People’s Economy Lab 2020 Steering Committee

The People’s Economy Lab steering committee is made up of frontline community leaders that demonstrate and represent communities most impacted by the current economy, those that experience continuing injustice—prioritizing Black, Indigegineous and people of color, immigrants, and people with lower incomes—and face a legacy of systemic, largely racialized, inequity that influences their living and working places, the quality of their air and water, and their economic opportunities. As a steering committee, we:

  • Share the Lab values of and principles of the Lab: local, equity, stewardship, relationships, collaboration, resilience, integrity.
  • Share the Lab values of and principles of the Lab: local, equity, stewardship, relationships, collaboration, resilience, integrity.
  • Share the Lab’s assessment of the problem, see the ‘big picture,’ and strive personally and professionally for an equitable, democratic, diverse, and resilient economy.
  • Have the desire to build relationships across silos and institutions.
  • Are leaders and innovators in a community of importance to a people’s economy.


Steering Committee Members

Analia Bertoni

Executive Director, Villa Communitaria

 Analia is passionate about creating spaces for people to thrive. Coming to Seattle as an immigrant from South America in 2001, she got involved as a parent of two teenagers in Seattle Public Schools and became a community organizer advocating for closing the academic gap for children of color.

Her interest to know and expand knowledge about resources and information available for families and individuals who speak a second language, drove her to implement targeted programs in Seattle.

Currently she is the Executive Director of Villa Comunitaria, an organization that made room for her as a client, a volunteer, and an agent of change. Villa Comunitaria started as SPIARC in 2005 and has grown in the last three years to consolidate five different programs and grow to 16 staff members.

She believes that the economy can be best supported when we invest locally. Villa Comunitaria’s recent efforts have been to initiate first steps to implement a cooperative. A group of five Latinx women and a farmer started a CSA (community-supported agriculture) box and the plan is to expand to other products next year. 


Solomon Dubie

Owner, Café Avole

 Solomon Dubie is the owner of Café Avole, an Ethiopian coffee shop in southeast Seattle. His goals for Avole are to share and innovate Ethiopian coffee culture, grow the market for Ethiopian products, and build community locally and globally. Solomon has helped organize community events in his neighborhood and has engaged local youth to gain on-the-job training at his café.


TraeAnna Holiday

Community Builder, AfricaTown Community Land Trust

 TraeAnna Holiday is a true Seattleite who has watched her city change in many ways. Her first passion was in the creative field; acting, singing, and stage managing productions in high school. She took that passion to Howard University, where she studied theater management, to UW Tacoma, where she began her life as a storyteller. Through studying abroad and being displaced by gentrification, she’s now fueled to tell her neighborhood’s story through film and education while working on the solutions. Working with Africatown Community Land Trust and directing a film on gentrification in the Central District are two of the ways she’s begun to do just that. As a steward of community with a passion for storytelling, she brings her ideals to life and strives to help others do the same.


Elena Perez

Coalition Organizing Director, Puget Sound Sage

 Elena is the Coalition Organizing Director at Puget Sound Sage. She has over two decades of community organizing experience centered in racial and economic justice, multi-sectoral coalition building, and leadership development. Previously, as Director of ROC United’s Seattle Chapter, she organized restaurant workers around their workplace and immigration rights, and coordinated ROC United’s Racial Equity Project to confront occupational racial segregation in the industry. Programs she created include WA Immigrant Solidarity Network’s “Immigration (ICE) Know Your Rights Training for Employers”, and a unique, community-based “Food Handlers Plus” training, building a partnership with Seattle’s Health Department to ensure spanish-speaking food workers learned their workplace and immigration rights as they obtained work permits.

While working in the labor movement, Elena spearheaded UFCW21’s Community Organizing Department, a unique model in both the local and national labor movement. She founded and coordinated the Pierce County Community Healthcare Alliance, a people of color led coalition working to ensure that those most impacted by health disparities, primarily low-income consumers and communities of color, have access to quality, affordable healthcare. And she led Washington State’s “Making Change at Walmart” coalition work.


Yordanos Teferi

Executive Director, Multicultural Community Coalition

 Yordanos Teferi is an eDiscovery Attorney with over 16 years of experience in combined law firms and Fortune 100 companies. Upon returning to Seattle, Yordanos began serving on the board of the Eritrean Community Center which introduced her to the great work of the Multicultural Community Coalition for which she currently serves as the Interim Executive Director. Yordanos also serves on the King County’s Pandemic Community Advisory Group, Communities of Opportunity (COO) Governance Board, City of Seattle’s Policy and Operations Advisory Group, City of Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative (EDI) Advisory Board, City of Seattle’s Transportation Equity Workgroup, as well as on the Community Health Board Coalition’s Leadership Council.