Staff and Board of Directors
Executive Committee of the Board of Directors:
Margarita Gutierrez, President
Margarita was born in Michoacan, Mexico and immigrated to the United States at the age of five. As a daughter of working class parents, she grew up with passion for human and worker rights. Margarita graduated with a BA in American Ethnic Studies from Willamette University in 2012. Her undergraduate education provided Margarita with the language she needed to name and discuss many of the injustices she saw in our society. Margaritaâ€™s passion for justice contributes to her investment in the work VOZ does.
Peter Parks, Secretary
Peter is retired from Portland ILWU Local 8, longshore workers union. He has also been a member of the Machinistâ€™s Union, working at Cummins Northwest as a diesel mechanic for 14 years. He has been involved in social justice and workers rights issues for many years, working with Portland Jobs with Justice, PCASC (Portland Central America Solidarity Committee, participating in labor delegations to Venezuela/Colombia and Mexico), and Voz. He is a co-chair of the Immigrant Rights Committee of Portland Jobs with Justice. Peter is married, has two adult children and a golden retriever.
Justina Johnson, Treasurer
Justina joined VOZ in 2015 as Development Director, bringing 5 years of grant writing and project management experience. She has a Bachelors degree in English Literature and a passion for social justice issues and workers’ rights. After holding a successful staff position for one year, she now serves VOZ as Board Treasurer while working as a stay at home mom.
Daniel Alvarez, Member
Daniel is an activist who supports the supports the Latino struggles such as race and immigration discrimination. In the years of 2012-2013 he was the president of Vozâ€™s Day Labor Committee.
Guillermo has been a worker in Portland for over 25 years. He suffered an injury on the jobÂ that left him unable to work for over 2 years. In 2013 he discovered the legal clinic where he was sought help recovering medical costs and lost wages. He has been active atÂ the MLK Workersâ€™ Center ever since. Guillermo specializes in painting, sheet rock and laying tile after receiving skills training in these areas at Voz. He is working on his English and enjoys being on the computer with his free time.
Yvonne was born and raised in the Phoenix area where she earned her Bachelorâ€™s degree in Social Work. She was a case manager for Maricopa County Healthcare for the Homeless and then Central City Concern, and later worked for the City of Portland as a Sustainability Advisor providing sustainability education and technical assistance to Portland businesses. Yvonne now works as a fundraiser for the Columbia Land Trust. Yvonne supports local social justice organizations including the Social Justice Fund where she participated in a Giving Project. She lives in the Montavilla neighborhood with her longtime partner, Josh, where she enjoys cooking and baking.
Antonio Lara is the Chief Marketing Officer of Lara Media Services LLC. Born in Chihuahua, Mexico, Antonio has lived in Portland since 2006. Additionally, Antonio serves as a board member of the City Club of Portland and is the co-chair of the Latino Networkâ€™s Unid@s advisory committee.
Lauren Norris, Member
Lauren is from Portland, OR. She has a Masterâ€™s degree from the Institute of Non-profit Administration at Lewis and Clark College. She worked as a development and community organizer for a number of non-profits before her 10 years as a community organizer at the Cityâ€™s Office of Neighborhood Involvement. She has been working for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability since 2006. Lauren has volunteered in Guatemala since 1993, working in a variety of community development and health promotion programs with the Mayan Quiche and Tzutuhuil communities.
Day Laborer Committee of the Board of Directors:
Jose Luis Espinoza (Pepe), InterimÂ President
Jose Luis is originally from San Luis Potosi, Mexico and he arrive to Portland, Oregon for the first time on the year of 2011. Jose Luis has experienced in plumbing, interior painting and cooking. Â Jose Luis’ vision for the worker center is to create a space where the workers have a complete involvement to open the worker center 7 days to increase more jobs per week.
Romeo Sosa, Executive Director
(503) 381-0848 or (503) 233-6787
Romeo is an indigenous Mayan organizer born in Guatemala. Romeo has significant experience in grassroots organizing, leadership development, and strategic planning. He has worked as a rural researcher and indigenous rights organizer, developing Popular Education materials in Guatemalaâ€™s rural communities. He also worked as an advocate for displaced survivors of war at la Organizacion de Servicios de Solidaridad in Mexico. Romeo uses art as a tool to communicate the relationship between immigration and globalization and to demonstrate the economic injustices present in rural communities. As past Director of the St. Francis Church dining hall, Romeo coordinated volunteer programs, directed events, and supervised staff.
Paul Riek, Deputy Director
Paul is a bilingual/bicultural manager and community organizer with many years’ experience empowering marginalized Latino communities and bridging cultural barriers. Paul spent twenty years in Latin Americaâ€”Paraguay, Nicaragua and Mexico. From 1993 to 2009 he lived in Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, Mexico, where he founded and still serves as Executive Director of the Oaxaca Prison Ministry, a unique program where inmates are developed and organized as leaders to serve the community. Paul was Vozâ€™s Internal Organizer from 2010 to 2014; later in 2014 he was the Faith Communities Organizer for the Yes on 88 campaign to authorize driversâ€™ cards for immigrants; and before rejoining Voz he worked as the Latino Community Organizer for the Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good (MACG). Paul is fully bilingual in English and Spanish and has worked as an interpreter and translator. He sings with Bajo Salario, an all-volunteer band that plays Latin American folkloric and protest music.
Patricia Toledo (Patricia T Robbins) is a well-known activist from Eugene, Oregon who holds a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Planning, Public Policy and Management Department of the University of Oregon. Â Originally from Mexico City,Â Patricia has an enormous interest in advancing immigrant rights and racial equality in our community.Â For that reason in the last few years, Patricia has participated in multiple projects and events which promoted Latino pride, healthy inter-cultural relationships, and human rights.Â Within other organizations, Patricia served on the Anti-Racial Profiling Committee of LULAC, whose work centered on advancing equity in law enforcement. Â She also served at the Workers Rights Committee of the Integration Network for Immigrants of Lane County.
Cristian Salgado, MLK Jr. Worker Center Director
Cristian is a first generation immigrant raised in Springfield, Oregon. Heâ€™s a recent graduate of the University of Oregon, receiving a Bachelorâ€™s of Science in Political Science with a minor in Business Administration. He has over 5 years of experience working with the low-income Spanish speaking community in a professional capacity. His experience is diverse: working as a coordinator for jobs assistance program, drug and alcohol treatment program assistant and youth program facilitator.
Ashley Jackson,Â Bookkeeper
Juan Sop, MLK Jr. Worker Center Coordinator
Juan emigrated to the Unites States from Guatemala when he was 16. He began seeking work at the MLK Worker Center in 2008 and has stayed involved ever since, serving on the Executive and Day Labor Committees and ultimately getting hired as the Worker Center Coordinator in 2014.
Jasmine Hernandez,Â MLK Jr. Worker Center Coordinator