Michele Ruffin (she/her)

Oregon Political Director, Forward Together

Michele Ruffin is the Oregon Political Director at Forward Together.  Based out of Portland, she leads the Oregon state-based program toward policy wins and culture shift campaigns that center the stories and lived experiences of Forward Together’s multi-racial base.  In 2018, Michele led Forward Together’s canvass team to defeat an anti-abortion ballot measure by building relationships with voters of color and having long-form conversations about abortion stigma. The measure was fiercely rejected with one of the highest voter turnouts in Oregon’s history.

Prior to joining Forward Together, Michele spent over two years on Governor Kate Brown’s team managing campaign schedules, cultivating relationships with organizational leaders, and assisting policy development. She comes from a strong campaign organizing background in both issue advocacy and state elections, but her heart has only one mission, to build political power for queer and trans Oregonians of color and their families. Michele believes that political work is most satisfying when done alongside those who share an analysis of power, a vision and hope for the future. When she’s not door-knocking or phone banking, you can find Michele at home spending time with her wife, Rachel, or planning her next camping or backpacking trip.