oUR TALENTED TEAM
Rachel Sowray - Founder and Board Member
Rachel is a mom and attorney who has always cherished a healthy American democracy and engaged communities. She spent time working on healthcare, housing, and education policy on Capitol Hill while earning her Masters in Public Policy. After law school, Rachel continued as a public servant and became a prosecutor. She also teaches Constitutional Law. Rachel is excited to build Politisit's program and empower families.
Melissa Erlbaum - Board Member
Melissa is a leader in our community, working to diversify and expand women’s participation in civic engagement and leadership. She is currently the Executive Director at Clackamas Women's Services, which provides support to survivors of domestic and sexual violence. Melissa has worked in the field of public safety, criminal justice, victim services and homeless services for over 20 years, beginning as a volunteer at St. Luke’s Rape Crisis Center in New York City. Additionally she spent two years working in the field of environmental education, primarily for under-served youth. Melissa holds a Master’s Degree in Public and Nonprofit Administration from San Francisco State University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology, Women’s Studies and Energy and Environmental Policy from Hunter College, NYC.
Miranda Summer - Board Member
Miranda is a Portland area attorney who specializes in family law. She loves that her job lets her work with all types of families and that she gets to see people be brave in their hardest moments. Miranda values community involvement and is the former chair of the Oregon State Board of Education and is now a pro tem judge. She is excited to work with Politisit and expand opportunities for parents and caregivers to raise their voices, which are so critical to our community’s success!
Donna Maddux - Board Member
Growing up in Philadelphia, Donna’s basement doubled as the neighborhood polling place, and her mother served as the local Judge of Elections. That early example inspired her to pursue opportunities in civic engagement, politics, and public service. In her 20s, Donna proudly served as part of the inaugural class of AmeriCorps with the National Civilian Community Corps. In her 30s, Donna launched and won a contested race for Tualatin City Council. She served as an elected Tualatin Councilor and on related boards throughout Washington County from 2007 – 2011. Since graduating from Lewis and Clark Law School, Donna has continuously worked in the pursuit of justice as a prosecutor. Through Politisit’s efforts, Donna hopes to help parents and caregivers participate in civic engagement and inspire the next generation of leaders.
Elizabeth Kim Bingold - Board Member
Elizabeth is one of the newest members of the Politisit Board. She is a wife, mother, and lawyer, with a deep interest in politics and civic engagement. Elizabeth has worked in all three branches of the government, including stints as both a White House and Congressional Staffer, an Assistant to the U.S. Attorney General, and a law clerk to two federal judges. Elizabeth believes that civic engagement is vital to a healthy democracy and she is excited about the role that Politisit will play to help bring more voices to the table.
Gillian Wildfire - Strategist
Gillian is a Renaissance woman who has led successful referendum campaigns, traveled the world, and starred in musical theater productions. She earned her MBA and MPP from Carnegie Mellon and has since managed brand marketing and analytics for several companies. Gillian moved to Oregon a few years ago and continues to be heavily involved with community issues through her service on the West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District Budget Committee.
Kim Olson - Emeritus Board Member
Kim is the mother of two young children and serves as policy advisor to an elected official. In her previous life/career, she earned a Master's of German and European Studies and served overseas in the U.S. diplomatic service. Since the move back to Oregon, she's been focused on state and local policy and its impact on women and families. She believes increased civic involvement will lead to better policy solutions and is excited to help families overcome a major barrier to getting involved.
Angela Zahas - Outreach Coordinator
As a trained public health educator and social worker, Angela is ever imparting information and keeping communities working collaboratively together. She developed and managed adolescent health promotion and drug and alcohol prevention programs in Clark County, WA for eight years. Currently, she is the marketing manager for an urban planning consulting firm and a mom of two young children. Angela is thrilled to join Politisit as Outreach Coordinator, ensuring our message and service is used by families and communities throughout Oregon.