Eileen Brady's 2012 Portland Mayoral Campaign



This was the official website for Eileen Brady's 2012 campaign to become the next mayor of Portland.
Content is from the site's 2011 - 2012 archived pages to be viewed in a historical context.

When incumbent Portland mayor Sam Adams did not seek a second term, 23 candidates entered the non-partisan primary. Eileen Brady came in third in the non-partisan primary after Charlie Hales, and Jefferson Smith. Since no candidate received an outright majority of the vote in the primary, the top two finishers, former city commissioner Charlie Hales and state representative Jefferson Smith, advanced to a runoff in the November 6 general election which Hales won with approximately 61% of the vote.


Although election night did not deliver the outcome we all wanted, the results do not diminish how hard and honorably we all worked to make a difference for this city. 

Thank you - from the bottom of my heart for all the effort and the many contributions everyone made to the campaign. We ended with hundreds of volunteers, over 2000 donors and having held over 200 community meetings and house parties in over 60 neighborhoods. 

Together we brought sharper focus on the need to create good jobs to support our families, our schools and our vital city services. I am proud that the issue of economic development is now a central part of the discussion in the mayor's race and I truly believe that we can have both a livable city and a strong economy.  As I have said on  many occasions - Jobs save lives. Jobs save families. Jobs allow parents to send their children to school having had breakfast.  

And together we said that we can and must fully fund our school system, we can and must have both an accountable and respected police force and we can and must invest in all our communities including in East Portland. 

Over the past 12 month,  I have learned again what I already knew - this is a town full of people working hard to make their home a better place.

Whoever our next mayor is, I urge everyone to come together as Portlanders to help him and the city we all love so much. 

Today my campaign for mayor is over. But my love and commitment to Portland will continue always.

Thank you so very, very much.




What a bummer. Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith swept past Eileen Brady in Tuesday's primary for Portland mayor, advancing to a runoff in the November general election in one of the most expensive and competitive races in city history.

The results marked a stunning turnaround for Brady, who raised almost $1.2 million in her first bid for elected office, far more than Hales or Smith. She was the front-runner for months before losing steam in the past two weeks as Smith surged. For those of us who campaigned for her it was a bitter, and bewildering disappointment. I guess with in this hotly contested mayoral race with 23 candidates were on the ballot, and very low turnout which appeared to be below 40 percent, anything can happen as my brother pointed out to me. He's now an attorney in New Orleans working for a local practice that's highly respected and specializing in maritime law - basically filing injury claims on behalf of injured rig and vessel workers. He may be working in Louisiana, but his heart is really still here in Portland, and he's still very tuned in to the politics of his hometown. We shared our disappointment in an hours long call to commiserate. 3rd out of 23 in the primary is not bad. This time I decided I would support Chalie Hales, although deep down I still preferred Eileen Brady.



The Campaign

Let's Move This City Forward
Eileen Brady For Mayor Launches Her Campaign


Rep. Jules Bailey Endorses Eileen Brady

August 1, 2011

Oregon State Representative Jules Bailey (D-Portland) today endorsed Eileen Brady to be Portland's next Mayor:

"I'm thriled to announce my support for Eileen Brady as Portland's next Mayor.  I've worked closely with Mayor Adams the past two years on kick starting the local clean energy economy with Clean Energy Works Oregon.  We need Portland's next Mayor to be committed to continuing Portland's leadership as the center of sustainable job creation. Throughout her career, Eileen Brady has demonstrated her deep personal commitment to building the clean economy of the future.  Both in her nationally recognized work at EcoTrust and in helping found and build a thriving, socially responsible business like New Seasons, Eileen has proven herself as the innovative leader we need in City Hall."





A Fresh Start for Portland and Save the Date

Eileen Brady, July 28, 2011

Dear Friends,

Since I announced my campaign for Mayor of Portland, the response has been extraordinary.  Everywhere I go in our city, folks thank me for stepping up and making a commitment to give Portland a fresh start and new leadership.

But I can’t do it without you. It’s going to take all of us.
Portland can be one of the great cities of the world; innovative, safe, diverse, vibrant, 21st century, global and fiscally responsible.  But to get there, Portlanders from every neighborhood in our city and from every walk of life need to make a commitment to work toward a common future together. 

Former Multnomah County Chair Bev Stein Endorses Eileen Brady to be Portland’s Next Mayor

July 27th, 2011

"I'm excited to endorse Eileen Brady to be the next Mayor of Portland.  Eileen is a new exciting leader who can be a game changer in City Hall.  Her experience helping build a successful, values based business combined with her progressive activism make her uniquely prepared to be a great Mayor. 

