Bio- Andy Harris is a retired Salem ophthalmologist, now in a second career teaching Global Health at OHSU. He has served on volunteer medical missions to Sierra Leone, Uganda, Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, Moldova, Mexico and Labrador. He founded a free medical clinic in Salem [Salem Free Medical Clinic at Trinity Church]. He is the co-founder of a homeless shelter and training program for indigent families [Salem Outreach Shelter, or SOS]. At the height of the Cold War he co-founded a Sister City relationship between Salem and Simferopol in the Crimea, promoting the exchange of students, teachers, musicians, mountaineers, vintners and numerous other groups in the 1980s and early 1990s. He has served on the state and national boards of Physicians for Social Responsibility, including a year as PSR National President. He is on the advisory board of the Avel Gordly Center for Healing, providing mental health services to minority clients. For five years he mentored a young boy through Catholic Community Services and is trained as a CASA volunteer to advocate for children in foster care or dysfunctional families. He is co-founder of the Annual Salem Peace Lecture, promoting dialogue on peace and justice issues, now in its 27th year.
My OCCV connection- It has been a real pleasure to be a member of the OCCV board of directors for the better part of the past decade. When OCCV was founded in 2006 it seemed that the only Christian values in the public discourse were abortion and gay marriage, issues not addressed by Jesus. We felt the need to emphasize Jesus’ call for a more just society, including economic fairness and inclusiveness. We have advocated for the “least of these,” our brothers and sisters, on issues of homelessness, hunger, education, children’s health and access to affordable health care. We promote sustainable care of God’s creation, recognizing our mutual dependence on one ecosystem and knowing that marginalized people are the most vulnerable. It’s a joy to be a part of OCCV, a thriving community of believers who advocate for the poor, offering them dignity, opportunity and hope.
John Calhoun is a retired entrepreneur. He served as a Managing Partner and CFO of a national real estate valuation company, CFO of a medical device company, CEO of a medical informatics company, and Chairman of a software company. He spent 19 years with Intel Corporation in a variety of senior financial and administrative positions, including Corporate Controller and Director of Business Development. He also served as the acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Science and Electronics at the U. S. Department of Commerce. He is a decorated combat veteran of the Vietnam War. Mr. Calhoun has a BA degree from Dartmouth College and an MBA from Stanford University.
Mr. Calhoun has served as an elder in the Presbyterian Church. His background there led him to serve on the board of Neighborhood House, a social service agency in southwest Portland, including a term as President. He is a political activist working on issues of social and economic justice.
I’m a native Oregonian, graduated from Portland State University, and then had a career in social services with the State of Oregon until retiring in 2002. I’ve been a member of OCCV since its beginning in 2005, have served as board chair twice, and have been the current board chair since 2013. My commitment to social and economic justice comes from both my experience in working with families in poverty, and my belief that God’s intention for government is that it assure all of its citizens have an opportunity to thrive. I am committed to the work of OCCV because it allows me to integrate my faith with my passion for social justice, and to connect with other people of faith who share that passion.
Heidi Cao is new to public policy work, with a background in chemical engineering. She received a PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 2001. She has worked at Intel on new materials research, and at the University of Portland as an adjunct assistant professor in the chemistry department. Most recently she has been a stay at home mom, with three kids in preschool and elementary school.
Heidi’s desire to work for justice in public policy, has grown out of her passion for children’s well-being. Beginning in high school, Heidi began to volunteer with children and youth programs, primarily through churches and schools. After becoming a mom, Heidi remembers that the deep love for her children, also resulted in feeling heartbroken for the many children who suffer in our society due to the vast inequity. She has partnered with OCCV to fight for justice for those who are marginalized in Oregon, with a particular passion for issues affecting families and children.