Where’s Eileen? Not in my neighborhood… 10


Over the last 7 days, I’ve taken 5 long walks through my inner-NE neighborhood. I’ve taken 4 very different routes, going as far as NE 33rd to the east, NE 7th to the west. I’ve been as far north as Siskiyou, and as far south as Weidler – alongside high-volume roads (NE 15th) and slow neighborhoods where I never saw another person. (It’s all part of my #whimstomp campaign; read more about it here…)

Part of what I love about these walks (some with headphones/podcasts or music, some without) is that I do get to people-watch. Or house-watch. (It was very cool to see the daffodils I sweated over planting 14 years ago blooming still in the median near my old house, for example.)

And since we’re in the midst of an election primary season, I’m seeing plenty of lawn signs. For congressional reps, city councilmen (or woman, in the case of Mary Nolan) & for Portland’s next mayor, where the top three candidates now are ex-councilman Charlie Hales, Bus Project wunderkind (and current state congressman) Jefferson Smith, and entrepreneur Eileen Brady.

I’ve put in 12 miles on foot in the last 7 days.

I’ve seen plenty of signs for Charlie Hales.

I’ve seen plenty of signs for Jefferson Smith.

I’ve not seen one single, solitary sign for Eileen Brady.

I believe they have signs – I was told I could pick one up a few weeks ago via an Brady for Mayor email (I got myself on the list, and haven’t yet bothered to unsubscribe.)

The same email that trumpeted Eileen’s new ad with a nod to Portlandia: Put a Job on It. (My friend Robert Wagner wasn’t at all impressed, nor was I when I finally got around to watching it. Today.)

But here’s the thing: In order to get a job, you have to first do the leg work. Even the boring, what seems to be mundane work. (I’ve volunteered for enough school campaigns in my day to know that’s the kind of work that ends up paying off in the end, in fact.)

Which means you have to get in front of voters. With lawn signs that hit people as they’re walking, driving, biking or running by. Not so much videos that people have to add to their to-do lists to go watch ‘later’ (as in my case).

I’d say in this day and age, if you want to get a job – well, you have to be persistent. Memorable. And make the impression that you’re going to be consistently there, working hard, for starters.

But the very best way to get a job is to first prove you can do the work. Including (in this case) the work of getting her name out there, her presence visible to the average, ordinary voters as they go about their average, ordinary days.

Brady hasn’t done that for me, sorry.


10 thoughts on “Where’s Eileen? Not in my neighborhood…

  • Robert Wagner

    You aren’t alone. Eileen Brady has little to no presence in SE Portland either while Jefferson Smith is very well represented by yard signs (Charlie Hales not quite as much) – at least not in the handful of walks/drives I’ve taken in the past month.

  • t.a. barnhart

    there’s a reason you’re not running political campaigns, i guess, if you think lawn signs mean a damn thing. they don’t. if they did, we’d probably have half of the city covered. the actual work is meeting with people in their homes and neighborhoods, meeting with community leaders, meeting with business leaders of all sizes (yesterday Eileen brought together several sole ownership bicycle manufacturers & several large shipbuilders on Swan Island), raising money & (alas) tv ads. those are what win elections, not putting plastic nametags on people’s lawns.

    you win elections on substance, not cosmetics, and that’s why Eileen has led in all serious polls from the beginning.

    (and Rob’s opinion of the ad isn’t widely shared; it’s up near 30,000 views in 5 days, which is far beyond any other piece of media in this campaign.)

  • Betsy Post author

    Nope, I haven’t run any political campaigns.

    But I’d question whether or not the folks behind Brady’s campaign had (much), either.

    I *have* been a volunteer for several campaigns here in the PDX area, though (both national & local, or for specific measures.) And what they all had in common (which the Brady campaign appears to lack) is a multi-pronged approach – substance, cosmetics *and* good old fashioned leg-work (things like lawn signs) in order to win.

    Finally – who watches ads on television these days? Not so many Portlanders, I’d guess. But especially given the nice weather today, they’ve been out in droves. And they certainly didn’t see hide nor hair of Brady’s presence around town, did they?

  • Betsy Post author

    And one more thing: I’m pretty well-connected around town (from a social media angle, anyway). I’ve been invited to hordes of house parties for either Hales or Smith.

    But even though I have many friends (both in person and online) who are Brady supporters, I have yet to be invited to a house party to help support her, or learn more about her stance on the issues.

    Until today, I’ve been pretty impartial. Seems like I’d be a worthwhile target, no?

    But I’ve not heard a thing…

  • stephanie v

    hey Betsy,

    I’m sorry you couldn’t make it to MY house party! You could have met not only Jefferson but also his wife Katy and puppy George Bailey (who was the real star of the evening).

    I’d be happy to answer any questions you have about Jefferson and also put you in touch with him directly if you would like.

    I hope you’ll consider giving him your vote!

    cheers.

  • Mike

    In my SE neighborhood, I’ve seen a good mix of Jefferson and Charlie signs, but today was the first Eileen sign I saw. Until the signs started showing up, Eileen was the only candidate I could name, if asked. Plus, when I see a neighbor endorse a candidate, I take that more seriously than any tv/YouTube ad.

    • Betsy Post author

      Mike – exactly (re. neighbor endorsements).

      I have a similar reaction when I see a sign for someone I don’t know that much about sitting on the lawn of the house that’s been, um, a neighborhood sore spot.

      Sure, I’ll still take a closer look. Maybe. But that’s part of my own very contextual decision-making process as a voter.

  • GeekEyeCon Post author

    (Note: my site was having issues last night, regular commenter GeekEyeCon e-mailed me his comment for posting instead. Did so, still has my avatar, tho…!)

    Until today, I’d never even heard the name Eileen Brady muttered in passing, let alone that she was running for mayor in any way, shape, or form. That speaks VOLUMES about one (or more) of the following things:

    1. They’re targeting their advertising in the completely incorrect areas. Be that demographic, or street beating with the feets.
    2. They’re too lazy, or too dependent on word of mouth, which can work wonders, but doesn’t work miracles.
    3. Their campaign “Idea Men/Women” are likely hipster-ish douchebags. This is strictly based on the “Put a job on it” video. They’re either blatantly placating, which is shitty and condescending, or they’re so entirely unoriginal that they have to steal an annoying, contrived meme to try (unsuccessfully) to get people’s attention at the last minute.

    I live in Beaverton. This isn’t even my election. But, if any of the above is true, then Eileen Brady and her cohorts are untrustworthy, unoriginal, and apparently can’t think ahead and do the god damn work.

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