Meet Joe K Meyer
Joe was born and raised in the rolling southwest hills of Portland, Oregon, where he attended school at Maplewood Elementary, Robert Gray Middle, and Wilson High. While his initial passion was for music and the arts in general, Joe became interested in politics when, as a student at Linfield College, he enrolled in a sociology course, which happened to coincide with the start of the Occupy Wall Street movement of 2011. Both of these events provided him with a real-time insight into the role of money in American politics, as well as the existence and perpetuation of institutional racism and marginilization present within American society.
Upon earning his bachelor’s degree in music in 2014, Joe faced a lack of job openings in his field and found himself employed in various retail jobs, usually only earning the minimum wage. This experience served as another important catalyst for Joe’s worldview, as he witnessed firsthand the undemocratic and degrading nature of the profit-driven workplace.
Feeling disillusioned with retail work, and at the encouragement of his wife, Joe decided to return to school to obtain a graduate degree in teaching from Western Oregon University. He had also at this time become politically radicalized by Senator Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign, and upon Republican candidate Donald Trump’s election as president of the USA, Joe’s political convictions were hardened even further. In 2017, he became a dues-paying member of the Portland chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Joe earned his graduate degree in 2018 and began working as a substitute teacher in various school districts around Clackamas County, where he now lives with his wife and two cats. When not working or speaking out against social and economic injustice, Joe enjoys reading, nature photography, and playing video games with his wife.