After a previous attempt to replace founder and longtime executive director Chuck Sheketoff failed last year, the Oregon Center for Public Policy today named Angela Martin interim executive director.
In 2017, after Sheketoff announced he would step down from the left-leaning think tank, the OCPP board made the controversial decision to hire former state Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-Portland) to replace him.
That decision prompted backlash because when Smith ran unsuccessfully for mayor of Portland in 2012, WW reported that while in college, he had struck a woman in the face at a college party.
Smith, the executive director of the radio station XRAY.fm, did not last long in the new job, saying that family health issues would prevent him from serving as executive director.
Robert Landauer, the retired Oregonian editorial page editor, and a longtime OCPP board member, lauded Sheketoff's service to the organization, which Sheketoff founded in 1995.
"Oregon is a better place due to Chuck's tireless work on behalf of low-income Oregonians for over two decades," Landauer said in statement. "Chuck's legacy includes reduced hunger rates in Oregon, a stronger state minimum wage, and many other public policy achievements."
Martin, now a political consultant at Wheelhouse NW, formerly served as the executive director for Economic Fairness Oregon, where she was instrumental in passing legislation that cracked down on payday lenders. In her advocacy work, Martin often worked alongside Sheketoff. She previously served as an OCPP board member.
"The Center and its dedicated staff of professionals will continue to build on Chuck's achievements," Martin said in a statement. "For now, we pause to express our immense gratitude to Chuck and wish him the best."