Chloe Eudaly’s Election Victory is a Mandate for Action on Tenants Rights

By Margot Black of Portland, Oregon. Margot is a mother of three, college mathematics instructor, and an organizer with Portland Tenants United.

Portland’s political establishment is reeling. Chloe Eudaly’s “most stunning City Council upset in three decades”, wasn’t supposed to happen; an incumbent hadn’t been unseated since Bud Clark in 1992. Since that time, Portland’s well-oiled political machine of monied power brokers have effectively developed a calculated protocol that has prevented such upsets. The city’s kingmakers assumed they had nothing to worry about, and they lined up behind incumbent Steve Novick. But they were wrong.

In May, Chloe eked out a nail-biting 11th hour victory to earn a spot in the run off. But come November, it wasn’t even a close call: Novick conceded to Chloe by 8:09 PM on election night, ultimately losing by almost 10 points. So what does this mean?

Some, including Novick himself, have attributed Chloe’s victory exclusively to Novick’s unpopularity with the voters after missteps early in his term. But this analysis is deeply flawed and misses the deeper lessons of the election.