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About Elana

Hi! I’m Elana.

I’ve had many job titles over the years, but they’ve all boiled down to one thing: getting the right people to sit down around a table together, identify our goals, and figure out how to get there. That’s how I helped raise Oregon’s minimum wage. It’s how I convened the group that wrote our State’s paid family-leave laws. It’s how I built a team of activists who increased voter turnout and boosted civic engagement among union members.

I’ve been an organizer for labor unions, an advocate for working people, and a policy expert helping our State’s workforce programs prepare Oregonians for living-wage jobs. As a member of Governor Kate Brown’s executive team, I built coalitions to develop energy-efficient code policies, expand workforce training opportunities, and pass Oregon’s first Governor-backed racial justice agenda. In 2022, I led the grassroots coalition that helped pass Measure 114, Oregon’s gun violence prevention ballot measure. 

I’ve never been good at taking no for an answer – because “no” doesn’t solve problems. “No” sometimes means “find a better way,” and it’s a great opportunity to go back to that table and find a different solution. But I don’t stop until we have a plan that can get to “yes.”

My wife and I live in the Vernon neighborhood with our two kids, who also persistently seek solutions that get to “yes.” Of course, they spend most of their time negotiating for more pets and musical instruments. We’ve been here for over fifteen years and can’t imagine raising our kids anywhere else.

I grew up in a small town in the Santa Cruz mountains. When I came to Portland, I fell in love with this city. Many of our neighborhoods have the same community feel I grew up with, my kids have access to so many opportunities, and I can safely walk my dog to the park. But not every Portlander has this experience. Not every family has these opportunities. Not every neighborhood feels safe. We can change that, together.

I’ve spent my career bringing folks together to identify problems and find solutions that are also good policy. Convening. Problem solving. Taking action. That’s what I do. And that’s what Portland needs right now. So I decided to step up, for our city, for our kids’ futures, for all of our futures.


And I’d love your support.

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