The PAT PAC is Portland Association of Teachers' Political Action Committee. It is a voluntary, nonprofit, unincorporated association of individual educators and others and is not affiliated with any political party.  PAT PAC's purpose is to elect to office candidates who are interested in the development of a better educational system in Oregon and Portland Public Schools.  

PAT PAC Endorsements are chosen by the elected PAT PAC Board after researching and interviewing all candidates.  Any PAT member who contributes at least $10 per year to PAT PAC may vote for the PAC Board members who represent them in this process. PAC funds are entirely separate from your dues dollars, which may never be used to help candidates. 

2023 School Board Candidate Endorsements:

The Portland Association of Teacher PAC Board is proud to endorse the following candidates for PPS School Board:


Andrew Scott for Zone 1

In his first term on the School Board, Director Scott has built his relationship with PAT and learned to view us as a partner. He is a strong advocate for increased  funding and new funding models for public schools, and is ready to join us in Salem to fight for it. In his endorsement interview he told us, “[The] $9.9 billion [that Governor Kotek is proposing for the state education budget] is not a win, it’s a cut.” This endorsement is a commitment to partner with him to keep that promise moving forward.


Michelle DePass for Zone 2

Director DePass has demonstrated tremendous growth in her four years on the School Board. She regularly reaches out to PAT for feedback, both about issues teachers are dealing with and for constructive criticism about her own leadership. We appreciate that openness and look forward to continuing to work with her in her second term.


Eddie Wang for Zone 7

Eddie was a teacher for 20 years, including at Benson Polytechnic High School 

in PPS. He knows what it’s like in the trenches and is ready to center teacher voices. Eddie has a deep understanding of the importance of academic freedom, authentic community engagement, and holding district leadership accountable.  We look forward to working with him to build great public schools for all students.


November 2022 Election Endorsements:




In her first term on Portland City Council, Jo Ann Hardesty has been a fierce advocate for programs that improve the lives of Portland residents, including PAT members and PPS families. She has taken the lead on programs like the Portland Street Response, and on improving transportation with a focus on underserved areas like East Portland.



There are several highly qualified candidates in the race for Multnomah County Chair, including incumbent County Commissioners Sharon Meieran and Lori Stegmann, who have been solid allies to educators. However, Commissioner Jessica Vega Peterson stood out, in large part because of her work on making the Preschool for All program a reality. She is a strong voice for public education, housing, and a just economic recovery from the covid pandemic, and is ready to partner with educators to improve services to all children.




Dacia Grayber is a firefighter, union member, and PPS parent. Dacia comes from a family of teachers and union supporters, and has repeatedly demonstrated her impeccable union values. In her first term in the Oregon legislature, she has been a strong advocate for working people, and we look forward to continuing that work with her.




Maxine Dexter is a Pulmonary and Critical Care doctor, a first-generation college graduate, and a PPS parent. Having grown up lacking resources, she attributes her own success to her public school teachers, and to a union job which allowed her to fund her own education. In Salem, she is a powerful advocate for public health and affordable health care, revenue reform to fully fund public services, and labor rights. 




Representative Tawna Sanchez is a lifelong advocate for her community, and her commitment to public education makes her an asset in the Oregon House. She is a champion for Indiginous families as a co-founder of Native American Youth and Family Services (NAYA), and has proven her dedication to young people by serving as a foster parent to more than 18 children. She will continue to work tirelessly to make sure our underserved students’ perspectives are heard in Salem.




There are two very strong candidates in this race, and North Portland will be lucky to be represented by either of them. That said, Travis Nelson, a leader in the Oregon Nurses Association, stands out for his strong union values. In his first term in office, he has already shown his support for Portland teachers: He was a leader in the effort to push back against the district’s proposed staffing cuts by helping to collect signatures from his fellow members of the BIPOC caucus. We look forward to continuing to work with Rep Nelson on this and other issues.




This is another race with two excellent candidates, but optometrist Thuy Tran has earned our endorsement. A former member of the Parkrose School Board, she has an excellent grasp of the current issues in education. We expect her to be an effective advocate in Salem for educators, as well as for the diverse community of Northeast Portland.




