Brad Witt represents Oregon's House District 31, including all of Columbia County and northern parts of Washington and Multnomah Counties.
Brad was first appointed to the State House in 2005, where he has spent the last decade advancing policies to help the middle class and working poor, and creating jobs that generate revenue necessary to fund vital services in our communities—education, public safety, and healthcare. A pragmatic populist at his core, 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 a hallmark of our great state.
Brad is committed to protecting Oregon as a beautiful place to live. Prior to entering the State Legislature he served on the State Boards of Forestry, Watershed Enhancement and the Forest Resources Institute. His deep respect for nature also led to co-chairing the bi-state Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership. Brad believes in, and works for sustainable use of our resources.
Brad's career and personal commitments support Oregon families through sustainable development, job creation, protection of natural resources and responsible government. In his free time Brad still enjoys the outdoors and the natural wonder of Oregon.
Brad Witt was raised in Barre, a rural town in central Massachusetts. After World War II ended, his father Karl reintegrated to civilian life working 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 as he 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 finished his undergraduate work, 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 offered in the Pacific Northwest. Brad found work in Oregon's timber mills, while he attended the University of Oregon, where he earned a Master's Degree in Labor Relations.
The values he learned from his parents, combined with the work ethic he obtained by working his way through college, would go on to inspire his entire career's work. Working in the mills gave Brad firsthand knowledge and experiences about how unprotected workers are impacted by a lack of safe working conditions—at that time workplace injuries plagued the mill industry. After graduate school, Brad took a job with organized labor, serving as a labor economist with the National AFL-CIO. Later he worked as a research director for the Lumber Production & Industrial Workers for 10 years. Due to the loss of half of their workers, he went to work for the United Food and Commercial Workers. During this time he was elected as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Oregon AFL-CIO where he served for 14 years. He uses this experience to fight for strong wages and secure protections for family health and welfare, retirement, and safer working conditions.