My name is Rachael Riley and my pronouns are she/her/hers. I am a native Oregonian (but recently moved to Vancouver) and spent my childhood mostly in southern Oregon. I am a Gen X only child to a lesbian single mother who has struggled with addiction all of her life. My childhood was rough. We were very poor and discriminated against because of my mothers’ identity. I graduated high school in Parkrose and attended some college at PCC. Being indecisive at the time and without a passion for a certain career, I left college and started working odd jobs until I found employment at the County in 1995 as an Office Assistant for the Department of Community Justice.
When I started working in DCJ, everyone was still using typewriters to write letters and bookshelves to gather files. I was promoted to IT in 1999 and have been working there ever since. While working for DCJ 20 years ago, I became a steward. I believe that the most rewarding part of being a steward is connecting with members and being with them when they need support, even when we don’t get the outcome we wanted. Giving people a stable person to go through difficult times with is fulfilling to me.
I was interested in joining the Executive Board to help manage our union and have the ability to bring my Departments’ needs to the table. Supporting our staff and fellow board members as best I can is important to me. I believe in elevating BIPOC voices, speaking against misogyny and discrimination, and working collaboratively to get our members voices heard and acted upon. I appreciate the appointment and look forward to working more closely with everyone in my new role.