Meet Jules Bailey
Jules Bailey’s story is similar to many of ours. He grew up in a middle-class family in Southeast Portland with parents who made service, and not a big paycheck, a priority. Jules and his wife struggled to put together enough money for a down payment on their first home in Portland’s skyrocketing housing market. And with the recent arrival of their new son, they experienced how hard it is to find quality, affordable childcare. Jules understands firsthand how difficult it is to stretch a budget.
Jules got his start in Portland Public Schools. After graduating from Lincoln High School and Lewis and Clark College, Jules did his graduate work at Princeton University, earning dual master’s degrees in public policy and economics, and urban and regional planning. He also holds graduate-level certification in science, technology, and environmental policy.
Throughout his career, Jules has stood by the adage “Think globally, act locally.” In his time as an economist and a small business owner, Jules has worked and done research across the United States and on five continents with issues such as economic development, education, sustainability, and micro finance. Jules was elected to three terms as a State Representative from Oregon House District 42. He closed wasteful corporate tax loopholes to create revenue to fund vital services like our local schools. Jules also helped pass the largest K-12 school budget in Oregon history at that time, as well as helped pass tuition equity, providing all Oregon students the opportunity to go to college. He was a leader for the environment, earning the Oregon League of Conservation Voters Environmental Champion of the Year award, and co-founded Enhabit (formerly Clean Energy Works Oregon) to help people retrofit their homes for energy efficiency.
As a County Commissioner, Jules has been creating solutions for our most vulnerable residents, working on affordable housing and homelessness, crisis mental health services, and public safety reform. He was instrumental in funding the new Unity crisis mental health facility, and has been a leader on the Home For Everyone Committee’s efforts to end homelessness and provide housing for every homeless veteran. He has been a leader on Portland’s efforts to house every veteran, and to make sure family shelter is available year round. Jules also feels strongly that we need to address racial disparities and racial injustice. He has helped change the SUN schools program to prioritize culturally specific organizations, and has led the way on workforce diversity and equity at Multnomah County. He has also continued his work on LGBTQ equality, especially helping trans youth gain access to information and resources.
Jules helped make Multnomah County the first in the nation to move to a $15/per hour minimum wage, and the first to implement a paid family leave policy. He also helped create a joint City-County innovation fund for diversity in entrepreneurship. Jules provided needed public safety patrols in underserved areas, and helped fund a program to remove guns from the homes of convicted abusers.
Jules lives with his wife Jessica and their baby son August in Multnomah Village.