Staff & Board
Samantha Gladu believes in addressing power inequities by building representative and progressive leadership. She got her start in Oregon politics after completing New Leadership Oregon in 2012, and has since worked on statewide and legislative district campaigns and as Chief of Staff to two Oregon legislators. With a degree in community development and a background of reproductive health advocacy, Samantha has worked on issues globally at the United Nations as a Planned Parenthood Global Youth Advocacy Fellow, regionally as board vice president for the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, and in both chambers of the legislature. She also serves as a member of the NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon board of directors and was a founding board member and co-director of New Leaders Council Portland. When she’s not working to make the world a better place, Samantha is playing bass in her feminist punk bands, cuddling her dog Pierre, or sampling the best of Oregon’s food, wine and beer with her spouse Zach.
Maddie is from Redmond, Washington but has loved living in Oregon for the last five years. She developed an affection for politics after an internship at the Oregon State Capitol where she witnessed Oregon becoming the second state to offer free community college to high school graduates. Maddie graduated from Willamette University in 2017 with a BA in Politics and Spanish. She is especially passionate about education, writing her thesis on why politicians are failing American teachers. She comes to Next Up and Next Up Action Fund from College Possible, where she worked as a Community Partners Team AmeriCorps member. Outside the office, you’ll likely find Maddie at a trivia or board game night, hiking, reading, or trying to drag her friends to square dancing.
Isabela is a queer Latina youth advocate and educator that grew up in East Portland. She has always known and believed in the power, passion, and knowledge of young people. During high school, she and four other students started the non-profit, Youth Ending Slavery, focused on raising awareness about modern-day slavery and encouraging youth to be advocates for change. This experience not only empowered her to see the power and strength of young people but instilled the importance of community work to bring about social and political transformation. Through continued volunteerism at Verde, SOLVE, and Habitat for Humanity, and her education in the Community Development undergraduate program at PSU, she was able to see a different and positive future for brown and black communities, the political system, and the natural world. In addition to her love for all things justice related, she also enjoys chasing sun spots, reading femme centered speculative fiction novels, and eating anything made out of potatoes (especially curly fries and ajiaco).
Bobby comes to Next Up as a Soros Youth Justice Fellow with the Open Society Foundation. Through first hand experience with the system, being convicted at 17 as an adult to a mandatory minimum sentence of 70 months under ballot Measure 11, Bobby has a unique perspective. In this way he is connected to not only his immediate community of incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth, but also the entire population of the state of Oregon. Bobby is excited to share his testimony, educating Oregonians who don’t understand or haven’t even heard of Measure 11. Bobby is community minded and will use this opportunity to reform the criminal and juvenile justice systems as a legacy for his incarceration, repairing harm to the community and to those still in the system and hoping for change. Bobby is from SE Portland, loves dancing, and the book that most deeply impacted his life is Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow.
Sanne brings meaningful social justice philanthropy experience from her activism with Social Justice Fund NW and Resource Generation. She is a white woman and holds a masters in public administration, with a focus on nonprofit management and environmental policy. She brings a willingness to help with literally any project. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Wlnsvey is the daughter of immigrants and brings knowledge from growing up in Bandon, OR and making her adult life in Aloha. She currently works is a Case Manager at Family Promise of Beaverton. She is well connected in Washington County and has extensive organizing experience and a desire to see more Latinx representation in public service. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Zoe is the Legislative Director to Rep. Barbara Smith Warner. She says that Next Up has shaped her into the leader she is today. She is a white woman who has worked on public policy, communications, and digital organizing in several realms. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Amira is a multiracial Black and Korean student at La Salle Prep, born and raised in North East Portland. She brings an understanding of the socio-political context and civic engagement ecosystem, deep connections, and significant non-profit experience.
Amanda is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs where she was raised on her family’s cattle ranch. She recently graduated from PSU’s undergraduate Social Work program. She is a proud Navajo, Warm Springs, Wasco, Yakima woman who brings significant perspective, community organizing, and communications prowess. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Mahala is a queer white woman who is the Executive Director of Give!Guide, a program of Willamette Week that raises millions of dollars for Portland area non-profits each year. She brings experience with event planning, branding, communications, fundraising, and a desire to go deeper on diversity, equity, and inclusion. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Kenya grew up in Woodburn, Oregon with her first-generation Mexican immigrant family. She is a communications professional who has shared her expertise in our rebranding strategy and major donor campaign. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Jonathan is a gay white man with significant fundraising, non-profit program evaluation, and non-profit financial experience. Jonathan contributes toward growing the fundraising and financial management skills of other board members. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board as Treasurer
Gabrielle is a multiracial Black woman activist who co-founded a high school cohort, Oregon Youth For Gun Reform, at Next Up. Her understanding of intersectionality and desire to learn have radically shaped our organization for the better. She is an incoming Freshman at Swarthmore College.
Auna is an experienced higher education professional who has helped kick start new degree concentrations rooted in racial and gender justice – including the first Bachelor’s degree offered in the state of Oregon in Indigenous Nations and Native American Studies. She got her start with community organizing within her Mexican community in Eastern Oregon and Washington, and further developed it at Next Up.
Hannah is a Palestinian-American woman who is first generation in the U.S. Her experience in organizing and politics has shaped the driving force for her work to bring a diversity, equity, and inclusive lens. She has vocalized for a racial justice method for the voting methodology of the organization that will be implemented past leadership transitions. *Also serves on the Next Up Action Fund Board
Our Next Up Board of Directors provides oversight and support to our work. They are 11 people with a richness of experience, ranging in age from 17-34. Our board is 90% women, 60% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), and 17% LGBTQ. Our Board of Directors is comprised of fierce community advocates who are deeply committed to the success of our organization.
Courtney Graham, a Political Strategist at SEIU Local 503, devotes her time to supporting candidates and campaigns that are committed to advancing economic, racial, gender, and reproductive justice for all Oregonians. She is passionate about increasing voter access and expanding opportunity for young Oregonians in order to address system inequities and building long-term power.
Joséluis is a Latino immigrant that grew up in Salem, OR where his work in the community inspired him to take political matters into his own hands. He is a seasoned organizer and teacher, that believes collectively uniting and demanding action and accountability is imperative for political transformation.
Hayden Miller was born in Beaverton, raised in Hood River and has been a passionate political organizer, legislative aid, and spokesman for a statewide ballot measure campaign. He now works in the office of Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson. He is committed to making Oregon a state where all who call it home have access to what they need to be happy, healthy, and successful.
Our Next Up Action Fund Board of Directors provides oversight and support to our work. They are 9 people with a richness of experience, ranging in age from 23-34. The NU AF board is 56% women, 77% people of color, and 33% LGBTQ. Our Board of Directors is comprised of fierce community advocates who are deeply committed to the success of our organization. (Additional members are listed under Next Up Board of Directors because they direct both organizations.)
Jake Oken Berg
Representative Jefferson Smith
Amy Sample Ward
Lizzy Atwood Wills
Representative Brent Barton
Cyreena Boston Ashby
Representative Ben Cannon
Senator Lew Frederick