These are the people who work hard and smart to carry out Family Forward Action’s bold but achievable mission to create a caring economy in Oregon that really works for all of today’s families.
Sharon Bernstein is co-founder and deputy director of Family Forward Action. She leads our education and workplace programs and manages our finances. Sharon’s experience as a parent has solidified her understanding that we can’t make social change through individual decisions alone — we must work together as a movement. Her passion for social justice drives her work. Sharon is the mother of two young boys ages 6 and 9.
Ashnie Butler moved to the US from Trinidad when she was 17. Since then, she has lived in NYC, LA, Northern California, Washington state, and now Portland. When she first moved to the US, she worked in the food world as a cook, then later returned to school for a degree in American Multicultural Studies. For the next six years, she worked as an organizer for a labor union. During that time, she traveled quite a bit to different parts of the country and, among other things,organized child care workers in California. In Washington state, she became involved with Theater of The Oppressed, which became the focus of her social change work. Ashnie is also fully engaged in the growing-up of her daughter.
Lili Hoag is Family Forward Action’s CareWorks Director. She has worked in policy and public affairs in the UK, focusing on inter-generational care patterns and work-life balance policies across Europe and North America. She holds a masters in Gender and Social Policy from the London School of Economics and has been a researcher and a lobbyist. A native Oregonian (Eugene), she is interested in using her understanding of national and international policy to frame the work we do in our state to make positive change for families.
Danielle Nichols is the Administration Manager for Family Forward Action. Danielle began her work in 2011 as a volunteer, leading a reading action group with local parents from her son’s school. She comes from a writing background a BA in Creative Writing and over 10 years of legal and administrative experience. She recently declined admission to law school to find a more workable solution to work-life balance for her family, joining FFO to help do the same for other Oregon parents. Danielle is mom to three boys, ages 13, 10, and 7.
Andrea Paluso is co-founder and executive director of Family Forward Action. Andrea is a social worker turned community activist and fervent policy wonk. She has worked in public education, community health clinics, and in international development. She has master’s degrees from Columbia University in social work and public health and a work history in public policy and nonprofit program management. Andrea hopes that our work will inspire and help parents, employers and policy-makers to create the kinds of policies that work for today’s families. Andrea is the mother of two kids, ages 6 and 8.
Laurie Trieger is working with Family Forward Action to support a movement for family-friendly policies across Oregon. Laurie grew up in Philadelphia and enjoyed living on the Oregon coast for nearly three years before settling in Eugene in 1987. She has been involved with a variety of initiatives and organizations focused on poverty reduction, food policy, child wellness and healthy communities; including working in a women’s health clinic, serving as an advocate for a regional food bank, founding a public health nonprofit organization, and working in community economic development. She is a parent of two adult children, grandparent of twin boys, and a former foster parent. Before all this, Laurie worked for many years in the restaurant and retail sectors.
Luann Algoso is the Communications Director for Family Forward Action. She is a scholar turned artist-activist who has been working in activist spaces in Portland and Southern California. She is originally from Anaheim, California and moved to Portland in 2010 to finish her Bachelor of Arts in Women’s Studies at Portland State University. After completing her undergraduate degree, she went on to complete a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Resolution also at Portland State University with the thesis titled, “Comedy as a Platform for Marginalized Voices: Asian American Women and the Disoriented Comedy Showcase”. Luann is a Filipina American and is on a lifelong journey to dismantle colonial identity. Luann’s communications expertise is within digital organizing and campaign strategy, which she uses as a supplement to grassroots, community organizing efforts.
Kate Newhall is our Policy Director, and has been working in Oregon policy spaces for over 15 years — in the legislature, for the Bureau of Labor and Industries, and in many other settings. She has developed a wide range of policy experience, including: legislative work, government agency operations and management, policy research, media relations, advocacy, voter outreach, campaign management and fundraising.
Reyna Lopez is our Federal Campaign Director. She is a daughter of Immigrants from Mexico. She grew up in Salem, Oregon, and attended Willamette University where she graduated with a BA in Politics and Sociology. She has a strong history in advocacy, organizing, and movement building in Oregon. She’s no stranger to tough campaigns. Most recently, she was the Outreach Director at Our Oregon, where she worked tirelessly on the Measure 97 Campaign. Coming from the organizing school of thought of the CAPACES Movement in Marion County, she has deep roots in Oregon’s Immigrant Rights Movement as well. Reyna is also former Civic Engagement Director for Causa, Oregon’s Immigrant Rights Organization. Reyna has also organized for the Bus Project, where she ran the Bus Trips Program with a group of ambitious young organizers in 2010, knocking on over 90 thousand doors in for progressive candidates. She believes that community empowerment, organizing, and coalition building are key in creating the change necessary to build diverse communities that thrive.