Brad Witt was raised in Barre, a rural town in central Massachusetts. After serving in World War II, his father Karl worked in a concrete, sand, and gravel operation while his mother Pearl worked as a homemaker. Growing up, Brad was very active in the Boy Scouts, where he gained an appreciation for the outdoors and earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
After graduating high school, Brad worked in a local saw mill to pay his way through college while he studied history and economics at the University of Massachusetts. When he completed his undergraduate degree, the job market in his hometown was in severe decline with a rate of unemployment exceeding 20 percent. Brad moved to Oregon seeking the promise of better employment opportunities and the high quality of life in the Pacific Northwest. Brad worked in Oregon’s timber mills while he attended the University of Oregon, where he earned a Master’s Degree in Labor Relations.
The values that Brad learned from his parents, along with the work ethic he developed by working his way through college, have inspired his entire career. Working in the mills at a time when workplace injuries were common gave Brad firsthand knowledge of how unprotected workers are impacted by a lack of safe working conditions. After graduate school, Brad served economist with the National AFL-CIO. He later took a job as a research director for the Lumber Production & Industrial Workers. After a downturn in the economy, he went to work for the United Food and Commercial Workers. He was elected Secretary-Treasurer of the Oregon AFL-CIO, where he served for 14 years.
Brad was appointed to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2005. As a Representative, he uses his labor experience to fight for strong wages and secure protections for family health and welfare, retirement, and safer working conditions. He has spent the last decade advancing policies to create middle class jobs that generate revenue for vital services in our communities—education, public safety, and healthcare. Brad believes economic development, strong employment standards, and environmental stewardship can and should go hand in hand. This belief has guided his efforts to strike the right balance between utilizing our state’s vast renewable natural resources while protecting the natural beauty that is the hallmark of our great state.
Brad is committed to protecting Oregon as a beautiful place to live. Prior to entering the Legislature he served on the State Boards of Forestry, Watershed Enhancement and the Forest Resources Institute. His respect for nature also led to him co-chairing the bi-state Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership. Brad believes in the sustainable use of our resources.
Brad’s career and personal commitments help support Oregon families through sustainable development, job creation, protection of natural resources, and responsible government. In his free time Brad enjoys the outdoors and the natural wonders of Oregon.