"Eileen also believes that the City of Portland and Multnomah County need to work in close partnership to deliver the best services for Portland's residents.  Portland has many challenges that require a new approach and new ideas.  I believe Eileen is the person we need to provide the strong leadership Portland needs."




Neighborhood Visit Update: Lents

July 22nd, 2011

Last night I met with a group of neighbors in Lents at the local neighborhood haunt (Riley’s Pub on 92nd & Foster) for a casual chat about all things Lents and East Portland. The conversation touched a number of topics, including:

  • How to attract more capital to East Portland.

  • The problems with “blanket” citywide solutions to neighborhood-level problems.

  • The lack of integration and coordination between city bureaus.

  • Concerns about zoning limitations in East Portland.

  • The concept of a “Citizen’s Handbook” to encourage civic engagement and participation.

  • The pending Recology food waste facility decision in Lents.

  • Gang violence and overall public safety concerns.

  • The lack of commercial sites available for rent in Lents Town Center

  • Attracting and building businesses that can utilize the skills of the people who already live in Portland.

Thanks to everyone who showed up and shared their thoughts, concerns and ideas with me. Conversations like these are why I'm committed to visiting all 95 of Portland’s neighborhoods throughout the campaign. I understand that each neighborhood is unique and as Mayor,  I will prioritize the development of an economically vibrant and equitable East Portland.  

Thanks again to everyone who showed up and to Jesse Cornett for organizing this great event.

Eileen Brady

P.S. You can find photos of the event on Facebook

The Oregonian: National politics enter Portland mayor's race as EMILY's List endorses Eileen Brady

Beth Slovic, July 18, 2011

EMILY's List, the political group based in Washington, D.C., today endorsed Eileen Brady, a candidate for Portland mayor.

The news, coming on the heels of Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen's announcement that he would not run for mayor, is yet another sign the national spotlight will be turned toward Portland in 2012.

EMILY's List supports pro-choice, female Democratic candidates. Though the mayor's race is nonpartisan, a nod from EMILY's List brings with it the promise of significant campaign contributions, some from out of state.


Dear Portlanders,

I’m running for mayor of Portland. Like just about everything else I’ve ever done, this campaign is going to be a barn raising, relying on the creativity and enthusiasm of all of us working together to be successful.

To create the Portland we want for our children will take more than new ideas. We need effective leadership.

  • The leadership to start each day with a laser-like focus on creating good jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities for everyone.
  • The leadership to make not only our downtown vibrant and safe - but to do the same for every neighborhood in our city.
  • The leadership to know we can be the greenest city in the world, but only if we manage our costs, establish priorities, and stick with them.

I know I can bring that leadership to Portland – I’ve done it before in the private sector, in non-profits, and in public policy. For over twenty-five years I’ve been helping to create new services, new industries, and new opportunities that make our community better - all within a budget and all while maintaining my values.

  • In 1999, my husband and I risked our life savings and joined with two other families and about fifty of our friends to co-found New Seasons Market. Our goal was to create neighborhood grocery stores that treated customers and staff well, built a sense of community, and supported local farmers and ranchers. Today New Seasons Market has ten stores and about two thousand staff members.
  • As a high tech executive in the 1990s, I led a software development team that was at the forefront of online educational training.
  • As a Vice President at the acclaimed, local nonprofit Ecotrust, I championed an action plan to transition California to a sustainable food and farming economy by the year 2030.
  • When I served as Vice Chair of Governor Kulongoski’s Oregon Health Fund Board, in the middle of a recession in 2009, we were able to develop and help pass legislation that now provides health care to an additional eighty-five thousand Oregon children.

I know that together we can get Portland back on track. But to do that, I need your help. Over the next year I will be visiting all ninety-five Portland neighborhoods, and I can’t wait to meet you! Please join my email list, make a financial contribution, or just come on over and talk to me. Together, let’s start a new chapter for Portland.



Portland Tribune: "Elect Eileen as our next mayor"

by Eileen Brady Posted April 19, 2012

Today, I am honored to have received the endorsement from the Portland Tribune. And it is most gratifying to share it with all of you.

Together we are building among the most diverse, grassroots coalitions this city has ever seen. Rather than allowing small differences to separate us, people are embracing the opportunity to work together - to create good jobs, to improve city services, to have great public schools and to make Portland more equitable.

And the Portland Tribune recognized everything you've done - saying that we are running an "almost flawless campaign."

