The board of directors oversees and supports the work of Basic Rights Oregon and Basic Rights Education Fund, setting strategy, making policy, and monitoring financials. The board is responsible for helping the organization articulate a compelling vision and for partnering with the co-directors to carry out the mission.

 

 

Vanessa Usui

Vanessa Usui, Board Co-Chair

Member, Basic Rights Oregon Legal Advisory Group
Attorney, Duffy Kekel

Vanessa is an estate planning and tax attorney in Portland. Depending on the time of year she can often be found cycling up hills in the Gorge or skiing at Mt. Hood. She is glad that in 1992 she found her way to Oregon where she now lives with her wife, Kimberlee, and two very demanding cats. (Pronouns: She/Her)

Anita Rodgers

Anita Rodgers, Board Co-Chair

Finance and Operations Director, Partnership for Safety & Justice
Anita has been a community organizer for over 20 years. In the early 1990s she directed the San Francisco chapter of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador. She returned to Oregon in 1995 and served for more than six years as the director of the Community Alliance of Tenants, a community-based renters’ rights organization. In 2003 Anita joined the staff at the MRG Foundation. At Partnership for Safety & Justice, she gets to combine her love of racial justice, strategic planning, and grassroots social change organizing. (Pronouns: She/Her)

Cyreena Boston Ashby

Cyreena Boston Ashby, Board Member

Deputy Director, Oregon Public Health Institute
Cyreena Boston Ashby strategizes for national and statewide electoral campaigns and ballot measures and conducts government relations in the areas of racial equity, consumer protection, civil liberties and health care. In 2008 Cyreena ran for the Oregon House of Representatives and after that, she worked for President Barack Obama as his Oregon Campaign Deputy and then for US Senator Jeff Merkeley as his local government and appropriations liaison in Portland. She’s served as a board member for Portland State University’s Center for Women, Politics & Policy, Emerge Oregon, Urban League of Portland, North by Northeast Health Clinic Advisory Board, and Multnomah County’s Citizen Involvement Committee. She also sits on WINPAC Oregon. She was the director of the Portland African American Leadership Forum, which coordinates policy advocacy and leadership development for African Americans in Oregon. Cyreena and her husband Samuel travel between Oregon and Asia often, and have a yellow lab named Luke and very cute children, Ava and Emerson. (Pronouns: She/Her)

CM Hall

Dani Bernstein, Co-Chair, Basic Rights Oregon Equality PAC

Acting Executive Director, Equity Foundation
Dani is board co-chair with CM Hall of Basic Rights Oregon’s Equality PAC, which they have been a member of since 2012. They are currently the Acting Executive Director of the Equity Foundation, a local LGBTQ community foundation. They started their career working as field staff for marriage equality campaigns, organizing in California, New Jersey, and Oregon to build strong volunteer bases to advocate for the freedom to marry. They also spent two and a half years at the Oregon Bus Project, where they directed a summer fellowship program for young leaders to launch their careers in public service. They live in NE Portland with their wife, Rachel, and dog, Asher. (Pronouns: They/Their)

Megan Bird

Megan Bird, Board Member

Medical Director, Legacy Medical Group
As the medical director of Legacy Medical Group – Women’s Specialties, Megan Bird, M.D. is a board certified gynecologist who has special interests in hormone therapy, menopause management, family planning, vulvar disease and transgender care. She is also co-medical director of Legacy Transgender Services. Dr. Bird serves as medical director of Legacy Transgender Adult and Surgical Services. She is a native Oregonian and has been practicing medicine in the Portland-metro region for seven years. Dr. Bird also serves on Basic Rights Oregon’s OHP Task Force, which works to remove barriers for transgender Oregonians who use the state’s Medicaid program. In 2016, Basic Rights Education Fund honored Dr. Bird for her advocacy efforts in expanding health care access for transgender people. (Pronouns: She/Her)

Rowan Everard

Rowan Everard, Board Member

Acupuncturist
Rowan is a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine and a licensed acupuncturist. He has trained healthcare providers in basic trans medicine, cultural competency with LGBTQ patients, and social justice frameworks for interfacing with LGBTQ patients for the last 4 years. He is passionate about community healing, and specializes in treating psychological trauma, chronic pain, and urogenital disorders in his private practice. He has also been involved in trans healthcare activism at the state level, including working  on ID document changes, advocating for insurance coverage for trans healthcare and helping to create the first curriculum in the state to teach medical students about the healthcare needs of transgender patients. (Pronouns: He/His)

