW Oak St., Suite 770
Portland, OR 97204

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