Vision into Action Staff


VIA Grants Program Coordinator


Gabrielle Buvinger-Wild completed her Master’s Degree in Philosophy at University College Dublin. She currently teaches Philosophy and Conflict Resolution at Portland State University. Gabrielle’s interest in social justice and community organizing led to her current internship with Vision into Action. Gabrielle plans to continue working for social justice through education and community organizing.

Favorite quote: "Here is a land full of power and glory, beauty that words cannot recall her power shall rest on the strength of her freedom. Her glory shall rest on us all. She's only as rich as the poorest of her poor. Only as free as the padlocked prison door. Only as strong as our love for this land. Only as tall as we stand." Phil Ochs

My hope for Vision into Action: Vision into Action continues to bridge the gap between government and community until all Portlanders are included in the realization of Portland’s shared vision.

My wish for Portland: That all groups have equal voice in community involvement.


Assistant Program Specialist


Cassie Cohen has a background in the education and nonprofit field. She completed her Masters of Social Work at Portland State University with a focus in community-based practice. Her interests in social justice and partnering with underrepresented populations led her to work with visionPDX (now Vision into Action), working closely with volunteers to transition the community's vision into a reality. As a Bureau of Planning representative, she was appointed to the new citywide Public Involvement Advisory Council that will help strenghthen and institutionalize the City's committment to public involvement.

Favorite quote: "The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life." --Jane Adams

My hope for Vision into Action:  Diverse Portlanders take ownership of the action plan for the vision, and that people find common values to create a future for all of Portland.

My wish for Portland: For us all to create and care for the "beloved community."


Project Manager


Stephanie D. Stephens has spent the past thirteen years in nonprofit work, with an emphasis on communications and development for social justice and civic organizations. For the past several years she served as Development and Communications Manager for Western States Center, a regional organization working in eight Western states to develop the capacity of informed communities to participate in the public policy process.

In 2002, Stephanie co-founded the Center for Intercultural Organizing (CIO), a local community-based organization that fosters cross-cultural leadership development, dialogue and action in the Portland Tri-County region. Prior to her work at CIO, she served as the Communications Manager of the City Club of Portland, where she spearheaded efforts to diversify public involvement in civic affairs.

Favorite quote: "It is time to speak your truth. Create your community. Be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader." -- Message from the Hopi Elders

My hope for Vision into Action: I hope that visionPDX and Vision into Action will help Portlanders remember the importance of inclusive democracy and encourage public involvement at all levels of community decision making. We are the leaders we've been waiting for.

My wish for Portland: For us all to create and care for the "beloved community."


Past Staff 

Project Leadership

Marie Johnson
Planning Phase, 1/2005 - 9/2005

Liesl Wendt
Engagement Phase, 10/2005 - 1/2007

Sonali S. Balajee and Juan Carlos Ocaña
Analysis and Drafting Phase, 1/2007 - 7/2007

Key Staff

Jared Anderson
Sonali S. Balajee
Bronwyn Buckle
Mauricio Leclerc (Year 1)
Juan Carlos Ocaña
Amanda Rhoads

Staff On Loan During 2006
Engagement Phase
Matt Emlen, Office of Sustainable Development
Bob MacKay, Auditor’s Office
Scott Stewart, Auditor’s Office

Community Service Aides
Joy Hunt (2008)
Nicole Lewis (2005)
San Nguyen (2005)
Dan Pauly (2007)
Jonathon Pierce (2006)

visionPDX 2006 Summer Interns
Patrick Christopher
Benna Gottfried
Dawson Marchant
Milton Ortega
Jenifer Sexton