You know what your community cares about. Together, we can make it happen.
My name is Eddy Morales, and I am running for mayor because I want a Gresham government that is accountable, transparent, and represents all our residents, especially those who’ve been underrepresented until now. We are the best people to decide what policies we need and forge solutions to create prosperity and opportunity for all Gresham residents. Together, we can make it happen.
Eddy’s lived experience gives him great empathy for the struggles of underrepresented people. That's not enough to make a great mayor, 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 Morales was raised by a single mom, who worked hard to keep him and his siblings housed and fed. His mother, Socorro, taught him that no matter how little you have, there is always enough to share with someone who has less. She would frequently invite community members home for dinner to be sure they had a hot meal. She had a tremendous capacity for compassion and giving that she passed on to Eddy.
During Eddy’s childhood, they lived in many Oregon communities, including Woodburn, Sherwood, Milwaukie, and several neighborhoods in Portland and Gresham. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon experience. Too many families are forced to move frequently while working hard to achieve economic security and stable housing. Gresham’s poverty rate is 20%, which means that many of our neighbors are left out of the economic opportunities our region offers. This fact and his personal experience are why housing affordability, and the stability it provides working families, has always been Eddy’s leading priority.
Frequently moving and changing schools also meant that Eddy did not learn to speak, read, or write in English until he was in the third grade. After Eddy’s older brother was murdered in a senseless act of gun violence in 1994, he dropped out of high school and took on three jobs to help support his family, including one at the Police Activities League (PAL) in Gresham. At PAL, Eddy’s peers recognized his potential and encouraged him to finish high school. At 16, he reenrolled in high school and eventually became the first in his family to attend college.
In college, because of his leadership success in student government and organizing campus activities, he was elected to represent over three million students across America on Capitol Hill as President of the United States Student Association. There, he served as the official voice of students and represented them to Congress, the Department of Education, and the White House.
Eddy has continued to engage youth. From recruiting young people to engage politically by registering people to vote or including them in decisions before the Gresham City Council, youth empowerment is not new to him. Eddy has brought youth along in all that he has done as a working adult professional over the last 18 years, including working for many national organizations dedicated to community change.
Eddy eventually started his own business, Morales Public Relations. His success and commitment to building communities where we all have the opportunity to thrive has allowed him to work with policymakers from around the country and give back to the community that has given him so much.
In 2010, Eddy achieved another first in his family: he purchased a home. For the first time in his life, he had the opportunity to put down his own roots, and he chose Gresham, where his partner grew up and two of his sisters and several of his nieces and nephews now live.
Eddy has brought his experience, skills, determination, and his compassion to the Gresham City Council, tackling issues like housing, transportation, and economic opportunity for all our residents. As one of the fastest-growing cities in Oregon, he recognizes Gresham is going to have to be more proactive to preserve what we all value. As we shape our community for the future, Gresham needs to be ready for the new neighbors that will undoubtedly choose Gresham as their home.
Eddy’s vision for Gresham includes prosperity and opportunity for all Gresham residents. We invite you to learn more about Eddy's priorities.
My mother immigrated to the United States with eight children. When we arrived in Oregon, she only had $200 in her purse, and yet, no matter what our circumstances were, my mother always took time to listen to others, empathize, and take on their challenges. I saw the solidarity she showed people reciprocated in powerful ways. That was my first lesson in social justice.
With the help of government services and programs, I attended college. During college, my eyes were opened to the reasons life is so much harder for some people and communities than others. I realized there are systems in place to keep us down and that we the people really can make change happen. For the first time, I felt powerful, and I dedicated my life to fighting for social justice.
After college, I moved to Washington, D.C. I learned to fundraise from Nancy Pelosi, and I had the privilege of working alongside voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams and organizing powerhouse Heather Booth. I learned so much from these mentors and discovered a passion for community organizing that brought me back home to Oregon.
Rest in Peace, Mamá. I'm still fighting for others just like you taught me.
Fair Fight Founder and former Georgia House Minority Leader
Fair Fight Founder and former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams joined Eddy and team in April 2017 to write the organizing plan for East County Rising.