The Cascade Chapter serves Oregon and Southwest Washington. We offer regionally hosted public involvement trainings, conferences, learning and networking events, micro-grants for public participation, and best practice awards. Engage with our local community to share in a mutual exchange of equity-focused best practices in public participation.
Despite many of our best efforts, 2020 pointed out to us all the distance we still must travel to make our practices more inclusive and equitable. Join the Cascade Chapter and three featured Portland region government leaders for a discussion about what we are doing well and where we must improve with our community engagement equity efforts.
Our featured panelists -- Mingus Mapps, newly elected member of Portland City Council, Sushmita Poddar, member of Washington County’s Planning Commission, and Linda Castillo, Chair of the State of Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs -- will share their unique perspectives about the trials and tribulations in becoming more inclusive and equitable with our processes and decision making.
About our presenters:
Mingus Mapps is one of three newly elected commissioners for the City of Portland. He believes the City of Portland is only as effective as those who govern it and feels the current City Council is as prepared as it has been in a generation and can address the issues of this historic time. He says that while Portland has an incredible foundation, we need to work to be more inclusive and equitable. The economic gains for some, he says, have laid bare systemic inequities that have led to historic houselessness, lack of affordable housing, and stagnating working-class income. With these daunting challenges along with the pandemic and public safety issues to address, Commissioner Mapps is committed to active listening and being responsive. Commissioner Mapps has a degree in political science from Reed College and can count Gladys McCoy’s and Beverly Stein as his mentors.
Born in India, Sushmita Poddar moved to Oregon two decades ago. A civic leader deeply passionate about equity and inclusion in action, Sushmita is an artist, educator, choreographer, designer, stylist, curator, henna artist, performer, entrepreneur, small business owner, cultural arts practitioner, and cultural event coordinator. Sushmita feels that our community’s people and voices are not being seen, heard, or represented. Her experience during the COVID-19 pandemic as a small business owner and civic leader has been introspective and reflective. As she sees it, equity without dignity is NOT equity. As a guiding principal, she feels we can only ensure dignity when we serve humanity truly, equitably, honestly and wholly and are humane in our behavior and policy. She currently serves as the Washington County Land Use & Transportation Planning Commissioner.
(Irma) Linda Castillo is a bilingual, bicultural first-generation Latina. She is the eldest daughter of farm workers, first in her family to graduate from high school, attend college, and complete graduate school with a master’s degree in clinical psychology. She is blessed to be the mother of identical twin daughters.
As a consultant and government staffer, she has provided direct service to communities of color, program & project management, technical assistance & facilitation of DEI work, organizational assessments, and change management training. Six year ago, Governor Brown appointed her to the Oregon Commission for Hispanic Affairs to advocate for Latinos in the State of Oregon. She currently serves in the volunteer capacity of Chair on the Commission and works collaboratively with the three other State Commissions. In 2019, she was the recipient of the Urban Pioneer Award for Public Service from the Center for Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University.
|Joey Posada||Communications Committee Member||EnviroIssues||Joey is a creative, energetic communicator with experience developing and managing outreach strategies to support equitable public engagement. His strong interpersonal skills and work with diverse groups of people have given him the opportunity to connect with vibrant communities throughout the region. Joey has a master’s degree in urban and regional planning with a strong background in transportation and sustainability. He grew up in Las Vegas, where he explored the unique desert ecosystem throughout his childhood that inspired his passion for the natural environment and wildlife. Joey is almost always on the go, but you might be able to catch him during one of his meditative sessions of violin practice.
