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Meet Eddy

For as long as I can remember, my communities have looked out for and supported me. I learned that none of us can do this work alone, and that to succeed we must always do it together — that is the energy I hope to bring to Congress.

My story is one of community, from the very beginning.

I learned from my mom how to be brave and how to treat family and those that live around you. My mom came to this country from Mexico, crossing the border hidden in the trunk of a car because she wanted better opportunities for her children. We first lived for a time in Los Angeles, but after just a few years, once again, my mother moved us. This time, my older brother was driving as we fled a dangerous situation.

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She brought us to Oregon to escape domestic violence and I started to learn English in school. Although mom was never able to learn the language or earn her citizenship because of our broken immigration system, she never stopped helping people.

Mom shared meals, laundry detergent, and money. She was always feeding and helping others no matter if they were family, neighbors, or strangers, or even people she couldn't communicate with — she invited everyone in. She knew how to make a meal for four people stretch to feed eight, and always made more room at the table. One dinner at a time, my mother built and strengthened our community.

That is the community I have been working to build since my first organizing experience my freshman year in college: a boycott of PicSweet mushrooms due to terrible conditions of farm workers. This success taught me how people can come together with a goal and work for change. I learned firsthand that working people could build power.

I continued organizing as a student at the University of Oregon and established a housing code in the City of Eugene. My first job out of college was with the United States Student Association, where we fought for abortion rights, for living wages, and for the rights of DREAMers. I worked in Arizona to fight at the ballot box against Russell Pierce and Joe Arpaio who were terrorizing immigrants. I have fought to restore voting rights for Floridians and I was privileged to join Stacey Abrams to help turn Georgia blue.

Their fight is our fight – and America is stronger because of our work together.

Like when my hard-working, loving older sister blew out her shoulder working on an assembly line. Her treatment involved painkillers that eventually got her hooked, and I learned firsthand how the trauma of addiction can tear families apart. I will do everything possible to prevent and treat addiction and most importantly, keep families together.

Or when irresponsible gun owners claimed my two brothers' lives — this also tore my family apart. At that moment I understood the need for work to prevent gun violence and make communities safer. I will continue to fight to end gun violence and make all communities safer in Congress.

During my six years on the Gresham City Council, we created multi-generational affordable housing so families can live under the same roof. Now, we have apartments with many bedrooms, so grandparents and aunties and uncles can live and share wisdom with their children and grandchildren. This is the type of housing my family needed growing up.

Now, when I drive past that multi-generational housing in Gresham, I think of Mom — who rushed to Mexico to care for her mother and then was banned from returning to the U.S. for ten years. My husband and I would have loved to have my mom live with us. I can still smell her cooking and hear her laugh when I close my eyes — but when I look down my hallway to the empty room that should have been hers,my heart aches. Mom died in the final year of her 10-year ban from returning to the United States.

Our broken immigration system tore our family apart — and I will do anything to bring families like mine back together.

Even without Mom by my side, I feel fortunate to be able to live freely with my husband and partner of 21 years, Hugh, and our four-legged “child,” Besitos. I know this is a privilege that too many LGBTQIA+ people don’t have, and I won’t stop speaking out until all families — however they define themselves — feel validated and included. No one should experience discrimination, harassment, or hate based on who they love or their gender identity or expression.

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This is a moment that calls for acts of solidarity from each of us — to fix immigration, to defend reproductive freedom and the right to an abortion; to support unions and workers in winning better wages, benefits, and affordable housing; to strengthen public education, respect teachers and faculty needs; and to break the fossil fuel companies’ grip on our nation and halt climate change.

To fight for our community, WE are running for Congress. ¡Juntos!

Eddy Morales first learned about organizing by watching his mother around the kitchen table. Raised by a hardworking and community-minded immigrant woman in Oregon, Eddy and his siblings saw her open their home to share meals or offer basic necessities like laundry detergent to neighbors in need, and it was through moments like these that he learned how her choices were building and strengthening their entire community.

Eddy started his organizing career as a student at the University of Oregon twenty five years ago where he helped coordinate a boycott in support of farm workers earning unfair wages. After seeing the impact of solidarity, it quickly became his life’s work — from restoring voting rights in Florida, to supporting immigrants under attack in Arizona, to joining Stacey Abrams to flip Georgia blue. After, he brought these lessons home, founding East County Rising, serving as the board Secretary for Planned Parenthood of Columbia-Willamette, and earning the trust to serve as City Councilor for the City of Gresham six years ago. As a Councilor, he’s helped create multi-generational affordable housing, increased innovative public safety solutions, preserved green spaces, and advocated for underrepresented constituents. Through this work, Eddy learned what it takes to bring people together for the common good.

Now our community is ready for him to take these lessons to Washington, D.C. With the chaos, dysfunction, and far-right extremism in Washington, DC — there’s never been a more important time to send an experienced organizer to Congress. What worked in Gresham is good for Oregon. What is good for Oregon is good for the country.

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