Oscar Guerra-Vera, Board Member

Outreach Organizer, Unite Oregon (Formerly Center for Intercultural Organizing)
Oscar Guerra-Vera is a child of immigrant parents and a descendant of O’dami (Tepehuan) Indigenous peoples. Oscar first became a member of Basic Rights Oregon in 2003, while obtaining a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies & Spanish at the University of Oregon. They later became a BRO Organizing Fellow in the summers of 2006 & 2007, working on grassroots efforts to educate Eugene communities on gender non-discrimination. Their intersectional social justice praxis has been applied professionally in mentorship programs for Latino, Native and LGBT youth in Seattle, WA and SE Portland, OR. Currently, they are a community organizer at the Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO) where they mobilize Immigrant/Refugee parents in Portland Public Schools and  co-facilitate the only multi-ethnic Queer, Trans, Immigrant/Refugee (QTIR) support group in the Northwest. (Pronouns: They/Their)

Al Machemehl

Al Machemehl, Board Treasurer

Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Metropolitan Group
Al has served on the board since 2007 and has been treasurer since 2009. He is a CPA and currently controls the monetary and operational arms of Metropolitan Group. He brings more than 20 years of financial and administrative experience to this task. When not behind a calculator or in front of a PC, you can find him in the Columbia Gorge at his getaway retreat with Buster, his overactive golden retriever, and Penelope, an overweight basset hound. He is also an avid traveler attempting to visit the “Seven Wonders of the World.” He can also be easily amused or disgusted by political matters of the day. (Pronouns: He/Him)

Walter Robinson II, Board Member

Constituent Relations and Policy Liaison, Office of Commissioner Jules Bailey
Walter joined the Basic Rights board in July 2015. A 2011 graduate from Willamette University with a degree in Political Science, he works as Commissioner Jules Bailey’s constituent relations and policy liaison. He engages directly with Commissioner Bailey’s constituents, listens to their concerns, and helps connect them with the services they need. In addition to working in issues related to Sauvie Island, SUN Schools,  LGBTQ relations, and economic development, he also has his hand in many other policy projects. In his free time, he volunteers for Boy Scouts of America Community Impact Board, City Club of Portland’s Friday Forum Committee, and the Black Male Achievement Steering Committee. (Pronouns: He/Him)

Danni/y Rosen

Danni/y Rosen, Board Member

Retired – Information Technology
Danni/y joins the Basic Rights Oregon Board as a retiree from a career in Information Technology. For nearly 20 years, Danni/y has provided training related to the LGBTQ community to members of the Portland Police Bureau, various medical and nursing programs, and schools ranging from elementary ages to Graduate programs. She is the Chair of the Oregon Chapter of GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network), Co-Chair of the Oregon State PFLAG Council, and President of the Clackamas Chapter of PFLAG.  Danni/y has also served as Co-Chair of the Portland Police Bureau Alliance for Safer Communities (previously known as the Sexual Minorities Round Table). Additionally, she has been a President of the Northwest Gender Alliance. He volunteers in various capacities with the Portland Police Bureau; Crisis Response Team member (sexual minorities team); a citizen panel member for hiring panels; and serves as a citizen member of the awards review board for the Portland Police Bureau. Danni/y and his spouse of 46 years have a daughter and two grandchildren.  Her passion is creating safe and healthy communities and schools for everyone.  (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers; He/Him/His)

Brook Shelley

Brook Shelley, Board Member

Senior Developer Relations Engineer, Turbine Labs
Brook Shelley lives in Portland, OR with her cat, Snorri, and recently moved from Austin, TX, where she grew up. She writes and speaks about trans and queer issues occasionally for The Toast, and had her fiction/non-fiction published in two books. She enthusiastically advocates for better conditions for her fellow trans and/or queer women in tech, and beyond. (Pronouns: She/Her)

Jackie Yerba

Jackie Yerby, Board Member

Executive Director, Bradley Angle
Jackie Yerby is the Executive Director for Bradley Angle, a non-profit that works with survivors of domestic violence to achieve safety and long-term stability. Prior to joining Bradley Angle, Jackie worked as an organizer for Renew Oregon, a campaign to build broad-based grassroots support for meaningful action on climate change. She worked with the faith community and communities of color to bring their voices into in the campaign. She has also delivered equity training and facilitated equity strategy sessions as an Associate with the Center for Diversity and the Environment (CDE). Jackie spent many years in the private sector, serving as the Sustainability Program Manager for Cambia Health Solutions, a Portland, Oregon-based health solutions company with operations in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Utah. Before working on sustainability, she served as Cambia’s Ethics and Compliance Officer working with management and employees to build and sustain a strong ethical culture within the company. Jackie is very active in the community. In addition to serving on the Basic Rights Oregon Board of Directors, she is on the board of the Community Cycling Center where she serves as the board chair. She also serves on the advisory committee for the Q Center. She is proud to have been named a 2016 Queer Hero. She had previously served on the boards of Catholic Charities and the Cascade AIDS Project where she was the Board President for FY 2013. She’s a member of the Multnomah County Advisory Board on Sustainability and Innovation which she chaired in 2014. She holds an undergraduate degree in History from Yale University, and a Master of Public Policy degree from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She tries to find time to walk her dog, play with her cats, water her garden and ride her bike. (Pronouns: She/Her)