Gratitude. That is the purest expression we at Know Your City are experiencing right now. So much has changed with our organization in the past few months. This magnitude of change would be scary, if not for the grassroots support and leadership we’ve seen from the community. Thanks to people like you, November has been a month of growth—giving us new potential for us to do our creative justice work in the community.
So, how exactly have we grown?
First, I’d like to introduce you to the new Board of Directors leadership who will be guiding Know Your City to a stronger future in 2016.
Jess Thompson, Board Chair
Jess Thompson was raised in Madison, Wisconsin and has spent the past eighteen years living and learning in inner North and Northeast Portland. She has a master’s degree in education from Portland State University. She worked as a secondary teacher leader and instructional coach in Hillsboro for eleven years. Currently, she is the Operations Director at Community Warehouse, Portland’s only non-profit furniture bank. In this capacity, she supervises twenty-three staff members, over 200 volunteers, and manages day-to-day operations for a nonprofit budget of over one million dollars. She lives in the Woodlawn neighborhood with her husband, Chris Luedtke, and her son, Akeke Thompson, who is an eighth grader at Chief Joseph Ockley Green K-8. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening in her “Backyard Habitat Gold-Certified” yard, and participating in the local resistance movements.
Luis Torres Barragan, Board Treasurer
Luis Torres Barragan grew up in Spain and Mexico, bringing a global view to our local community. While in Mexico, Luis received a bachelor’s in economics from Universidad de Veracruzana and a bachelor’s of arts in International Trade from the Polytechnic National Institute. Luis immigrated to the United States in 1996 to learn English at Lower Columbia College. Currently, Luis leads his own business management company translating strategies into profitable results for organizations throughout the Northwest. Married to his husband in May of 2014, Luis’ family resides in the Mill Park neighborhood of Southeast Portland. Luis’ passion for Know Your City can be found in the organization’s programs focused on social justice and uplifting voices.
Mick Harris, Board Secretary
Mick Harris is an associate with Hilltop Public Solutions. He is originally from New Mexico, where he earned a bachelor’s in government from New Mexico State University. His work involves offering political consulting and public relations services to clients on a local and national level. He worked previously as an intern for Senator Merkley’s re-election campaign and is an active Precinct Committee Person in the Multnomah County Democratic Party. A lifelong progressive, he is deeply dedicated to environmental protection, affordable housing advocacy, and the development of thoughtful economic policy. When he’s not working, he’s likely reading a book or preparing for the next opportunity to travel and see a different corner of the world.
Please join us at the Know Your City Welcome Party to meet and congratulate Jess, Luis, and Mick on November 30th! And don’t forget about our “old news” Executive Director Cameron Whitten! RSVP HERE.
We’ve also grown in financial support. We are currently 16.7% of the way to our $12,000 end of the year fundraising goal. We are grateful for the 9 Know Your City supporters who have signed up for annual membership this month. We are grateful for the additional 11 Know Your City supporters who have signed up to become monthly sustaining donors.
2016 is going to be an amazing year for creative justice projects in the community. We will be launching the second Jade Journal at Harrison Park, and are organizing a number of new tours on local causes. In the meantime, you can RSVP to our December 16th dialogue, titled, “The Rent Crisis: A People’s Perspective.”
With your support of Know Your City, we are turning gratitude into amazing things. Thank you.