OPAL Staff

Please contact OPAL at [email protected] for all inquiries.

Calaix Alexander
Co-Executive Director
Finance and Operations

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.

[email protected]

Maritza Arango
Co-Executive Director
Campaigns and Programs

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.

[email protected]

Jenica Caudill
Co-Executive Director

For more than a decade, Jenica has worked with nonprofits and mission-driven businesses to cultivate partnerships that invest in communities, support economic justice, and heal the planet. She holds a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign, where she focused on social movements and sustainable agriculture. When she’s not working, she enjoys practicing yoga, collaging with old books, eating good food, and spending time with her family.

[email protected]

Marianne Brisson
Policy and Advocacy Manager

Marianne grew up in coastal Québec and lived in Montana for a year before finally making beautiful Oregon her permanent home in 2023. She has always felt connected to nature, especially the ocean, and quickly got interested in social and environmental justice through policy making and relationship building. For many years, she served as a Policy Advisor to different federal Ministers in Canada, supporting them in creating better opportunities for all. In her free time, she enjoys jewelry making, podcasting, playing board games with her husband, eating good food with friends, and swimming in the ocean!

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Cameron Chambers
Operations Manager

Cameron is a self proclaimed townie who grew up in North and Northeast Portland. She has been involved in activism her entire life. Early memories include Take Back the Night marches downtown in the '80s with her mama and putting together anti-war pamphlets with her papa. A life long non-driver, Cameron has been aware of OPAL’s work in transit justice for many years, and was able to participate in the 2023 SOL program to oppose Trimet’s fare increase.

While living in Chicago in the early to mid 2000s, she enjoyed the robust transit that city had to offer and grew a heightened awareness of how transit access and affordability impacts the lives of individuals and communities. She believes in the interconnectedness of liberation for people and for the environments they exist in. Cameron still lives in North Portland in a houseful of roommates and a dog - the love of her life, Penny Laverne.

[email protected]

Filippo Ferreira
SOL Coordinator

Filippo is a third culture, Brazilian-born immigrant, educator, musician, and amateur mycologist. In his spare time he enjoys reading and writing, playing with his band, and producing music that combines modular synthesizers and acoustic instruments. They are driven by hope-full social movements and the sense of awe, curiosity, and wonder curated by plants and mushrooms.

[email protected]

Abby Griffith
Bus Riders Unite! Coordinator

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!

[email protected]

Casey Lay
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.

[email protected]

Marina Sáenz
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.

[email protected]

OPAL Board

Allison Carvalho
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.

Aaron Golub
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
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
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
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.

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