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Eric is passionate about Oregon. A lifelong Oregonian, Eric has worked to make his community a better and more safe place since he was young. He promoted the community’s growth and livability at all levels of local government, and he served our nation in uniform at home and abroad. He’s running for Portland City Council to promote livability across all neighborhoods, invest in Portland’s potential, and bring meaningful experience to an ever changing city.

The future of Portland is personal for him. Eric was born in Portland where his mom spent an entire career as a Portland Public Schools Teacher. He and two sisters grew up spending much of their time in Southeast Portland where their grandfather Ralph Schwab was the ever-active community volunteer. From his youngest years, Eric was out delivering Meals-On-Wheels or cleaning up Woodstock park with his grandfather.

Eric attended the University of Portland on an Army ROTC scholarship and enjoyed the college life in the St. Johns neighborhood. Eric started college and joined the army only a few short months after the U.S. invasion of Iraq and he would later go on to serve in the war as a platoon leader across much of western Iraq.

Upon returning to Oregon, Eric was asked to serve on the Multnomah County Veterans Task Force where he helped shape local and state programs and public policy for veterans living and working in our community. Eric did all this while continuing to serve under the restrictive policy of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

As an openly gay man, Eric became outspoken after his return from Iraq about the need for equal rights for service members and has continued to serve openly for nearly 17 years as a member of the Oregon National Guard. Eric served a combat tour in Iraq, a NATO peacekeeping mission in Kosovo, and a diplomatic assignment at our embassy in Bangladesh.

Eric has a broad career in local government. He worked as the Chief of Staff to two Multnomah County Commissioners and was the Senior Advisor for the Central City under the Portland Mayor. Eric also worked as a Deputy City Manager in two mid-sized cities in Oregon and has deep familiarity with the new form of government for Portland.

While he isn’t a household name, Eric has worked on some of our biggest problems recently, including;

  • the Temporary Alternative Shelter Site plan and Good Neighbor Agreement
  • shutting down the fentanyl market at SW 4th and Washington
  • expanding the partnership with local enhanced service districts to advance cleanups and safer streets, and the expanded street tree lighting program
  • leading the 90-day reset of the Central Eastside Industrial District
  • advocating for a re-imagined urban park in Darcelle XV Plaza
  • expanding the Old Town Entertainment District police and safety presence
  • sponsoring art, light festivals and drag performances in the central city
  • working with governments and local business to remove the boarded-up buildings and open up downtown post-pandemic
  • stopping the increase of health department fees on small restaurant businesses
  • ending Multnomah County’s “foil and straw” program for fentanyl users
  • advancing the Shelter Now policy by funding a record number of new Pod Shelter beds
  • opening unused public plazas to allow for community activation and improved safety

Learn more about Eric on The Bridge podcast by Oregon360!