About Oregon Center for
We believe that all Oregonians deserve a real opportunity to thrive. This vision of an equitable Oregon won’t be achieved by accident or by chance. Good public policy is essential.
For all Oregonians to thrive, we need inclusive economic policies that ensure all workers, not just the wealthy few, enjoy the benefits of our economy. We need investments in education, health care, and other vital public services that protect the vulnerable and create opportunity for all. We need a just tax system that generates sufficient revenue for those essential investments.
The Oregon Center for Public Policy’s mission is to achieve economic justice for all Oregonians through research, analysis, and advocacy.
Economic justice. We believe in the equitable distribution of the economy’s benefits and a progressive tax system.
Stand with the poor. We advance solutions that benefit all Oregonians, with a special focus on the interests of low-income Oregonians.
Good government works. Government plays a necessary role in improving the lives of Oregonians. We are vigilant and critical in the pursuit of improved effectiveness and efficiency of our public structures.
Equity and inclusion. We believe in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our policy work, our outreach, our collaborations, and our internal operations. Read our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement.
How You Can Get Involved
Meet Our Staff
Alejandro leads the Center, providing strategic direction and ensuring the Center’s sustainability and adherence to its mission. He brings more than 20 years of policy advocacy and nonprofit leadership experience in public health, human rights and environmental policy, as well as a seven-year stint in the philanthropic sector. Alejandro holds advanced degrees in ecology and law. He enjoys hiking, birding, cooking and most of all, spending time with his son. Pronouns: he/him/el
Business Operations Manager
Harper keeps the Center’s office and operations running smoothly, including bookkeeping, financial tracking and reporting, budgeting, human resources, and network administration. They hold a bachelor's degree in Sociology from Kent State University. Harper is a naturalist, wildlife educator, community gardener, photographer and herbalist. Pronouns: they/she
Daniel is responsible for the coordination and integration of the Center's research, publications, communications, advocacy, and outreach activities. He also leads the Center's tax work. He earned his master's degree in Public Policy at Oregon State University and has been a campaign manager, dishwasher, security guard, and policy analyst in the past. Daniel has written book chapters and academic journal articles but would rather spend his time with his family. Pronouns: he/him
Kathy’s research and advocacy work focuses on amplifying worker power and broadening bargaining rights. In addressing critical labor issues, Kathy’s approach is rooted in her nearly decade-long experience within the labor movement. Her prior work includes organizing nursing home and Amazon warehouse workers, and supporting the rights of fast-food workers. She earned her master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of California, Irvine. In her down time, she enjoys hikes, watching scary movies, and taking care of her plants.
Tyler Mac Innis
Tyler supports OCPP's policy research agenda by analyzing tax, budget, and economic data. He earned his master's degree in Community Development Policy at the University of New Hampshire, and previously directed the Welcome Home Coalition, where he helped secure significant new investments in homelessness services in the Portland region. Pronouns: he/him
Juan Carlos Ordóñez
Juan Carlos manages the Center's communication strategies and media relations, collaborates with coalition partners, and is a key member of the Center's policy team. He’s a graduate of Harvard Law School, a former litigator, and former freelance writer. An immigrant from Guatemala, he’s a father of two kids attending Portland Public Schools. Pronouns: he/him
Roger makes sure that the Center’s fundraising efforts stay on track, connecting supporters and volunteers to the Center’s work. A father of three, Roger holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Planning, Public Policy and Management from the University of Oregon. Some mornings you may see Roger jogging over the Sellwood Bridge to get to work. Pronouns: he/him
OCPP Board of Directors
Angie Garcia is a native Oregonian and proud granddaughter of migrant workers from Fabens Texas. A graduate from Portland State University, 1995 Bachelor of Arts and 1997 Masters of Social Work. She has worked in the field of Domestic Violence working at a host of non-profit organizations, Programa Hispano and Lifeworks NW. She has had the honor of working with an array of vulnerable populations, children, domestic violence survivors, the aging, and those in recovery. She has also worked for Multnomah County managing Child Abuse Prevention contracts, the State of Oregon as a permancy worker and since 2004 has been the owner and director of Escuela Viva, a bilingual Early Childhood program in Portland Oregon.