As a long-time community advocate, Khanh Pham believes that the best policy work is accomplished with input from our communities. She is a working mom, a PPS parent, and a relentless advocate for the diverse communities of the Jade District. In Salem, she is a leader in Oregon's transition to a renewable economy, and will fight for the revenue reform we need to build a more just society.





As a practicing family medicine physician, Sen Steiner Hayward has long been committed to improving access to affordable healthcare. She sees how issues like healthcare, education, racial justice, housing, and climate are all interconnected, and works to bridge all gaps so that Oregon can be the healthiest state in the US.

YES on Oregon Measure 114 (PAT endorsement) Measure 114 will help keep Oregonians safer by reducing gun violence.

YES on Portland Measure 26-288 (PAT endorsement) Measure 26-288 will change the way Portland City Council is elected.

See OEA PAC endorsements for statewide races here.

See our endorsements page for previous primaries and elections

Volunteer Opportunities

You can help get education-friendly candidates into office!

Jo Ann Hardesty volunteer calendar

Jessica Vega Pederson volunteer interest form

Tina Kotek volunteer interest form--please say Portland Association of Teachers recruited you to get us a little karma with our next governor.

Jamie McLeod Skinner volunteer signup. Her district is huge, but you can filter by location.

Christina Stephenson volunteer signup

Measure 26-288 volunteer signup

See OEA PAC Endorsements

PAT has also endorsed OR Measure 114 (gun violence reduction) and Portland Measure 26-228 (city charter reform; here’s the volunteer signup), both of which could use your support.

We’ve also got a slate of candidates for the Oregon State House and Senate. Most of them are in very secure seats or even running unopposed, but here are their campaign websites just in case you’d like more info:

Dacia GrayberMaxine Dexter, Tawna SanchezTravis NelsonThuy TranKhanh Pham, and Elizabeth Steiner-Hayward.

PAT PAC Endorsement Process

The PAT PAC Board endorses candidates based on their record and their interview with the PAT PAC Board. 

In races in which the PAT PAC Board chooses to make an endorsement, the Board offers an interview to all candidates who officially file to run, by the time the Board has made an endorsement. The Board may require a pre-interview questionnaire.

In the interview process, all candidates in the same race are asked the same questions, and given the same amount of time.

The PAT PAC endorsement panel consists of 8 educators, along with OEA staff. The panel considers the following criteria while making their endorsements: support for collective bargaining and the rights of workers; knowledge of education issues; commitment to racial equity; advocacy for strong, fully-funded public schools; and electability.

For PAT Members: Contribute to PAT PAC!

PAT PAC does not ever use PAT Dues to fund candidates for political office. All PAT PAC funds are voluntary contributions. Please become a PAT PAC Member by filing out the form below.

For Candidates

If you are seeking the endorsement of the PAT PAC, please contact [email protected] to learn about the process and timeline for the race.

The PAT PAC Board only interviews candidates who have filed for office. Please make sure you file before the deadline with the appropriate agency.

About the PAT PAC

PAT PAC decisions are made by the Board of Directors, which include the PAT President, the PAT Legislative Committee Chair, PAT's OEA PAC Representative, PAT's OEA Legislative Advisory Council representative, and six at-large directors elected by the PAT PAC contributors.

To run to be elected as an at-large director of the PAT PAC, one must be a contributor to the PAC; a member of PAT or PMAE-Retired; and a member of the PAT Legislative Committee.

To learn more about the PAT PAC, please join the next Legislative Committee meeting. Go the PAT Calendar to see when meetings are scheduled. Legislative Committee meetings are open to all PAT members.

PAT PAC Bylaws

2022-2023 PAT PAC Board

Tina Lamanna, Markham Elementary 2nd Grade teacher, At-Large Director, PAT PAC Chair

Jacob Jonas Closs, Ockley Green Middle School Math teacher, At-Large Director, PAT PAC Secretary

Emily Golden-Fields, Beaumont Middle School, Language Arts teacher, At-Large Director

Joe Rowe, Franklin High School Business Technology teacher, At-Large Director

Erika Schneider, Llewellyn Elementary 2nd grade teacher, At-Large Director

Joanne Shepard, Whitman Elementary 1st Grade teacher, OEA PAC Board, PAT PAC Treasurer

Gwen Sullivan, Chapman Elementary School Librarian, At-Large Director

Vacant, At-Larger Director