Staff & Executive Board

A.J. MendozaA.J. Mendoza
Campaign Organizer
Direct Office Line: 971-242-8704
Pronouns: he/him/his

A.J. hails from Gladstone Oregon and he graduated from George Fox University in 2013 with a double major in Political Science and History.  He was the first student at the university to publicly come out and he went on to help start an underground club for LGBTQ students and their allies called Common Ground, and he continues to advocate as a part of the LGBTQ alumni association called OneGeorgeFox.  He is a minister within the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), and serves as the clerk of the Equity and Inclusion Committee of Sierra-Cascades Yearly Meeting of Friends.

A.J. has worked as an organizer at the Oregon Student Association and at Basic Rights Oregon.  He served as a Steward and as President for AFSCME Local 1790, and has become especially passionate about organizing workers in the non-profit sector.  A.J. has experienced first hand the difference between a union and non-union workplace, and is excited to be able to do his part to strengthen the movement as a whole at Portland Jobs with Justice.

IMG_4846Justin Norton-Kertson
Solidarity Organizer
Direct Office Line: 971-242-8702
Pronouns: he/him/his, they/them/theirs

Justin grew up in San Diego near the US-Mexico border, which helped to create a strong sense of international solidarity that has become a guiding value of his work. He received a degree in history from the University of California, Irvine and has worked a variety of jobs ranging from fast food and retail to construction labor, from working in teen centers to being a high school social studies teacher.

He and his family moved to Portland in 2009. In February of 2015 Justin co-founded and became the lead organizer of 15 Now PDX, and he was the campaign manager for the Oregonians for 15 ballot measure effort. Before accepting the Solidarity Organizer position at JwJ, he worked as a community organizer for UFCW Local 555.

IMG-3704.JPGLilith Sinclair
Worker Center Organizer
Cell Phone: 971-570-2130
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Lilith Sinclair spent the majority of her childhood growing up in Baltimore, MD, before moving cross country with her family to finish high school in Puyallup, WA. Her life’s experiences have been characterized by near constant struggles to fit in to, understand, and then break free of oppressive systems and societal expectations put on her due to her existence as a queer, neurodivergent, bisexual, Afro-Indigenous black woman, in addition to her time spent as a sex worker. These experiences are what have helped her to establish a strong understanding that discussion of intersectionality and a commitment to centering the most marginalized are both vital in conversations of human rights and sociopolitical justice.

She considers herself a “lifelong bleeding heart,” and maintains that her involvement in activism has been a lifelong affair centered around engaging in what she calls, “small and large acts of radical love.” However, after becoming a sex worker during the winter of 2017, she saw herself further radicalized and financially empowered to begin supporting more traditional forms of activist organizing. She joined the Portland OccupyICE camp in 2018, supporting with organizing day to day operations, coordinating messaging, acting as a press liaison, and assisting with communications and coordination with the national Abolish/OccupyICE campaign for 7 weeks. After a year of traveling the country joining, supporting, and/or documenting front-line projects and grassroots campaigns, she returned to Portland in July 2019 with a focus on assisting and supporting the city in which she found empowerment and community. She comes to JWJ with a belief that empowering workers to organize for and WIN better working conditions will lead to happier and healthier communities, helping people find energy and hope to keep fighting for a more equitable and just global society.

IMG_3038Sarah Kowaleski
Cell Phone: 860-965-5426
Pronouns: she/her/hers

Sarah Kowaleski was crafted and assembled by a machinist from “Hardware City,” New Britain, CT. While a student at the University of Connecticut, she was impacted by the global injustice of international garment workers, largely women her age, facing extreme exploitation making her college logos and gear. While the university built its image on its champion women’s basketball team, Sarah founded a student group to to pressure the university to hold its licensees, major brands such as Nike, accountable to higher standards. With pressure, the university created a Fair Trade section of the student co-op.

Shipped across the country to Portland, Phil Knight’s backyard, Sarah continued international solidarity efforts against multinational corporations as part of Portland Jobs with Justice’s Global Justice Committee. As a recession-era graduate, she channeled her experience as a misclassified, low-wage public sector worker in a role as spokesperson, steering committee member, and facilitator for 15 Now PDX. Riding a wave of support from unions, labor-community organizations such as Jobs with Justice, and social movements like the Fight for $15, she helped successfully organize part time Recreation workers who work for the City of Portland into better wages and benefits as union members of Laborers Local 483, of which Sarah is still member today.

WillWill Layng
Executive Director
Direct Office Line: 971-242-8705
Pronouns: he/him/his

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Will moved to Portland in 2004 to work for SEIU Local 49. In June 2017 he joined Portland Jobs With Justice after 13 years of organizing workers and their community allies for economic and social justice across a wide range of low wage private sector industries with Local 49.

Will brings deep experience in strategic campaigning, staff development, creative actions, and new forms of worker organization to JwJ and served on our Board for four years before joining the staff. He lives with his wife and daughter in Northeast Portland.  He’s a musician and singer-songwriter as well in his spare time. Will es bilingue en Español.

Executive Board

We are excited to announce our newly elected 2019-2021 Executive Committee members!

Co-Chair: Alyssa Pagan, Don’t Shoot PDX, Portland DSA
Co-Chair: Amanda Hill, OFNHP
Co-Chair: Ibrahim Mubarak, Right 2 Survive
Co-Chair: Pam Phan, Community Alliance of Tenants
Faith Labor Committee Chair:  Rev. Cecil Prescod, Ainsworth United Church of Christ
Fundraising Committee Chair: open seat
Global Justice Committee Chair: Russell Lum, Oregon Fair Trade Campaign
Healthcare Committee Chair: Betsy Zucker, AFGE Local 2157, HCAO
Immigrant Rights Committee Chair: Robert Camarillo, OR Building & Construction Trades Council
Media Committee Chair: Myka Dubay, ILWU Local 5
Membership Committee Chair: Jamie Partridge, NALC branch 82, ISO
Outreach Committee Chair: Jill Pham, OFNHP
Personnel Committee Chair: Micaela Shapiro-Shellaby, AFSCME Council 75
Portland Rising Committee Chair: Amy Coplen, Portland Rising
Rules Committee Chair: Zev Nicholson, Oregon Food Bank
Secretary: Mark Medina, Burgerville Workers Union
Staff Seat: A.J. Mendoza, Campaign Organizer
Staff Seat: Justin Norton-Kertson, Solidarity Organizer
Staff Seat: Lilith Sinclair, Worker Center Organizer
Staff Seat: Sarah Kowaleski, Organizer
Staff Seat: Will Layng, Executive Director
Treasurer: Dave Cutler, SEIU Local 49

*Organizations listed for identification purposes only

Our Foundation Funders

In addition to our coalition member organizations and individual donors, our funders include:


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