Madeline Merritt is a community organizer and campaign strategist. Inspired to action by Black Lives Matter and Standing Rock in 2016, she became deeply involved in movement organizing and hasn’t looked back. She was a core organizer for Divestment and Public Banking in California before moving to Portland during the pandemic to be closer to family. She is on the Board of Directors for the Public Banking Institute (which acts as a brain trust for public banking movements across the country) with a focus on outreach and coalition-building. She catalyzes determined citizens to create movements via direct action, lobbying, and the legislative process, and will support a powerful coalition to make public banking a reality in Oregon.
David has been a democracy and anti-corporate power activist/advocate for many years, having served as a chief petitioner for two statewide initiatives (46/47) to allow and then to place limits on campaign contributions in Oregon elections. Those measures were on the ballot in 2006. In 2011, he founded the Portland chapter of Move to Amend immediately following the US Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision. Move to Amend advocates amending the US Constitution to overturn the court created doctrines that money is speech and that corporations are people. He lead the Portland chapter of the Alliance for Democracy and is also the national co-chair.
Several years ago, he formed the Portland Public Banking Alliance to advocate for creation of a city of Portland Public Bank. The Great Recession pushed him in this direction, realizing that public banks would support public purposes while it was clear that big too-big-to-fail Wall Street banks only service private profit and greed. He invited Walt McRee to Portland twice as well as Ellen Brown once to get a public banking movement off the ground here is Portland and Oregon. Both Walt and Ellen are leading stars of the Public Bank Institute From those efforts, the Portland Public Bank Alliance started working to form a municipal bank in Portland. Later that became the Oregon Public Bank Alliance.
At the First Unitarian Church, he was a member of the Economic Justice Action Group where he organized speaker events, documentary film screenings and gathered signatures on various local & state level initiatives.
Julia is the Coalition Director for the Oregon League of Conservation Voters and has spent her entire career in the environmental nonprofit sector. She was born and raised in the Portland Metro region and has lived here her entire life except for four years of college in Ashland, Wisconsin where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and Sociology from Northland College. In addition to her work on environmental issues, Julia is passionate about social justice issues and believes that public banking can play a big role in addressing the big issues of our time; climate change and injustice. Her experience interacting with thousands of residents, and community organizations, from her campaigns for public office, alongside her professional experiences make her uniquely suited to serve the diverse interests of people of Oregon on the OPBA Board. In her spare time, Julia loves snuggling her housemate’s cat, reading science fiction, eating good food with friends and family, and being outside in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest.
Cate is a graduate of Harvard Law School with a background in state policy work. Prior to attending law school, she worked as the Chief of Staff to a Massachusetts State Representative and has additional experience working with both political campaigns and advocacy organizations. She discovered public banking in law school during her studies of monetary law and policy and had the opportunity to work with Massachusetts Public Banking while a student. In addition to economic justice, she is also passionate about the arts. She holds a BA in Studio Art from Boston College and is a practicing artist in her spare time. When she’s not painting or advocating for public banking, she works at a nonprofit artisan guild and is the owner of a small clothing company. She recently relocated back to her home state of Oregon and currently lives in Eugene.