A Q&A with our Policy and Advocacy Coordinator

Greer recently joined the team this September and serves as Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, bringing years of professional experience in DEI work, team leadership, and internal communications. As a two-time published author on Women’s Studies, Gender & Sexuality studies, and environmental accessibility, his goal is to bring an intersectional and equitable approach to all he does at Our Children Oregon. Greer is a proud Latine who is LGBTQIA+, body-positive and passionate about animal welfare and harm reduction in his local community. In his spare time, Greer likes to workout, spend time with his dog Rainy Moon, and be an active supporter of as many local causes as possible. 

What does your role at OCO include? 

I am excited to be the new Policy and Advocacy Coordinator for OCO! Essentially, I am in charge of working with our Policy and Advocacy Director, Ivy Major-McDowall, on OCO’s Children’s Agenda, which partners with over 100 local nonprofits and community organizations to bring legislative concepts to the Oregon government in support of Oregon’s children and families. I will also be in charge of working with several organizations across the state on Oregon’s literacy crisis, and how we as a state can better teach and prepare our teachers and students about the important and influential process of reading!

What brings you to this work? What values drive you? 

One of the biggest things that brings me to this work is my family. As the son of two parents who had to work full-time to support us, I was often in charge of my three younger siblings. This brought a sense of responsibility and importance like I had never experienced before. Their well-being and helping to raise them to be well-rounded and educated people became the most important thing to me. As we all got older, I realized that I had a deeper passion to help other kids and families like us that relied on the actions of Oregon’s government and voters to pass legislation that would help support them.

In regards to the values that drive me, things like integrity, compassion, equity, intersectionality, trust, authenticity, community building, peace, respect and love are all at the core of all I do. I aim to bring these values to both myself and all those I work with. 

What’s a passion of yours you’ve yet to act on?

One of the passions I need to reignite is my love of reading. I read a lot before and in college, and as I graduated last year, I’ve taken some time off reading. I really love it and need to get back into it!

Standout books or podcasts that speak to you?

My favorite book of all time is Beloved by Toni Morrison. It is a raw, emotional, and powerful text about slavery, spirituality, family, American history and ghosts! Easily one of the best books I’ve ever read. Close runner-ups are All About Love by bell hooks and Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza by Gloria Anzaldúa. 

What superpower did you want as a child? What superpower would you want now?

As a child, I always wanted the ability to be able to speak to animals. I still think this power would hold immense value, though I think there are really unique and almost spiritual ways to speak to animals now! As of right now, I would love the ability to either read every book with comprehension 100% of the time, or the ability to play every musical instrument with precision. 

What are some of the most important social causes to you currently?

Some of the most important social causes to me in this moment are harm reduction in 

Portland, decriminilizing sex work, sovereignty for Indigenous and first nation people (federally recognized or not), and making community mutual aid a priority over policing Oregon’s residents.