Meet Brad Avakian
As a civil rights attorney, legislator and labor commissioner, Brad Avakian has fought to put progressive values into action and create economic opportunity for all Oregonians.
Today as labor commissioner, Brad is leading the charge to return 21st century shop classes to middle schools and high schools -- with more than 200 now providing access to more than 100,000 students so far. He's fought wage theft and civil rights abuses in the workplace, directing more than $22 million into the pockets of workers treated unfairly. And he's advanced policies for better transparency in the workplace so all Oregonians can earn equal pay for equal work.
As a legislator, Brad was named "Consensus Builder of the Year" for his work sponsoring the Oregon Renewable Energy Act of 2007 to create more clean energy jobs. A long-time supporter of equality for all Oregonians, Brad co-sponsored the Oregon Equality Act which he now enforces as Labor Commissioner. The Oregon AFL-CIO named Brad a "Working Families Champion" and gave him a Gold Medal for his work building a stronger, more equitable economy for the state.
Raised in Washington County, Brad is a product of Oregon’s public schools. He graduated from Oregon State University in 1984 with a BS in Psychology and Lewis and Clark Law School in 1990 with a JD. Brad worked his way through law school by helping to create the local YMCA’s Juvenile Restitution Program, which mentored troubled youth and put them to work repaying the victims of their crimes.
An Eagle Scout, Brad learned early in life that hard work and commitment could create positive changes in peoples’ lives. When budget cuts slashed music and arts programs in local schools, Brad worked with parents and educators to create the Southwest Music School.
Brad lives in Washington County with his wife and high school sweetheart Debbie. They have two children, Nathan and Claire, who are both pursuing careers in the performing arts.