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About OCHA

Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs (OCHA)

Monday, February 12, 2024, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm

To attend via Zoom follow this link to register: CLICK HERE

Agenda Link: CLICK HERE

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.


Our Bylaws - CLICK HERE


OCHA is actively engaged 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

View our Biennium Report:  CLICK HERE for 2021-23 Biennium Report

Meet the Commissioners

Bend

Born during a directorship and raised in the aftermath of military occupation, Joanne learned from an early age that each individual has power to impact the community they live in.  As a child she grew up in rural Panama at her grandparents’ home where she saw from her elders resiliency, ingenuity, self determination, love for family, friends and community.  Later on during her teens she lived in the city of Panama where she graduated from the Colegio de la Salle.

At the turn of the century she left her home in search of freedom and safety to be the most authentic and fullest version of herself and since then she has advocated for underrepresented communities in a variety of ways.  Her children are beloved teachers, mentors and partners who have inspired her work within a variety of organizations and networks where she has led organizing efforts across Oregon to support Immigrants, LGBTQ2S+ and women’s rights.  Joanne learned to love poetry from her father and she continues to enjoy writing, daydreaming and envisioning possibilities. 


Salem

Nancy Ayala holds a degree in Communication Sciences with a focus on photography and digital advertising. Currently, she is engaged in work within the realms of radio and digital media, where she specializes in crafting content strategies tailored to the Spanish-speaking community across Oregon. Before relocating to the Willamette Valley, she carved out a professional career in Mexico City,  gaining invaluable experience with companies like SAP, Grupo Imagen, and various advertising agencies. Her journey has been marked by a transition from journalism to content creation, during which she has assisted businesses and community organizations, such as Radio Poder 98.3 FM and Mano a Mano Family Center, in connecting with the Hispanic market. Her strategies extend beyond language, encompassing culture and trends to foster a deeper connection. For those interested in delving further into her background please visit her LinkedIn profile that offers a more comprehensive overview of her curriculum. Beyond her professional pursuits, she cherishes free time, often spending it hiking with her three dogs and indulging in movies known for their captivating narratives and stunning photography. She is eager to bring her diverse experiences and expertise to the Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs to advance the well-being of our Hispanic community in Oregon or as she likes to say 'oregonianos'.

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.

Bend

Dr. 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 t​he​m.​​

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. ​


Ashland

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 visibility.

Portland, OR
Isaiah 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
Christina 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 possible.

Looking toward the future, Christina plans to complete a degree in Public Administration and continue working to improve the lives of Oregonians.
Portland, OR

​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.

Aloha

WLnsvey (wins-vay) Campos represents Oregon Senate District 18 which includes Aloha, South Hillsboro, and Beaverton. Wlnsvey was raised in Bandon, Oregon by a single father in a low-income household. As the proud daughter of immigrants, she was confronted as a child with the disparity between those who were afforded opportunities and those who were not, regardless of how hard they worked. Senator Campos previously represented Oregon House District 28. When she first assumed office on January 11, 2021, she became the youngest woman ever elected to the Oregon House of Representatives. In 2022, she was elected to the Oregon State Senate, becoming the youngest State Senator in Oregon history. In addition to her position as a legislator, she has formerly worked as a housing case manager and currently works to support school-based health systems in her second job.

Senator Campos has championed progressive policies that center the most vulnerable Oregonians. She has worked to expand access to healthcare, address food insecurity, and tackle issues tied to housing instability. As the former Vice Chair of the House Housing Committee, she has helped to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars in financial assistance to landlords, tenants, and community organizers to address the State’s housing crisis. As the current co-chair of the Ways and Means Human Services subcommittee, she has prioritized investments in behavioral health, community-based care services, and early childhood resources.​​


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 Terrence Saunders, Interim Executive Director with "PRR" included in the subject line: terrence.saunders@oac.oregon.gov

OR

2. Mail a written request to this address:

Oregon Advocacy Commissions Office
PO Box 17550
Portland, OR 97217



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