|Ashley Tjaden||Board President||City of Portland Office of Community and Civic Life||Ashley Tjaden has been bringing her passion for sustainable and equitable communities to the public sector throughout the Portland Metro area for over ten years. She began her career with a sustainability internship at Oregon Metro, then helped start the first commercial composting program for the City of Gresham, where she was born and raised. She is proud of her mixed race and diverse background. She is the second oldest of four children (she has three brothers), and the first person in her family to go to college. Ashley graduated from Portland State University with a BS in Community Development, inspired by time she spent living in Peru, practicing community development and community organizing. Ashley worked for Clackamas County before coming to work for the City of Portland. Today, Ashley Tjaden is an Analyst for the Office of Community and Civic Life where she supports the success of public advisory bodies citywide. She is currently in the Emerge Oregon program, which prepares women to run for elected positions. When she isn’t out volunteering and attending community events, she enjoys her life in southeast Portland with her partner and beloved teacup chihuahua.|
|Eduardo Montejo||Board Member||Parametrix||Eduardo Montejo is an urban and regional transportation planner, public involvement specialist, and business strategist currently working with Parametrix in Portland, OR. As a planner and P2 practitioner, Eduardo has centered his work around the pursuit of equity, community economic development, and people-centered transportation and sustainability outcomes. Eduardo is experienced in conducting outreach, convening stakeholders, designing communication and engagement plans, and implementing participatory techniques and methods in both Spanish and English for non-profit and public-sector organizations throughout the U.S. West. Eduardo is a native Spanish speaker and first-generation American of Mexican and Cuban heritage. Eduardo currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for the Oregon Association of Minority Entrepreneurs and sits on the Board of Directors for the Portland Lindy Society. In his spare time, Eduardo likes to surround himself with music, dancing, and friends.|
|Francesca Jones (Patricolo)||Immediate Past President (President Emeritus)||City of Portland Bureau of Transportation||
Francesca Jones (Patricolo) is a Planner in the Policy Innovation and Regional Collaboration section of the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation. She specializes in addressing complex and contentious planning and public policy issues, as well as designing and advising on community engagement plans and processes for the bureau. She previously served as President of the Cascade Chapter for three years and served prior to that for three years on the IAP2 USA Board of Directors, including a year as a USA Representative to the International Board. In 2018, she won the IAP2 USA Greater Good Emerging Leader Award at the North American Conference in Victoria, Canada. In 2019, her work won the IAP2 International Core Values Award for Project of the Year for PedPDX: Portland's Citywide Pedestrian Plan.
Born and raised in Portland Oregon, Francesca earned a Bachelors Degree in Planning, Public Policy and Management, a Masters Degree in Community and Regional Planning, and a Masters Degree in Conflict and Dispute Resolution, all from the University of Oregon. In her free time, she enjoys taking her dog on long walks with her husband.
|Jen Gray O'Connor||Communications Committee Member||Lois D. Cohen Associates (LCA)||Jen Gray-O’Connor is honored to join the IAP2 Board to deepen her work developing opportunities for equitable public participation. She is finishing a Ph.D. in Urban Sociology and has over five years of experience advancing equity-focused community engagement strategies. Her research examines social justice interventions in transit-oriented development planning. As a Project Manager at Lois D. Cohen Associates (LCA), she oversees public involvement projects in the areas of transportation, parks, and school-based outreach. Previously, she worked as the ADA Coordinator for the City of Riverside, CA where she founded the Commission on Disabilities. To recharge from work Jen enjoys biking, reading with her kids, and gardening.|
|Kimberlee Ables||Micro Grant Committee Member||Metro||
Kimberlee Ables is eager to join the board for the Cascade Chapter of IAP2 to work towards authentic relationship building with members of the community and connecting those who make decisions with the community those choices impact. In her work as a Public Affairs Specialist at Metro she has been able to partner with community-based organizations to help amplify the voices of the community and constantly sees how valuable these opportunities are. She is currently working with the Garbage and Recycling team and has played a large role in community engagement for the 2030 Regional Waste Plan. Kimberlee has also worked on the department’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion 5-year plan and will continue to help coordinate the agency-wide effort to release additional department plans. Taking a deeper dive into equity issues in her community, Kimberlee has been appointed to the Leaders for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council for Clackamas County by the Board of Commissioners. She is passionate about this work and ready to find interconnections and shared learning opportunities she can bring to the table as the chapter’s Micro-grant pilot program chair.
Kimberlee received a bachelor’s degree in Digital Technology and Culture from Washington State University and a master’s of arts degree in Journalism from Regent University. Currently residing in the outskirts of Clackamas County, Kimberlee finds joy with her family of four by exploring the outdoors, cheering on their favorite teams and enjoying time in their garden.
|Amy Delahanty||Programs Committee Co-chair||National Policy Consensus Center||
Amy works as a public policy mediator and facilitator at the National Policy Consensus Center at Portland State University. As a project manager at NPCC, Amy works to bring community members, government decision makers, businesses and others, together to find new approaches to public issues and implement community-based solutions. She offers expertise in assessment, process design, and facilitation of complex public policy consensus seeking processes. In addition to her role at NPCC, she served as an adjunct instructor for several years at Mt. Hood Community College in the Transiciones Program, a career planning and college prep program rooted in Popular Education for those wishing to pursue higher education. She holds a master’s degree in social work from Portland State University and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from The Ohio State University. Once a serious fencer, Amy now enjoys long-distance running, training her dog Huckleberry, and enjoying the outdoors with her partner and friends.
