These are the people who work hard and smart to carry out Family Forward’s bold but achievable mission to create a caring economy in Oregon that really works for all of today’s families.
Luann Algoso is the Communications Director for Family Forward Oregon. 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 Filipina American and is constantly striving to learn more about Filipino indigenous and modern culture, language, politics, and researching ways to dismantle colonial identity. In her spare time, she likes to read and discuss feminist theory, media representations of Asians and Pacific Islanders, and the intersection of the arts and activism. She is the proud owner of a social justice corgi puppy named Atticus.
Elisa Andrade is a Regional Organizer with Family Forward Action serving the Salem area. She is a first generation immigrant from Mexico City, Mexico and has established deep roots in this country. Growing up in the small town of Silverton Oregon her initial work in nonprofit was her involvement with Silverton Food Bank and Silverton Together as a young volunteer. Elisa has drawn inspiration from her mother’s involvement in the Latina farmworker and immigrant organization Mujeres Luchadoras Progresistas. An organization she holds dear to her hart to this day and one she continues to support as a lead member of the organization. Elisa has invested much of her time to serving immigrant families having worked for PCUN Service Center as a Partially Accredited Representative, approved by the Board of Immigration Appeals to represent immigrants before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. More recently she continues to assist low income families and immigrants in the Salem area as a Resource Navigator for Mano a Mano a sister organization of PCUN with in the CAPACES network. She is a proud mom of three: two boys 3 yr., 10 month old, and a 10 year old stepdaughter.
Sharon Bernstein is co-founder and deputy director of Family Forward Oregon. 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 8 and 11.
Lili Hoag is the Political 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.
Reyna Lopez is our Organizing 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.
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.
Danielle Nichols is the Operations Manager for Family Forward Oregon. 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 Oregon. 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 9 and 11.