Jules Bailey (’01) Wins Elected Office
Pamplin Fellow Jules Bailey has some new digs in Salem. Formerly Jules Kopel-Bailey, Bailey was elected to represent District 42 in the Oregon House of Representatives. This district – including the heart of Southeast and portions of nearby Northeast – is so consistently Democratic, that the primary election, rather than the general election, is the real contest. In the race to replace outgoing Representative Diane Rosenbaum, Bailey faced three other Democrats and finished with 41 percent of the vote, more than 10 points ahead of his closest rival. He had no Republican opponent in November, and handily defeated Pacific Green Party candidate Chris Extine.
Bailey has a dizzying resume. A native of Portland, he attended Lincoln High School, and worked on invasive species removal in Forest Park before starting classes at Lewis & Clark. He then took a leave from Lewis & Clark to work for a Swiss development company in Vietnam. After returning to LC to complete his degrees in International Affairs and Environmental Studies, Bailey won a Truman Scholarship which he used to spend a summer working in Washington, DC at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration through a policy program with the Brookings Institution. From there he went on to earn a Masters in Public Affairs and Urban and Regional Planning from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Professionally, Bailey has worked as a policy analyst for Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradley, as a consultant for UNICEF in the Sudan, and currently as a Senior Policy Analyst at ECONorthwest, an economic consulting firm here in Portland. Oh, and he also speaks Mandarin Chinese.
On leave from ECONorthwest for the duration of the legislative session, Bailey has been assigned to four committees: Sustainability and Economic Development, Environment and Water, Transportation, and Revenue. He has several big goals in this session including an energy efficiency bill which he’s been working on “every waking moment since the end of the primary.” The program would use publicly and privately-financed loans to pay for homeowners and small businesses to retrofit their buildings for energy efficiency. The loans would be repaid slowly through utilities bills, but consumers would actually see a net decrease in these bills as a result of increased efficiency. The real beauty of the program though, according to Bailey, is that it will be revenue neutral.
Cost-conscious planning will be crucial in a legislature facing a potential $600 million shortfall in this biennium, and Bailey acknowledges that revenue issues are “where the rubber meets the road in this session.” On the Revenue Committee, Bailey hopes to engage in a “major restructuring of corporate taxation, especially the corporate minimum tax which has not been changed since the 1930s, and is still set at $10.” Yet the sheer size and immediacy of the hole in the budget mean little can be done from a revenue side. “There are going to have to be some drastic and painful cuts,” Bailey says.
Asked about the importance of his time at Lewis & Clark, Bailey remembers that he’ll be having breakfast with Cyrus Partovi the next morning. He thinks that sort of continued connection is “indicative of the relationships made at Lewis & Clark,” and that his time at LC fostered a “lifetime of critical thinking and love of policy.” The Pamplin Society, specifically, “was a chance to interact with both students and professors who could help shape his early interest in a way that was much more tangible than would have been in a classroom setting.”
Bailey has always been interested in policy, and knew “in the back of his mind” that he would end up in politics, but he did not realize the transition would happen as soon as it did. For any Pamplin Fellows (or others!) interested in politics and policy, he offers the following advice which was given to him: “If you’re interested in running for office, don’t make that your profession. Get a real job. When you knock on someone’s door and they ask you what you do, have an answer.”
In true Portland fashion, Bailey and his wife Amy Wong enjoy hiking, farmers’ markets, riding their bikes, and home-brewing.