by Kelly Hansen
In an election of sensationalism, here’s a matter-of-fact piece about a local candidate I admire: Secretary of State candidate Brad Avakian.
Brad Avakian in our current Bureau of Labor Commissioner, former state legislator, Civil Rights Lawyer, and brave human running for Secretary of State. Here’s why I’m into him, and why he can be the local public servant for which you are so excited to vote.
Brad doesn’t think money and influence puts you above the law. For example, as Labor Commissioner, he enforced labor laws, such as laws that protect worker’s access to breaks and fair wages, against big companies in Oregon, including Daimler and Google.
This record is in line with his platform of good governance: holding corporations accountable through audits, rewarding businesses best practices, and improving government transparency and access to information. He’s brave enough to forego big campaign donors to do the right thing.
(A quick refresher: Sweet Cakes Bakery refused to sell a wedding cake to a lesbian couple citing the owners religious beliefs against same-sex marriage. The couple filed a complaint to Bureau of Labor and Industries. The business posted the personal information of the lesbian couple online complaining that they were stifling their religious freedom. The family/lesbian couple became the target of a hate-filled campaign against gay people. )
In a charged atmosphere, Brad calmly did his job of enforcing Oregon Law. I think I’m with most Oregonians who feel that a business shouldn't get a free pass to break the law because they don’t approve of your sex, race, or sexual orientation.
Why This Position Matters
Here’s the clincher: Secretary of State is the person who controls our state elections. Having a person in that office with the nerve to say that being rich doesn’t make you above the law is the person we want in charge. Especially when his opponent, Dennis Richardson, a state senator from Southern Oregon, has supported voter ID legislation characterized by the American Civil Liberties Union as voter suppression.
Bernie said we need to start engaging at the local level. I wrote this blog and donated to Brad Avakian’s campaign here. You can share this blog, donate, tell your friends about Brad, and of course, vote for him when your Oregon ballot arrives. You’ll be voting for someone principled, with integrity, who has a history of acting for people in Oregon over unjust interests.
Let’s take to the polls!
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