Jennifer Roberts has volunteered with WROC and POWER for a long time. She loves the work of POWER. She knows that poverty is not a choice, it happens to you. She has gained an incredible amount of knowledge since she started volunteering. She wants to continue to help in the fight to eradicate poverty. She also helped with the founding of POWER. Some of her skills include fundraising, outreach, legislative education, and databasing.
Cat Sullivan by POWERDOWN
Cat Sullivan has been a low-income worker for over 30 years. She has also been a welfare recipient. As an older woman who straddled the advent of more women in the workforce from a time when many women stayed home and raised their children, Cat knew of those two worlds, their differences and what was good and bad about both. She can testify from personal experience as a low-income worker, as a parent, and welfare recipient because whe has lived it as well as being an organizer and an activist.
For over 18 year Cat has known and worked with the community of organizers who have worked to eradicate poverty. She successfully fought for and got an education through the WorkFirst Program and is passionately supportive of allowing all low income women (and men) to obtain a higher education or skill according to their abilities and desires and to eradicate the rampant racism and sexism that prevents such education that she has witnessed with her own eyes.
Cat is also a passionate support for raising our society's consciousness around the sexist and racist attitudes in our society, especially for the lack of support for raising children. She tries to live her life as well as speak to changing things so that no matter who you are and your circumstances, parenting and care giving is considered work that contributes to and is worthy of our community's and government's support. She has worked for years on raising the conscience of legislators, policy makers, citizens, and other organizers to promote these things by writing and speaking to them.
Cat lives in the Seattle area and has server on the following organizations as board member. Keystone Congregational Church Board Member, Welfare Rights Organizing Coalitions, Headstart Parent Board. Cat want to serve on POWER's board beacuse she is a passionate supporter and believer in the people and policies around POWER's mission and work, which coincide with her own work. It means more to her than any other work she has done except perhaps parenting her kids. This is why POWER is so important and a strong voice to peak for those who have few to speak for them.
Angie Kelly speaking about the impact of 2011 budget cuts by POWERDOWN
Angie Kelly is a single mother of 1 college student, and 2 preschoolers. She has lived in Olympia since 2001 and has used the advocacy and support of WROC/POWER many times over the years. After participating in the Work First, Community Jobs program as an office intern at POWER, Angie joined the POWER Board of Directors in 2011. Angie believes that POWER’s role in WA and beyond, as a strong voice for the rights of parents and families is correct and just. In fact, Angie finds many of the values around parenting and access to resources upheld within POWER’s membership to be one of POWER’s greatest strengths, and a source of a growing, shared empowerment and truth.
Angie is driven by social justice and anti-oppression work and is proud to serve on POWER’s Board to further the anti-poverty, pro parenting mission of POWER.
Shelly Robbins by POWERDOWN
Shelly Robbins is a former AFDC recipient. Shelly earned her B.A. as a participant in WA State's Family Independence Program, a program that encouraged self-determination and education for AFDC recipients. After graduating from college Shelly was hired by Solo Parenting Alliance to develop a program to create Mutual Support Groups for single, custodial parents. She created 8 groups in the Greater Seattle Area that supported 200 parents.
Shelly went on to create her own company, The QuickSource Inc, which employed 8 people in a flexible working environment that allowed parents to schedule their work around school breaks so her employees could be more available to their children. Shelly continues to work in her company part-time, and volunteers at POWER to affect legislation that impacts single custodial parents with limited incomes.
Mikey Moren has been involved in grassroots social movements for many years. From the time he was quite young, his mother instilled in him a strong sense of social justice. He has experience working in both legislative and direct action campaigns and holds a BA/BS degree from The Evergreen State College in grassroots social movements. He is passionate about organizing with low-income people to work in solidarity for a just and poverty-free world.
Mikey believes that the work that POWER is doing is crucial and vital to so many people and really to the heart of our community. He has been involved with POWER in different capacities and is excited about continuing as a Board member. He was born to parents who grew up in poverty and he has seen firsthand the cruel hand of poverty in our community. He has seen the problems caused by the dismantling of the social safety net and strongly believes that, as a community, we need to band together and demand the restoration of our social safety net. He lives with his partner and her two children, Kaia and Liam, who are a daily inspiration, and he believes we need to work hard so that they, and all other kids, are never in
Mikey is an avid cyclist and you can often find his bright yellow bicycle snuggling in the back of the POWER office. He plays a lot of old-time music, mostly the fiddle and banjo, although he has been known to pick up almost anything with strings! He handles a lot of the technical / computer needs for the POWER office and works for a small business that makes software for labor unions.