Here's what the Portland Tribune told voters in considering the choices:

"Brady's life experience and the coalition she has built in the campaign bode well for her potential as mayor. ...

Brady has risen to the top of a 22-candidate field because she understands the necessity for a more vibrant economy in Portland to support this city's celebrated quality of life. Brady's professional and volunteer experiences support her argument that she can bring the right mix of skills to the job...

The economy, however, is the issue for Portland -- not just for now, but for many years to come. Because she has shown her ability to build a coalition that includes business, community activists, environmentalists and many others, we believe Brady should move past the May primary ... voters should cast their ballots for coalition-builder Eileen Brady."


Meet Eileen

Eileen Brady is running for Mayor of Portland to bring her results-driven approach to City Hall.

She is a businesswoman, a civic leader, and a sustainability advocate with proven success and a track record of innovation in the private sector, the non-profit sector, and in public policy. She’s been working for over two decades to create new services, new industries, and new opportunities that make our community better– all within a budget and all while maintaining her values.

Eileen’s vision is a Portland where everyone has the opportunity for meaningful work, a healthy environment, safe and vibrant neighborhoods, a strong sense of community, and outstanding schools for our children.

Eileen has a long history of being a pragmatic, innovative, and compassionate leader.

A family of activists

Born in 1961 in Chicago, Eileen is the eldest of five in an extended Irish Catholic family. Her mother served on the Evanston City Council and was a public housing advocate, who taught Eileen the importance of community activism. Eileen was raising money for causes like muscular dystrophy by age nine and knocking on doors for political campaigns at age twelve. When she was eighteen, her principles led her to participate in a non-violent “no nukes” protest that even earned her a couple of weeks in a Richmond, Virginia jail.

A working mom, five bucks an hour

As a young mother, Eileen graduated from Evergreen State College, convinced that business could be an effective catalyst for social change. She moved to Portland and went to work at Nature’s Fresh Northwest, a company that was an early pioneer in the natural foods grocery industry. She started at $5 an hour, earning just enough to pay for child care and worked her way up to Human Resources Director and served on the executive management team. In this role, she helped build a workplace culture of service and community, proving that you can create a sustainable, profitable business by providing a bridge between local farmers, fishers, ranchers and urban consumers.

Building a Portland business

Eileen brought that same philosophy to the launch team of New Seasons Market when she and her husband, along with two other families and many friends, co-founded the Portland-based business that now has 10 stores and employs about 2,000 people. Their goal was to develop a truly local, neighborhood-oriented grocery company that was integrated into its community, featured local foods, and modeled progressive workplace practices, such as offering health care to part-time employees and to all family members, including domestic partners. Brady represented the company on the Oregon Business Association Board, the Oregon Health Fund Board and the Metro Blue Ribbon Bike Trails Commission.

Her results-oriented and focused approach were integral to her success in the high-tech sector, where she served as an Operations Director and Executive Producer and led a team of software engineers, database administrators, instructional designers, and graphic artists to create products for the nation's largest provider of online training programs for Microsoft Windows.

Eileen is also the board chair of Celilo Group Media, publisher of the green coupon guide, ChinookBook.

A commitment to service

Eileen is a respected sustainability expert. She served as Vice President for Food and Farms for Portland’s landmark conservation non-profit organization, Ecotrust, where she focused on market development with special emphasis on bringing together urban and rural communities. She brought this expertise to the advisory board of Voice for Oregon Sustainability and Innovation (VOIS) and to the launch board for the Portland Sustainability Institute (PoSI), where she currently serves as an advisor.

Perhaps Eileen’s most important public service role was serving as Vice Chair of the Oregon Health Fund Board. In that role, she focused on transforming Oregon’s health care system. The board recommended and helped pass the 2009 legislation that provides health care for an additional eighty-five thousand uninsured Oregon children. Eileen is now a member of the Oregon Health Policy board. In 2010 Metropolitan Family Service presented Eileen with its annual Provocateur Award, recognizing her efforts to reform health care in Oregon.

As an involved citizen, Eileen has served Portland in many capacities, including as the board chair of Zenger Farms, an educational farm in Lents that introduces over 4,500 children a year to watershed health and to where their food comes from. She also sat on the City of Portland’s Mt. Tabor Reservoirs Independent Review Panel.


Eileen and her husband Brian Rohter live in southeast Portland, where they raised their blended family of four children and sent them to Portland's public schools. Eileen has been a SMART volunteer, a soccer coach, a member of the Portland Parks Swim Team board, has chaperoned numerous field trips, and has done playground and lunchroom duty at school for more days than she can remember. Her hobbies include biking, gardening and kayaking. At age 50, she just completed her first sprint triathlon.