|April Hasson||Micro Grant Committee Member||JLA Public Involvement||
April Hasson is thrilled to join the IAP2 Cascade Chapter Board to advance her work in public engagement. April is a Program Manager at JLA Public Involvement, where she collaborates with public stakeholders and project teams on transportation, land-use, and public infrastructure projects. Bringing a background in grant-writing and grant management, April was formerly a program analyst at the Oregon Health Authority and currently serves as an active memberof ninety-nine girlfriends, a local women’s grantmaking organization. In her spare time, April enjoys exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her family, and roller skating with friends.
|Ping Khaw||Programs Committee Co-chair||PKS International LLC||
Born in Malaysia, Ping immigrated to Portland in 1990. Her two decades of community outreach efforts include community art projects with communities of color, immigrants, and disadvantaged youth, that have gained her multiple awards. Her business endeavors include product export; strategic sales; fundraising management and event production. For the 2010 Census, she was the Oregon partnership co-team lead that assisted in hard-to-count operation. Since 2016, she has managed the CELS program which pairs experienced liaisons to assist government agencies and private entities to effectively engage under-served populations and immigrants.
In the past, she has served on the board for New Portlander Policy Commission, Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs (OCAPIA), Golden Leaf Education Foundation, state adviser for the US Civil Right Commission, Asian Pacific Chamber of Commerce of Oregon and SW Washington (APACC), IRCO Works LLC, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), and Mass Mutual women advisory council. In 2014, Ping co-founded API Forward Foundation, an organization that fosters leadership and advancement for Asian and Pacific Islanders.
|Ann Griffin||Micro Grant Committee Chair||Griffin Planning & Community Services||
Ann is the former Executive Director of the Portland non-profit, Alberta Main Street. She is an experienced economic and community development professional, with strong business outreach and community engagement skills. Ann has worked in the local government, private for-profit and nonprofit sectors. She is driven to develop and implement programs that bring sustainable solutions to communities while enhancing the local economy. Ann is a LEED Accredited Professional with a specialization in LEED for Neighborhood Development (LEED AP + ND). During her 20 years in Portland, Ann has been executive director of the Portland non-profit, Alberta Main Street, a program or project manager for Prosper Portland (then PDC), Earth Advantage, the Lloyd EcoDistrict and Griffin Planning & Development. She enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and is a volunteer outings leader for the Sierra Club.
|Jenn Latu||Board Treasurer||Portland General Electric||Jenn Latu has a deep interest in people, systems and the relationship between them. Growing up in the Los Angeles area, in a multiracial and multigenerational household with immigrant grandparents shaped everything about Jenn. These experiences also helped to cultivate her passion for dismantling oppressive structures, policies and practices. Jenn has a background in organizational change management and recently completed a graduate program focused on industrial and organizational psychology. Jenn has worked for Portland General Electric since 2011 and currently works as a Community Outreach and Engagement Strategist and Diversity Equity & Inclusion Consultant. Jenn has spent several years as a parent volunteer in Portland Public Schools on formal and informal efforts to advance racial equity and provide inclusive engagement opportunities for underserved students and families in her North Portland community. Youth sports keep Jenn and her husband busy for most of the time. When there is downtime, Jenn spends her time creating new memories with her family.|
|Kendall Martin||IAP2 USA Representative||Metro||Kendall Martin manages Metro's garbage and recycling communications team. He has over 15 years of management experience in marketing, multicultural research, advertising and PR. He is a passionate advocate for ensuring that Metro's racial equity strategy is fully actionable and measurable in all of the organization's communications processes and its public-facing work.|
||Jordan Imlah||Board Communications Officer||City of Milwaukie||
Jordan is the communications program manager for the City of Milwaukie where he oversees public involvement, print and digital communication, branding and graphic design. He also serves as the staff liaison to the Milwaukie Arts Committee. Jordan has spent most of his career working for local government agencies to help engage communities in public decision-making processes, build relationships and increase transparency. He is passionate about creating communication and engagement plans that reflect IAP2’s Core Values, and encouraging people from all backgrounds to share their voices. Jordan has a master’s degree in strategic communication from the University of Oregon and enjoys making cat-themed art in his spare time.
|Ellen Sweeney||Board Member||Oregon Department of Transportation||Ellen Sweeney has worked in the public sector for 25 years in both parks and transportation, focusing on civic engagement and program development to elevate and empower communities throughout the greater Portland region. She is passionate about fostering joy by building the health and wealth of marginalized communities through inclusive and equitable public participation strategies, and agile and responsive programs and institutions. In addition to her civic engagement work at the Oregon Department of Transportation, Ellen is pursuing her Executive MPA at Portland State University. Ellen enjoys biking, walking, jogging (slowly) and spending time exploring the outdoors with her two kids.