Jes Larson works for Washington County Department of Housing Services where she leads the team implementing the voter approved measure to end chronic homelessness in the region. For the past 20 years, she has been working to ensure a stable and affordable home for everyone in our region. Previously, Jes spent a decade as a case manager helping seniors and people with mental health conditions move from homelessness into housing stability. Later she helped to build and direct the Welcome Home Coalition, a grassroots movement that led successful campaigns to secure new funding for affordable homes, and then built regional housing policy programs at Metro. In addition to affordable housing, Jes likes cats, marching bands, and a fried egg on everything.
Mark Brenner is an economist and the co-director of the Labor Education and Research Center (LERC) at the University of Oregon, which is dedicated to strengthening worker organizations and raising living standards for working Oregonians. At LERC, he both studies and teaches leadership development, strategic research, and organizing. Brenner is also well known for his decade-long tenure directing Labor Notes, a Detroit-based non-profit dedicated to “putting the movement back in the labor movement.”, where he co-authored several books and hundreds of news articles. He has a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California Riverside.
Karen Jacobson is a CPA/CFP® member of the accounting firm of Ivey, Jacobson & Company LLC, emphasizing service to Oregon small businesses and their owners. She has a long history of board service for non-profits, has administered political campaigns, and is a founding member of Willamette Women Democrats.
Phil Barnhart served in the Oregon House of Representatives from 2001 to 2018, representing House District 11, encompassing much of central Lane and Linn Counties. Phil chaired the House Revenue Committee and the Joint Tax Credit Committee during much of his time in office. He is a graduate of South Eugene High School, the University of Oregon (where he got his B.A. and law degree), and the California School of Professional Psychology (where he obtained a PhD in psychology). Phil is both a former practicing attorney and psychologist.
Grace Charles, CPA is a manager at McDonald Jacobs, a Portland based accounting firm that specializes in nonprofit accounting. She has been in public accounting since 2016 and has expertise working with various non-profits, including community organizations, member associations, and foundations.
Chelsea Watson is the Field and Research Director for the Oregon AFL-CIO, a federation of over 40 international and national unions and 400+ local unions that represent workers across the state. Her role includes directly assisting affiliated unions with their priorities, such as organizing campaigns, contract negotiations, public policy advocacy and workforce training and development. As leader of the Oregon Strong Voice Program she works closely with labor and community-based organizations statewide to maximize collective power in the fight for equity and economic justice. Her background prior to starting this position in March of 2016 includes five years of professional experience with the AFL-CIO's community organization, Working America, and an M.S. in Advanced Research Methods from the University of Essex.
Bruce Goldberg is a Professor at the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health and a nationally recognized consultant on health policy and the organization and delivery of health services. Bruce served two Oregon Governors, as the Director of the Oregon Office for Health Policy, Director of the Oregon Department of Human Services and then was the founding Director of the Oregon Health Authority. In that role, Bruce led Oregon's nationally recognized health reforms transforming Oregon’s Medicaid system to one based on a model of coordinated care. His other experiences span time as an administrator of large complex organizations, a practicing clinician, teacher/academician, a county health officer, medical director for a Medicaid managed care organization and Clinical Director for the US Public Health Services in Zuni, New Mexico.
Amanda Manjarrez is the Public Policy and Government Affairs Director of the Foundation for a Better Oregon. Previously, Amanda was the Director of Advocacy at Latino Network, where she developed the organization’s statewide policy agenda, oversaw civic leadership programs, and managed coalition relationships at the federal, state, and local level. She has also served as Advocacy Director for the Coalition of Communities of Color, and as Chief Strategist at the Center for Civic Policy in Albuquerque. Amanda brings creative leadership and a deep commitment to promoting social justice in her community.
Jenny Lee is the Deputy Director at the Coalition of Communities of Color. Previously, she served as Advocacy Director at the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Housing Policy Director at Neighborhood Partnerships, and the Public Policy Director at Hawaii Appleseed. Throughout her career she has worked to advance racial, social, and economic justice through policy and legislative advocacy in the nonprofit sector. Jenny holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Oregon.
Phillip Kennedy-Wong is a long-time public policy advocate in Oregon with deep experience working on budget issues in the state legislature. A graduate of Western State Center's leadership institute on community organizing, he has nearly two decades of expertise in community relations, political communications, and legislative coalition building. Previously, Phillip led Oregon Food Bank’s state advocacy program where he was successful in securing public funds and advancing policies to fight hunger. He has also served as Government Relations Manager for Multnomah County and Director Of Public Policy for Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon.