Meet the Staff

Darlene Huntress— Executive Director

Darlene’s background is in capacity building, leadership development and political advocacy. She has developed and facilitated capacity building and leadership development seminars for the Maine Democratic Party, A Rising Tide Civic Leadership Training, and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.  She is originally from Portland, Maine, where she worked for seven years as Public Policy Director with EqualityMaine, and  helped pass four major LGBT civil rights laws during that time.  In 2009, Darlene directed the legislative campaign in which Maine became the first state in the country to pass a gay marriage bill into law.  She also served as Statewide Field Director for the Maine Marriage Equality Initiative. Darlene was the recipient of the Maine Democratic Party’s 2007 Harry S. Truman Award for Community Activism, The Maine Initiative’s 2008 Watering Can Award for Civic Leadership, and a nominee for the Maine Democratic Party 2009 Women Who Lead Community Activist of the Year Award.

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Patty Katz- Portland Organizer

Patty’s life as an advocate began with trainings as a community organizer through the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF), Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good (MACG) and the Recovery Association Project.

Her career path has taken many focuses; a work with at-risk youth and a Cultural Competency Trainer, in 2006, Patty joined the Partnership for Safety and Justice (PSJ) and is still involved with the Governor’s Re-Entry Council and the ROAR Alliance. Some of her work in the criminal justice reform has been instrumental in eliminating the “Have you ever been convicted of a felony” question for prospective employees in Multnomah County and the city of Eugene.

Patty says her passion will always be to help people reclaim their personal democracy. Recently she started a small 501c3 non-profit “Hands Across the Bridge Project. Patty sits on the national board of directors for Faces and Voices of Recovery.

Patty is the newest member of the team at Oregon Action- she joined staff the first of November and is the Portland – Metro Organizer.

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Virginia Camberos- Southern Oregon Regional Organizer

Virginia has an extensive background in working for social justice through the lens of both social services and community organizing. She is a passionate and dedicated organizer with a tremendous history of engagement in issues ranging from immigrant workers rights to health care for all.

Virginia is located in Medford with deep connections throughout Jackson and Josephine counties. Virginia is bi-lingual in English and Spanish. She provides Spanish translation for both of our offices.

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Michelle Glass

Michelle is the Outreach Director for the Rogue Valley Chapter of Oregon Action. She provides Cover Oregon outreach and enrollment assistance to families across Jackson and Josephine Counties. Michelle has a background in rural organizing, women’s rights, healthcare, green jobs, and housing, and holds a degree in sociology from Southern Oregon University.

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Karen Lujan

Karen is the Safe Roads Organizer for Oregon Action. She came to the U.S. as a child from Mexico and has been active in the DREAMer movement. She is now covered by DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals). She is an avid student who loves learning and a passionate social justice organizer. She says that being part of Oregon Action has been a great way to see that she can do something to change the world we live in.

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