Rebuild our Local Economy

“There is a myth in Portland that says we can’t have both progressive values and a thriving local economy. We have to break through that myth and commit to growing jobs.”

– Eileen Brady

  • Eileen will make Portland the best city in the United States to start a small business and to be an entrepreneur. She will eliminate the bureaucratic maze that new businesses have to navigate before they can open their doors and will create a one-stop help center for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

  • Eileen will listen to the needs of the employers who have already made Portland their home.

  • Eileen will accelerate the implementation of Portland Development Commission’s Neighborhood Economic Development Plan.

  • Eileen will recruit green and blue collar jobs to our City. To create more family wage jobs, it is imperative that we keep and bring manufacturing jobs to Portland. 

  • Eileen will support the development of available industrial lands and enhance our working harbor while protecting the urban environment.

  • Eileen will put her expertise to work to grow Portland's commitment to sustainability. She will continue and enhance long term efforts such as district energy systems. Eileen will support enhanced neighborhood initiatives including additional community gardens and community processing kitchens.

  • Eileen will further develop the public/private partnerships to make Portland one of the most energy efficient cities in America. New family wage jobs will be created as we retrofit existing buildings and operations.

  • Eileen will work to expand the advanced manufacturing applied research and incubator capacities of our local higher education institutions.

  • Eileen will change two positions in the Mayor’s office to focus on economic development – a business liaison and a labor liaison.




Invest in East Portland

“I will find the common ground necessary to make our under-served neighborhoods in outer east Portland as livable and safe as any other neighborhood in our city. I support the efforts of the community leaders to fully develop and implement the East Portland Action Plan.”

– Eileen Brady

  • Eileen will promote an International Marketplace for SE 82nd Avenue, highlighting the growing diversity of our City while creating entrepreneurial opportunities.

  • Eileen will champion the development of an East Portland “Pioneer Square” type town center to serve as a community, business and cultural center. Just as Pioneer Square is considered Portland’s “Living Room,” the East Portland center will be Portland’s “Family Room.”

  • Eileen will prioritize public transportation for East Portland before even considering discretionary projects like the streetcar to Lake Oswego. She will focus on paving roads and building sidewalks in East Portland with realistic, measurable goals.

  • Eileen will fully support Commissioner Nick Fish’s proposal for East Portland park development, currently called “E205.” 




Transform Our Public Schools

“While the Mayor doesn’t have an official role running our schools, I will take a real leadership role in helping transform our public school system.”

– Eileen Brady

  • Eileen will be a strong advocate for increased funding for our public schools in the Oregon Legislature and Washington, DC.

  • Eileen will serve as a convener and an advocate for a transformed school system, one that is performance oriented, led by teachers, and driven to graduate innovators, entrepreneurs, trades people, artisans, scientists, problem solvers, social justice leaders and bi-lingual global citizens.

  • Eileen will partner with the county to help maintain and grow after school programs like SUN schools and youth summer employment programs.



Keep our Community Safe

“I have a life-long respect for the men and women who choose careers in law enforcement. We can and must have both an accountable police force and a respected police force.”

– Eileen Brady

  • Eileen will serve as Police Commissioner.

  • Eileen will personally chair the Youth Gang Violence Task Force.

  • Eileen will renew our commitment to community policing.

  • Eileen will propose a joint City and County public safety agenda and budget to maximize use of public resources. We will have the full force of our local governments working together to keep our community safe.

  • Eileen will address the entire spectrum of public safety – upstream programs for reducing & preventing crime, mental health intervention, probation, the court system, neighborhood watch, as well as community policing and incident response.


Accountability and Customer Service

We will instill an ethic of prudent fiscal management, accountability and a culture of customer service and friendly responsiveness throughout City Government.

"When I’m Mayor, every decision, every rule, every ordinance, and every work day will be focused on this simple proposition: that the city’s job is to deliver cost effective, efficient and friendly services to the citizens of Portland."

– Eileen Brady

  • Eileen will support the proposal for an Independent Utility Commission, a rate setting oversight body for our water and sewer services.

  • Eileen will immediately direct the bureaus to review all external consulting contracts, reporting on costs, necessity and outcomes.

  • Eileen will leverage one of our city’s greatest resources — the knowledge and experience of our front line public employees. She will ensure that they have the flexibility and tools they need to go the extra mile for our citizens.