Calaix Alexander She/Her Co-Executive Director & Finance and Operations Director
Calaix (like "ballet") has been a social justice warrior from an early age. She is warm, yet assertive and passionate in her care and support of our most marginalized community members. When she's not streamlining systems, you can catch Calaix cracking jokes on stage or slaying monsters in Dungeons and Dragons.
Maritza Arango She/They Co-Executive Director & Campaigns and Programs Director
Intersectional feminist, Latinx, neurodivergent, creative, activist that bikes in the city with a service dog. Maritza has a background with programs and projects within very diverse cultural and educational settings, with a strong action framework on Diversity, Equity, Accessibility and Inclusion (DEAI). She brings to the team more than a decade of experience in formal and informal education, museums & community social justice work, and a lifelong experience in yoga.
They started their journey as a social justice advocate in her early college years back in Colombia. It was during her time studying at the Sorbonne University in Paris that she got officially immersed in both theoretical and action based social work. Maritza has a multicultural and trilingual life experience that has provided her with a strong passion to deeply connect and understand diverse communities around her.
Pedro Evenezer They/Them Trainings Coordinator
As a young person, Pedro's climate awareness was first nurtured by the thoughtful instruction of early educators and then ignited by their first hand experience living through some rather intense climactic events. As an adult, Pedro hopes to build community power through collective skill sharing and escalated actions. They care deeply in the tradition of knowledge & resource sharing, and its transformative ability to help others realize their own agency & autonomy. When not vigorously typing away at a computer, Pedro enjoys riding their bike, reading, and dancing.
Ellie Gluhosky She/Her Campaign Organizer
Ellie got her official start in community organizing in her beloved college town, Missoula, MT, where she focused on movement building primarily around housing and environmental justice, and voting rights. During the Covid-19 pandemic, she switched from organizing to direct service work to help community members secure housing. She is thrilled to be back in an organizer role and eager to continue advocating for and with her community. Outside of work, she can be found on top of the nearest mountain, or horizontally on her couch watching and reading copious amounts of nerd content.
Abby Griffith She/Her Bus Riders Unite! Community Organizer
I am a person with a disability, and I rely entirely on public transit to get around. I am committed to advocate for a better transportation system in our city, because I strongly believe that those of us who cannot drive also have a right to get where we need to go safely. My vision is to bring our community together and advocate for safer, fareless transit. A fun thing about me is I love traveling, especially taking the local bus to explore nature!
Casey Lay She/Her Development Manager
From the deserts of Namibia, the mountains of Colorado, and back to her home in Oregon, Casey has been working in the nonprofit sector for over a decade. Outside of work, she serves as Tualatin Riverkeepers Board Vice President and spends much of her time outdoors and woodworking.
Marina Sáenz She/Her Communications and Narrative Strategy Manager
Marina is a Queer Tejana educator and community animator from the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. She has been a part of various social justice movements for over 20 years and holds a Masters in Education. Marina is also a fandanguerx at heart, studying Son Jarocho music of the sotavento region of Veracruz.
Avery Temple They/She/He Housing Justice Community Organizer
I'm a queer, genderfluid, multiracial person of Indigenous and settler descent. To me, housing justice means that everyone, no matter their background or demographic, has a safe, caring and kind place to rest. Within my work, I center education and connection because I believe that successful movements require strong relationships. In all containers that I organize in, I strive to create safe spaces for people to learn dream, collaborate, grieve, struggle, and love together.
I also co-founded The Healing Underground, which is an abolitionist, healing justice, and arts grassroots collective in Portland, Oregon. When I'm not organizing, you can find me with my hands in clay at a local ceramic studio, writing, reading, daydreaming, and eating with or feeding my loved ones.
Allison Carvalho She/Her Board Member
Allison Carvalho is a former domestic worker, housing organizer, curriculum designer, facilitator, and Chief of Staff turned strategy consultant. She has worked with small businesses, academic institutions, residents, nonprofits, and governments to develop strategic partnerships, equity strategies, community engagement opportunities, and communication plans. Equity, access, and healing are at the heart of her work & the communities she comes from. Allison enjoys walking around Mount Tabor, camping, “check all that apply” questions, and the music of Carlos Santana.
Rebeka Dawit She/Her Associate Attorney, Crag Law Center
Rebeka has been passionate about working in the environmental justice space since her coursework at UC Santa Cruz, specifically at her internship with Safe Ag Safe Schools, an environmental justice organization dedicated to protecting school children from pesticide exposure. After seeing the gaps in the law that leave environmental justice communities vulnerable, she decided to go to law school. Now, she works as Crag's primarily environmental and climate justice focused attorney. When not at work, she enjoys hiking, embroidering, baking, painting, and cultivating her apartment jungle from various local plant nurseries.
Aaron Golub he/him Board Treasurer Professor and Director, Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University
Dr. Golub has twenty-five years of experience working in the advocacy and academic arenas on issues of transportation equity and justice. Examples of his past work include his involvement in advocacy efforts to affect the equity outcomes of several transportation plans in the San Francisco Bay Area, his work on a federally-funded toolkit to advance transportation equity practice in the US, and his research support for two civil rights legal cases in the area of transportation plans and policies. He teaches courses at PSU on urban planning research methods, environmental justice, public transit planning, and transportation policy.
Tristan Isaac He/Him Interim/Vice Chair, OPAL Board of Directors
Tristan first got involved with OPAL in 2017 as an organizer-in-training and quickly became an active member of Bus Riders Unite before joining the steering committee and OPAL Board of Directors in 2019. Now as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors as well as the BRU representative on TriMet's Transit Equity Advisory Committee, Tristan seeks to promote a vision of robust, accessible and safe public transit as an all-encompassing strategy to address climate change, air quality, pedestrian safety, urban mobility, social atomization and much more. Tristan enjoys critical media analysis of all kinds, anarchist theory, afrobeat music and listening to podcasts while playing indie video games.
Jamie Newsome She/Her Board Member
Jamie was born and raised in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. After graduating from High-School, she attended Indiana State University where she majored in Human and Environmental Systems. Environmental Justice has always been a passion of Jamie’s since she was a kid. Growing up, she would read natural disaster books and had an interest in Weather and Climate. Newsome has held positions at the Bureau of Land Management as a Park Ranger and OMSI as an Outdoor Science Educator. Newsome currently works at ELSO Inc as their Wayfinders Program Director and teaches Black and Brown kids about Outdoor STEAM Education. In her free time, she enjoys hikes, working out, traveling and trying new restaurants.
Deborah Olson She/Her Bus Riders Unite! Steering Committee
I have been doing volunteer work since the last century (Yes, I am that old!). I joined OPAL and Bus Riders Unite! around when BRU persuaded TriMet to allow more time on a single bus ride fare. Since I am in my 60s, I'm concerned about leaving this planet in good shape, with cleaner air and giant trees for future generations.