Mayor Shane Bemis

  • Term of Office:  January 2015 – December 2018

    Read the Mayor's 2018 State of the City Address.

    Mayor Shane Bemis - Profile PhotoShane T. Bemis is Gresham’s 26th Mayor, first sworn into office in January of 2007. At the age of 34, Bemis became the youngest serving Mayor in Gresham’s history. Now in his third term, Bemis remains focused on progress in economic development, community safety and livability, and is focused on making Gresham a thriving environment for children and families. 

    Bemis has emerged as a respected leader on both the local and national stage. Locally, he is a founding member, and the current Chairman of the Metropolitan Mayors Consortium, a group comprised of the Portland Metropolitan Region’s 25 mayors. The Metropolitan Mayors Consortium advocates on behalf of local government interests, both regionally and at the State Legislature.

    Nationally, Bemis has risen through the ranks of the US Conference of Mayors, becoming one of the Conference’s 15 governing Trustees, a team that includes the Mayors of New York City, Dallas, and Los Angeles. The US Conference of Mayors has highlighted Gresham’s best practices in clean energy and support for small businesses. Under the leadership of Mayor Bemis and the City Council, the City’s wastewater treatment plant, for example, was one of the first in the nation to produce more energy than it consumes, turning the City’s largest energy hog into a net energy producer and saving Gresham’s ratepayers $800,000 per year in avoided energy costs.

    On the small business front, Bemis has been recognized nationally for Gresham’s leadership in the “Garage to Storefront” program, which helped 144 new and expanding small businesses fill previously vacant storefronts in Gresham’s key commercial areas during the nation’s largest economic decline since the Great Depression.  The US Conference of Mayors recognized Gresham’s program as a best practice in their national publication, and Esquire Magazine highlighted Bemis’ leadership with the program in its October 2013 “Age of the Mayor” feature story.

    Bemis has a diverse academic and professional background, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from Marylhurst University and significant experience as a small business owner in Gresham. Bemis started his first successful restaurant at the age of 27, and now owns a restaurant in Gresham’s historic downtown. Bemis was honored by the Portland Business Journal as one of the region’s “Forty under 40 Award” recipients in 2007. Bemis remains active in the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce and the Historic Downtown Gresham Business Association.

    One of Bemis’ first initiatives was the creation of the annual Council Work Plan process in 2007, which put the operations of the City into a businesslike planning document, charting the goals and initiatives of the Council on a quarterly basis – a transparent system that is now in its 11th year.

    Under Bemis’ leadership, the City has made a number of significant accomplishments, moving Gresham forward and improving community livability:

    • Development of the Gresham Sports Park
    • Development of the Downtown Arts Plaza
    • Addition of the Children’s Fountain at the Arts Plaza
    • Established one of the nation’s most innovative Rental Housing Inspection Programs
    • Wastewater Treatment Plant became a net energy-producer, saving ratepayers $800,000 annually
    • Garage to Storefront program filled 225,000 square feet of previously vacant retails space with 144 new or expanding small businesses during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression
    • Establishment of the Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) to work with residents on chronic neighborhood livability and law enforcement issues
    • Construction of the Rockwood Police Facility
    • Held TriMet accountable to enhance police presence on light rail, resulting in a TriMet funded transit police precinct in Gresham
    • Development of Hogan Butte Nature Park, one of the region’s newest flagship vitas
    • Successful advocacy to continue funding for the East Metro Gang Enforcement Team from the State Legislature
    • Partnership with Friend’s of the Children to bring professional mentoring services to Gresham
    • Partnership with the Boys and Girls Club to bring a beautiful new club facility to Rockwood
    • Partnership with Family of Friends to bring volunteer mentoring services to Gresham
    • Launched late-night Friday and Saturday basketball at HB Lee Middle School for at-risk youth
    • Launched Summer Kids in the Parks (SKIP) program – now in its fourth year – to bring free summer recreation for Gresham youth at Vance, Main City, and Red Sunset Parks
    • Successfully advocated for $664,100 in county funding for enhanced services to address homelessness
    • Spearheaded the creation of the City’s “Clean Start” program, a partnership with Central City Concern that provides vocational training for previously homeless individuals, who clean up junk, garbage, and debris from public spaces in Gresham.
    • Increased enforcement on illegally parked RVs in Gresham Neighborhoods

    Mayor Bemis can be reached at 503-618-2584 or