Eddy’s lived experience gives him great empathy for the struggles of underrepresented people. That’s not enough to make a great elected official, though. It’s his track record as an effective business owner, community organizer, and elected official that proves his ability to make change. Eddy’s inclusive approach brings diverse voices to the table and achieves the results people truly want.
Eddy was a leading voice in responding to the needs of local, small businesses when COVID hit. He helped provide city-funded emergency grants to small businesses and put a moratorium on the interruption of utility services and evictions.
Now, Eddy is advocating for the equitable and efficient distribution of the COVID vaccine as supplies become available. The sooner we can get the most vulnerable community members vaccinated, the sooner small businesses can return to operating at full capacity and kids can get back to in-person school.
Recognizing that we still have a long road ahead of us, Eddy is also creating a taskforce to include Gresham’s most impacted communities, service providers, local business, and government to design a just recovery.
In every part of our lives – personal and professional – we’ve learned a lot from this pandemic. Eddy believes we need to take a full account of all that was learned and from that, build a Gresham that is even stronger.
Small businesses learned news ways of doing business and how to manage employees remotely. Working parents learned – yet again – how hard it is to find safe, reliable childcare. Some things may stick, but others have shown that we have so much work to do to create a thriving and resilient economy that works for everyone.
Individuals and families need jobs that pay the bills and provide benefits, but also jobs that recognize what it takes to raise a family. Communities with good schools, affordable housing and childcare, accessible opportunities for seniors and safe, walkable neighborhoods attract businesses of all sizes and the jobs that come along with them. When families can thrive at every stage of life, so will our local economy. That’s the Gresham Eddy will work to build.
The reality is that so long as rent and single-family homes remain unaffordable, there will be an unhoused and at-risk population in Gresham. Important services such as job training or counseling are not effective if people don’t have a safe and stable place to sleep each night. Everyone in Gresham (and across the state) should have a home to live in.
Eddy led the effort to build over 200 affordable housing units and on-site social services in Rockwood. Now, he’s focused on investing the voter-approved Metro bond dollars to build more affordable housing. Eddy is the community-centered leader to guide those future investments, and make sure it’s done the right way: in combination with social services, such as mental health and addiction services, so that people stay housed.
Parks add value to nearby homes, and parks provide opportunities for outdoor recreation and enjoyment in public spaces that everyone can access for free. Eddy is leading the way to create a parks and recreation district in Gresham and potentially East Multnomah County. The effort would provide more parks and recreation in every part of the city.
Eddy also launched Gresham’s first-ever participatory budgeting process for park investments. Through this process, community members get to decide how the city should invest up to $5 million. This transparent, community-driven process will change how the city does business – to the benefit of Gresham families.
Building on his work to bring more people into local decision-making, Eddy has developed a series of good governance initiatives – changes that need to be made so that Gresham City Hall is more accessible and transparent in its work.
Over the next few years there will be opportunities for public engagement related to police accountability and participatory budgeting for new parks and recreation investments. In addition, a charter review committee has been appointed and will be addressing initiatives that Eddy has put forward, including an independently elected auditor, geographic zones for city elected positions and term limits.
These initiatives are in addition to an ongoing effort by Eddy to increase diversity on city public boards and commissions.
If you would like to be considered for any of the city boards, commissions or a future task force, please fill out this form and select “serve on a public board or commission.” Our staff will be back in touch to learn more about your interests!