The Board of Directors oversees and supports the work of the 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)

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)

CM Hall

CM Hall, Chair, Basic Rights Oregon Equality PAC

Project Coordinator, Western Region Interpreter Education Center
Adjunct Faculty, Western Oregon University
CM chairs the Basic Rights Oregon Equality PAC, working to elect pro-LGBTQ candidates to office, and serves on the Basic Rights Oregon board. She teaches LGBTQ Studies and Deaf-Blind Interpreting courses and leads social justice trainings across the country for interpreters, LGBTQ activists, college students and student affairs professionals. She currently serves on the national board of the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. CM also has a background in campaign management, notably working as Deputy Political Director for John Kerry’s presidential campaign. Prior to that, she worked as BRO’s first Development Director. She is a native Oregonian and lives in SW Portland. (Pronouns: She/Her)


Cyreena Boston Ashby

Cyreena Boston Ashby, Board Member

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)

Jackie Yerba

Jackie Yerby, Board Member

Executive Director, Bradley Angle
Jackie is the Executive Director at Bradley Angle, an organization that provides a variety of support services to anyone experiencing domestic violence. Prior to this, Jackie was the Faith Organizer for Renew Oregon, a campaign to build broad-based grassroots support for meaningful action on climate change. She has also delivered equity training and facilitated equity strategy sessions as an Associate with the Center for Diversity and the Environment (CDE). Prior to joining Renew Oregon, Jackie served as the Sustainability Program Manager for Cambia Health Solutions, a Portland, Oregon-based health solutions company with operations in Idaho, Oregon, Washington and Utah. As a department of one, she worked on everything from waste reduction and recycling to promoting active transportation to developing a company position on climate change. 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 Basic Rights Oregon Board of Directors, she is on the board of the Community Cycling Center where she serves as the board secretary. She is also serving on an advisory committee working with Q Center Board of Directors to shape the future of the LGBTQ community center. She is on the Governance Committee for Cycle Oregon. She had previously served on the boards of Catholic Charities and the Cascade AIDS Project where she served as Board President for FY 2012. She chairs the Multnomah County Advisory Board on Sustainability and Innovation. 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)



Oscar Guerra-Vera, Board Member

Outreach Organizer, Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO)
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)

Brook Shelley

Brook Shelley, Board Member

Community Manager, DigitalOcean
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)

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)

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)