Chloe Eudaly, the council's novice member, has successfully recruited a second senior hand to her staff.
David Austin, 51, a former Oregonian reporter who has worked as spokesman for Multnomah County for eight years, will serve as Eudaly's deputy chief of staff, handling both communications and policy work.
It's a surprise move for Austin, and one that shows Eudaly, a small business-owner consummate outsider, will be relying on experienced senior staff to guide her.
Marshall Runkel, also 51, who worked as an aide Commissioner Erik Sten, is Eudaly's chief of staff.
Eudaly is "a fighter," says Austin. "What she represents in a lot of ways is what Portland used to be known for: compassion, caring about those in need and trying to make a difference. She's a renter. She's a single mom. And she's a staunch advocate for people who don't have the means to help themselves. That's why I want to work for her."
Eudaly sent a lengthy text about the hiring:
When I decided to run for City Council, it was contingent upon Marshall Runkel, who I met when he worked for Commissioner Sten, not only running my campaign but coming to City Hall with me if I won. Along the way, we assembled a talented team of over a dozen volunteers with expertise in a variety of areas — tenants rights, arts & culture, tech, labor, law enforcement, environmental justice — some of whom will also come with us. I met Dave Austin on a recent visit to the Grant Magazine class where he serves as a volunteer instructor. I was already impressed with his work at The Oregonian and Multnomah County; seeing him in action with his students was the clincher. I thought it was a longshot that he’d accept our offer, but I think Dave sees what an incredible opportunity we have to make real, progressive change in Portland and what a critical time we’re facing. We feel so lucky to have him on our team.
Austin starts work in Eudaly's office on Jan. 3.