Jordan Beaudry was raised in Oakland, California by his mother, who had him at the age of eighteen, and grandmother. Oakland is infamous for it’s high rates of crime and poverty, however Oakland also has pockets of extreme wealth that exist alongside the poor areas, sometimes bordering each other by mere blocks, yet remaining completely isolated from one another. Jordan grew up on both sides of this divide, his economic stability fluctuating wildly throughout the course of his childhood. This firsthand perspective has instilled in him a strong passion for social justice and economic equality. Jordan graduated from The Evergreen State College in 2012 with a B.A. in Political Science.
At POWER, Jordan is using his academic knowledge, informed by firsthand experience, in hopes of helping those who are living through similar situations to the one in which he grew up. Jordan is currently an AmeriCorps volunteer coordinator serving with the Red Cross. He is also a regular contributer to local paper Works In Progress. In his leisure time Jordan can be found with his face buried in a book, hunting down LP’s of his favorite albums, or camped out in front of Netflix enjoying pretentious art house fair, cuddled up with his beloved cat Boomhauer.
Jennifer Witherspoon unintentionally began grassroots organizing at the age of 17 while living in a privileged neighborhood in South Orange County, California. She started a very loosely-organized group with children in her neighborhood that focused on bringing kids together to share the joy of reading, writing, and giving back to each other and the community. Witnessing the issues that surround highly privileged communities, she used her own skills of childcare providing and utilizing language and literature to create a safe place for children to form healthy connections with their peers and, in a very organic way, provide support for one another as they endured and overcame the disempowerment children experience across race, class and religious boundaries. One of her biggest passions is empowering children with leadership and critical thinking skills.
While studying English and Creative Writing at UC Berkeley with a focus on medieval literature and intersections of race, gender and creative writing, a beloved professor encouraged her to join the Berkeley Free Press, a nonprofit organization that began in the 70s by supporting farm worker organizers in the Bay Area. BFP provides free services to the community including funeral programs, organization newsletters, labor and union printed materials, and various other professional printing needs. BFP also provides free tutoring with the Black Panther Commemorative Party and reaches out to children in the community. She served as Volunteer Coordinator for 2 years.
After moving to Olympia in 2009, Jennifer began her active involvement in community organizations and actions. Strengthening her community through the healing and empowering aspects of permaculture, in which there is a healthy and abundant space for every living thing, and music, which alters and immortalizes connections between people, are the focus of her life today. She is involved with the Native Plant Salvage Foundation as a board member and Secretary, the Olympia Food-Coop as an active working member, and Stormwater Stewards, which provides free environmental education and services to the community at large. She also started The Saucy Spoon, an event planning and catering company that provides free services for various organizations throughout the community and can occasionally be found selling culinary delights on a sliding-scale at local markets. She and her partner began Kissing Ground in 2012, a permaculture farm that hopes to someday host family retreats and educational workshops. She is now studying to become a horticulturalist through her employment at All Seasons Sustainable Plants, a plant nursery that propagates native plants for ecological restoration and sustainable landscaping.
Sierra Brown is a junior at The Evergreen State College. She first became involved with homeless advocacy in January of 2013 as an intern at Out of the Woods family transitional housing shelter.
Her passion for social justice was discovered in April while taking a program at Evergreen and learning about cultures of solidarity. She began coming to P.O.W.E.R. meetings shortly after that.
Sierra feels that poverty is the result of a flawed system and in order to change the systematic oppression of the many we must demand reform at the state and national government level.
Although her career at Out of the Woods has been supporting families at the micro-level, she hopes this experience will help her advocate for low-income families at the macro-level in future endeavors. She is interested in improving her writing skills and learning the art of grant writing in 2014.
When she is not at work you might find Sierra at the Shelton disk golf course or crafting up a storm in her tiny house.
James A. Joy
James, a Native American, was born in Alaska but has lived most of his life in Southwest Washington. Raised in small towns by blue-collar parents, he developed a strong sense of family, community, and civic responsibility. Starting very young, he joined his parents in volunteering for community fundraising and improvement events. An enthusiastic reader and student, James has supported many progressive causes over the years.
During the Golden Age of telemarketing at the end of the 20th century James worked for a number of fundraising organizations, local and nationwide. Locally he campaigned many years for Thurston and Lewis County Fire and Police departments, as well as the Seattle-Tacoma Bacon Bowl. At larger call centers he represented such groups as PBS, the Humane Society, and a number of Democratic candidates and initiatives. Though less lucrative than selling credit card or cell phone plans, James found these positions far more satisfying.
Politically liberal, James has participated in numerous petition drives and public-awareness projects, not to mention protest marches and other forms of direct action. Notable causes he’s been involved with include Dome Village/Justiceville USA in L.A., and Occupy Olympia. Issues he’s passionate about include: gender discrimination, mental health, physical disabilities, homelessness, and plain old human rights.
James remains dedicated to social justice and protecting society’s most vulnerable members, fighting for positive and lasting change with his usual enthusiasm, compassion, and humor.