ROP is guided by a Board of Directors whose members represent different regions of the state and a wide variety of participating organizations. Current members are:
Darcy Bedortha – Crook County
Darcy describes herself as an advocate for the empowerment of young people (all people, really), for meaningful education, social justice and sustainability. She is grateful for having a multitude of experiences and opportunities and is committed to bringing what she has learned back to her community, which sometimes is national, or even global, but always is rooted with her family in Crook County. She is active with many like-minded organizations including Human Dignity Advocates of Crook County, Central Oregon Social Justice Center and Central Oregon Strong Voice and is a community organizer for the Institute for Democratic Education in America. It is not uncommon to find Darcy with several younger folks new to organizing at all kinds of gatherings around Central Oregon.
Alex Budd – Josephine County
Alex first came to Oregon several years ago from Colorado where he grew up playing in the Rocky Mountains and first discovered his passion for organizing to protect the natural world. Alex first met ROP through the Precious Dirt and the Freedom from Pesticides Alliance’s local ordinance campaign. After a living room conversation that asked, “What do you need to still be living in this community 20 years from now?” Alex helped form the Josephine County Racial Justice Working Group of which Alex serves on the leadership team. Josephine County Racial Justice Working Group’s bold organizing over the last 18 months has included multiple racial justice trainings, study groups, movie nights, community strategy sessions, and actions for Black Lives Matter. Alex brings to the ROP Board a deep passion for building a movement for justice at the intersections of issues and boundless energy for innovative organizing.
Dancer Davis – Douglas County
Dancer’s years of hard work in Douglas County advocating for the poor and unhoused prior to the Occupy movement has paved the way for Occupy Roseburg to hold so much space in their community, including an ongoing Feed the ‘Burg potluck that serves between 60 and 125 hungry folks every week for almost 200 consecutive weeks. In 2005, Dancer joined ROP for our famous Walk for Truth, Justice, and Dignity, and hit the road again in 2013 with the March for ONE Oregon Bus Tour through central and eastern Oregon for just immigration reform. Growing up in Oklahoma, Dancer has always lived rural, poor and queer. Early on she connected the dots between class, race and gender. Dancer brings this dynamic clarity and commitment to her role on the ROP Board (and her job as grandma).
Cathy Howell – Marion County
Cathy Howell retired from the AFL-CIO in 2011 where she was a field organizer and leadership development coordinator since 1997. Before joining the AFL-CIO, she spent over 20 years as a community and issue organizer in Oregon and in the southern USA. She grew up in a small Quaker State Refinery town in western Pennsylvania, and now lives in Salem in Marion County. She is passionate about social and economic justice and organizing people to fight for fairness. Cathy is looking forward to spending time post-retirement building and strengthening the human dignity organizing in Marion County. She divides her time between Salem and El Salvador, where she is a volunteer at the Centro de Intercambio y Solidaridad. She teaches English to Salvadorans working in social movements and helped organize delegations of international observers for the February 2014 Presidential Election and the 2015 Congressional and Mayoral elections in El Salvador. She is studying Spanish in an effort to strengthen her ability to work more effectively in Marion County and El Salvador.
Joe Lewis – Columbia County
Joe’s politicization happened suddenly when the Ohio National Guard opened fire on students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State on May 4th, 1970. Joe was shot that day. He returns each year to the Kent State commemoration and gives talks about that day to local civic clubs and schools. Serving 15 years on the Scappoose School Board, 33 years at the City of Scappoose public works department and helping raise 7 children, Joe has always been committed to engaging his community in justice and opportunity. Joe is one of the many members of Columbia County Citizens for Human Dignity (CCCHD) that is touched, shaped and inspired by ROP Founder Marcy Westerling and helps carry on a vision of human dignity organizing through CCCHD and as a regular volunteer at the ROP office. Sometimes you might even catch him in the car with a ROP staff person, joining roadtrips, meeting his peers and counterparts in other counties around the state.
Bruce Morris – Deschutes County Bruce has been involved with ROP since 2002, shortly after giving up a lucrative career as a corporate lawyer to live his values. He has lived at various income levels working at jobs ranging from delivering food to food pantries, Director of the Human Dignity Coalition in Bend, and a paralegal at a law firm representing injured and disabled people and workers. Bruce is a bold leader and trainer across issues for social justice in Central Oregon. In 2013, after participating in the March for ONE Oregon Bus Tour, Bruce was one of the key leaders who coordinated a community response to the church arson that occurred only hours after a pro-immigrant rights event. He is currently coordinator for Central Oregon Jobs with Justice and the Social Justice Center in Bend, as well as working part time for Central Oregon Community radio station, KPOV.
Josefina Riggs – Redmond, Deschutes County
Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Josefina and her son Zydlei moved to the US in 1998. Josefina met ROP through the March for ONE Oregon in March of 2013, which she recalls as her first experience in the USA in an organization fighting for the benefit of the entire community. Over the last several years, Josefina has been involved with Causa Central Oregon, Recursos, and other local community and social justice groups. She has been involved in the fight for immigration reform, to end wage theft, and other programs and activities that benefit the wider community. Through Josefina, ROP will be lucky enough to have a Causa Board Member also serve as a ROP Board Member. Josefina brings heart, commitment and inspiration to all of her justice work.
Hannah Sohl – Jackson County
Hannah Sohl grew up in Jackson County where she became concerned about the impacts that climate change were having on the people, the economy, and the ecosystems of Southern Oregon, and around the world. Hannah started organizing with others in southern Oregon, co-founding Rogue Climate, a youth-led community organization based in Jackson County in 2013. ROP first met Hannah at the Caucus in Woodburn that same year! From leading living room conversations to massive collaborative art projects at the Capitol, Hannah has led Rogue Climate to become a recognized and respected group leading and inspiring the movement for climate justice in Southern Oregon and across the state. In the ROP community, Hannah has found mentorship and fellow change makers. She loves the way that ROP supports and believes in people across the state.
Join the Board of ROP! ROP is guided by an all-volunteer board of community organizers. The board is approved yearly by the member groups at the annual Rural Caucus and Strategy Session. Each board member needs to have a relationship with an ROP affiliated member human dignity group and be willing to travel to Saturday meetings five times each year. Meetings are hosted by member groups around the state. If you would like more information on hosting a meeting or serving on the board please contact cara(at)rop.org!