We are excited to welcome Ethan Livermore, who has joined the team as the Economic Justice Organizer! Before coming to NP, Ethan worked at Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon doing direct service, Public Policy advocacy, and program support for close to 3 years. He was born and raised here in Portland and is the fourth generation of his family to live here. Parts of his family come from the Yakama Nation, Philippines, and parts of Europe.
He has committed his life to fighting for economic, racial, ecological, and housing justice. Since graduating from Concordia University – Portland in 2017, he has served as staff in a low barrier homeless shelter, as a legislative staffer, a public policy advocate, and a volunteer community organizer working alongside impacted populations to build collective power from the ground up.
For starters, tell us a little about yourself.
Shix̱ Matash K’ínwa! Good to see you all (virtually)! My name is Ethan, I was born and raised here in Portland and I am the fourth generation of my family to live here. Parts of my family are from the Yakama Nation, Philippines, and parts of Europe.
I have committed my life to fighting for economic, racial, ecological, and housing justice. Since graduating from Concordia University – Portland in 2017, I have served as staff in a low barrier homeless shelter, as a legislative staffer, a public policy advocate, and a community organizer working alongside impacted populations to build collective power from the ground up.
I have two brothers, one older and the other younger, and I love them dearly. My parents live in Portland and I love spending time with them, ESPECIALLY when there’s a Blazer game on. Rip City baby!!
What area of expertise and interest do you have?
My areas of interest and expertise have centered on finding collective and revolutionary solutions of the issues of systemic poverty, systemic racism, ecological degradation, and militarism. This has lead me to think and look at the issues that impact our unhoused neighbors and Indigenous communities across the state.
In a recreational sense, I wouldn’t say that I have an area of expertise, but I was on scholarship to run Cross Country and Track & Field in college and was fortunate enough to qualify for a few national championships.
Now, I’m an avid fly fisherperson and skateboarder, and I play Ultimate Frisbee!
What does opportunity mean to you?
I can’t think about what opportunity means without recognizing that in the history of the world, opportunity has not been available to everyone and has been defined by those who have hoarded power. Because of this, I think we need to include the act of system change to remove the barriers that have kept communities from experiencing opportunity. When working towards this goal in Oregon, we have to be visionary in our solutions and recognize that opportunity cannot be concentrated, but widely and generously distributed to everyone.
When I think of opportunity I think about a person having access to living conditions that allow them to be self-sustaining, have their dignity as a human be recognized, and have space to live their life in a satisfying and productive way.
In order to do this we have to ensure there is fair pay for labor, affordable costs of living, places to live that fits a person’s needs, bountiful access to adequate health care and education, and environments free of the fear of financial ruin and violence.
What difference can financial security make for individuals in communities?
Financial security is a cornerstone that allows one to experience opportunity. It gives a person the possibility to live their life in a way that is satisfying, productive, and stable. It sets up their future generations to experience the beauty of abundance and maintain healthy and strong communities together.
Having this kind of security can mean being healthier, happier, and having the peace of mind that everyone deserves, because you’re not worrying about how you’re going to make ends meet. It can give one confidence that they will be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor.
Choose one author, living or dead, that you’d like to have dinner with.
Ah, a tough question. I would have to say either Kurt Vonnegut or Vine Deloria, Jr. Please don’t make me choose between them! I don’t want their ghosts haunting me from beyond the grave, I’ll never hear the end of it.
What are you looking forward to most about this position?
I’m looking forward to offering my skills and talents to serve the greater community, I’m excited to build collective power around the state for economic liberation through building meaningful relationships and community centered solutions. To be a part of a group of people that are so committed to that vision is exciting and motivating. Let’s get to work!