Director of Policy
Jamey Duhamel is Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s Policy Director. Her role is to manage the weekly council items and work with the other offices on specific policy proposals. Jamey specializes in issues related to housing and tenant protections.
She comes to City Hall with decades of experience as a social worker, a public spokesperson, a political activist and as director of non-profit programs. She spent five years as the director of Castle Mountain Coalition fighting coal mine proposals in Alaska.
With a background of working with people with disabilities and experience in helping abused children, Jamey remembers her defining moment in public service – taking the lead on fighting a series of coal mine proposals in rural Alaska.
“I didn’t know much about coal, but I knew it didn’t create healthy communities,” she recalls. I felt such a sense of urgency. I volunteered at first, showed up at hearings and knew I had to be involved more.”
She quit her job and later was named director of the coalition. “I just couldn’t imagine doing anything else,” she says now. “My primary motivation in life is to do work that helps people.”
Born and raised in Alaska’s Matanuska-Susitna Valley, Jamey married her high school sweetheart and has five children, the oldest of whom has developmental disabilities, including autism. In an effort to seek community resources for her disabled son, the family decided to move to Portland in early 2015.
“Moving to a city with great disability resources and a good public transportation system was essential for my son to live an independent life,” Jamey says. “However, we never anticipated how difficult it would be to find stable housing for our large family, nor how destabilizing the lack of tenant protections would be for our children’s future.”
With her first-hand experience in Portland’s difficult housing market, Jamey is committed to aid Commissioner Eudaly’s fight to bring more housing relief to the people of Portland. “Housing is such a fundamental need. It’s a basic human right,” she says.
When she’s not working at City Hall, Jamey and her family frequent libraries and museums for fun. Her goal is to take the family to every single museum Portland has to offer, no matter how big, small or funky.