For Eileen Brady, life experience prepares her for mayor's job

For Eileen Brady, life experience prepares her for mayor's job »Play Video
Portland mayoral candidate Eileen Brady appears on "Your Voice, Your Vote" Sunday, March 4, 2012 with KATU News anchor Steve Dunn. (To watch the full interview, please click on the "Play Video" button)

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland mayoral candidate Eileen Brady told KATU's Steve Dunn during Sunday's broadcast of "Your Voice, Your Vote" that her life experience has prepared her for the city's top job.

She doesn't have the governmental experience that her chief competitors, former City Commissioner Charlie Hales and current state Rep. Jefferson Smith, do, but she touted her involvement in what she called "five landmark Portland organizations," including EcoTrust and co-founder of New Seasons markets.

She said those have given her "real-life entrepreneurial experience. I've actually been creating jobs for many, many years here in this community. And job creation and economic development is my No. 1 priority."

Perhaps that's why she leads the others in polling, including a recent KATU News/SurveyUSA poll. About 25 percent of respondents in that poll favored Brady while her closest competitor, Hales, garnered 16 percent. But the poll found that 28 percent of those surveyed still hadn't made up their minds.

She said job creation and economic development don't have to come at the expense of the city's values.

"I often say that we have a myth here in Portland that you can't have a progressive city with a Portland ethic and an environmental ethic and have a vibrant economy. And I think we need to break through that myth and commit to growing jobs," she said.

While she hasn't held political office, she has been involved in political causes, including the Oregon Health Fund, which helped get health care to uninsured children. She was also arrested and jailed many years ago during a nonviolent "no nukes" protest. All of it, including her business experience, she said, makes her the perfect candidate for the city.

"I think it's a good balance for Portland," she said. "I'm an environmentalist, I'm a conservationist, I'm an activist, I'm a mother. I've raised four children, and I have a business background. And I think Portland is really looking for balance."

She also said peaceful civil disobedience is in important part of the political process.

"I have said since the beginning, that I really honor civil disobedience. It's an honorable thing to do," she said in response to a question about Occupy Portland's takeover of two city parks last fall.

But she said those who participate in civil disobedience need to realize there are consequences for doing it. And she said that she would have set the deadline for the protesters to be out of the city parks much sooner, probably a week. Mayor Sam Adams let them stay for about five weeks before conditions deteriorated in the camps to the point he was forced to act.

Watch the full interview by clicking on the "Play Video" button above.

KATU has interviewed Hales and Smith during the past two "Your Voice, Your Vote" shows. The show airs every Sunday at 9 a.m.