Amanda Fritz can't declare victory yet, because the polls don't close for another half hour. Behind her at the podium is a big screen with the blank Multnomah County results. But that's not stopping her from speaking to her supporters (including Commissioner Nick Fish and Mayor-elect Sam Adams), who've crammed the conference room at Ecotrust and are sipping sodas and munching on snacks. (She's also been hugging every last one as they walk in the door.)
"Thank you for an amazing campaign. Exactly 13 months ago, we started this journey together," Fritz says. She's retelling the story about how she got her start in politics 17 years ago, when she got a flyer about a threatened woodland near her home. "I went to the neighborhood association meeting, and have been going to neighborhood association meetings ever since."
She's "in a really good place to be your next city commissioner because someone left a flyer at my house. So if you ever doubt if those little things you do make a difference, they do."
More from Fritz after the cut!
"Pretty much the only thing that comes out of my mouth these days is my stump speech," she says. Which is fine, because her "basic services in all 95 neighborhoods" motto will go with her to city council. She's been doing canvassing alongside existing supporters in those neighborhoods, and over 50 of her volunteers have been waving signs for Fritz all over town.
She's asked for hand raises from people who canvassed with her, waved signs, walked in parades with her, and collected $5 for her. Lots of people here are raising their hands.
"This is our result. We have done this together," she says.
She was endorsed by 11 unions, "let's hear it for all the unions. Because this is another thing that we have shown. In public campaign financing it matters that you are a community organizer."
Fritz is introducing "my friend, Sam Adams, and my friend Tom Potter," who just snuck in. "Both of whom have done wonderful things in public service and will continue to do wonderful things. I'm very excited to serve on the council," she says, knocking on her wood podium.
"As an elected official, if I get to be one, I don't need to know all the answers," she says, because she knows who to go to for the answers.
Thanking other elected officials who've helped her and given her advice, she says "I am really encouraged, with the crises we have to go through with the economy and other things... I'm very encouraged that together we can get through anything." She also pointed to a big screen where the presidential results are rolling in.
She's thanking her in-laws, and says she's supposed to call her mother in England as soon as she knows the results.
"Come and tell me who I've forgotten that I should have remembered, and we've got 10 more minutes before the results!" After which, she'll apparently be speaking again.
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