Staff

Marcy Bowers

Marcy Bowers
Director

Marcy Bowers serves as Poverty Action’s Director. She began as a volunteer with Poverty Action in 2001 and came on staff in 2005. Since joining the staff, she has played virtually every role in the organization, from recruiting and managing volunteers to coordinating our annual MLK Day Lobby Day, and from communications and fundraising to leading and staffing local electoral and national outreach campaigns. In her current role, she oversees day-to-day operations and leads a stellar staff and talented board in their work to implement our vision of an economically and socially just state. Additionally, Marcy serves as the Board Chair for the Win/Win Network, is a board member of the Washington Asset Building Coalition, and is a member of the Solid Ground Strategic Leadership Team. Marcy has deep organizing and policy experience having worked for social justice in Seattle, Texas, and Central America.

Outside of work, Marcy enjoys being a Seattle stereotype with her love of hiking, running, biking, and coffee. She also currently enjoys exploring the region with her precocious toddler. Marcy holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Women’s Studies from the University of Washington.

Contact Marcy at marcy@povertyaction.org

Rolando Avila

Rolando Avila
Public Policy Campaign Coordinator

Rolando serves as Poverty Action’s Public Policy Campaign Coordinator, connecting our members with legislators and the media. Currently he leads the Roadblocks to Re-Entry campaign, which seeks to address the barriers that previously incarcerated people face in reaching economic security. He also leads our Consumer Protections campaign, which works to rein in predatory lending and debt collection practices. With a robust background in community and labor organizing, Rolando has spent several years working with people from various socio-economic backgrounds, from nurses and housekeepers to stakeholders and elected officials. Rolando’s commitment to social justice has taken him on campaigns across the Northwest, on issues ranging from Tuition Equity in Oregon to legislative campaigns in Washington.

In his spare time, Rolando enjoys reading and watching science fiction, Crossfit and lifting, drawing, and writing. Rolando holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the Portland State University.

Contact Rolando at rolando@povertyaction.org

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Omar Cuevas Vega
Community Organizer

Omar serves as Poverty Action’s Community Organizer. In this role, he coordinates our annual MLK Day Lobby Day, leads our Vote for a Change campaign, and mobilizes community members to take action on the issues they care about. Prior to joining Poverty Action, Omar worked as the marketing and community outreach director at Freedom Project working as their marketing and communications specialist, grantwriter, and community engagement liaison. His professional work also includes direct social service in case management in Los Angeles based nonprofits. Personally, he has organized around issues related to environmental justice, immigration reform, and affordable housing in Los Angeles and Seattle.

Outside of work he enjoys reading science fiction, hiking, knitting, and working to finish all his shows on his to-watch list. He holds degrees in Social Work from the University of Washington and the California State University, Los Angeles.

Contact Omar at omar@povertyaction.org

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David Hlebain
Basic Needs Campaign Coordinator

David manages Poverty Action’s Basic Needs Campaign. In this role he focuses on strengthening programs and policies that support families and individuals living in poverty, such as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Housing & Essential Needs, Aged, Blind & Disabled, and Adult Dental. He provides campaign planning, analysis and lobbying on these programs and connects our members with lawmakers and the media. In addition, he organizes Poverty Action’s annual MLK Lobby Day of Action at the Capitol.

Prior to joining Poverty Action, David worked as a policy analyst with the Washington State Budget & Policy Center with a focus on poverty and economic inequality. He has also worked on poverty and child welfare issues as an analyst, lobbyist, and organizer with Partners for Our Children. Additionally, his professional work includes direct social service and program management work in several Seattle non-profits and higher education settings, including Lifelong AIDS Alliance, Year Up, and the University of Washington.

Outside of work David enjoys running, biking, exploring the outdoors, reading, and cooking and conversing with loved ones. He holds degrees in Social Work from the University of Washington and Sociology and Anthropology from St. Olaf College.

Contact David at davidh@povertyaction.org

 Roshni

Roshni Sampath
Community Relations & Development Manager

Roshni serves as Poverty Action’s Community Relations and Development Manager. In this role, she focuses on building our membership throughout Washington state, fundraising, and managing communications campaigns, including our website, social media, and publications. Roshni has a diverse background, having worked as a grantwriter, in Human Resources, as a seasonal bookseller, with international education programs, and more. Through it all, her interests have been around equity, resilience, and change, be it personal, environmental, or societal change. Roshni holds Bachelor Degrees in Environmental Studies from Wellesley College, and in Health Psychology and Human Biology from Bastyr University.

Contact Roshni at roshni@povertyaction.org

 

Tony Lee
Senior Fellow

As our Senior Fellow, Tony supports and advises Poverty Action and Solid Ground’s advocacy work with local government on issues related to funding and human service policies. Tony was a founding member of Poverty Action in 1996, playing an essential role in our development and direction. For the past 19 years, Tony served as Solid Ground’s Advocacy Director, working on legal justice and legislative issues. We are thrilled to have Tony’s continued expertise and energy in his “retirement.”