Eileen Brady gave her first big political stump speech today in Director Park, kicking off her campaign to snag Mayor Sam Adams' vacated seat in 2012. So far, she's challenging Charlie Hales and 19-year-old Max Brumm.
While the speech touched on various issues and Brady doled out the quips like a political pro, the talk had a bit of New Seasons' overkill. The constant references to her role in founding New Seasons and how awesome the grocery store chain still is (health care for all employees!) reinforced the absence of a hefty political resume.
But all in all, the kickoff had everything a political event in Portland needs: The candidate, a guy in a cowboy hat, and a lone person protesting "blatantly capitalistic candidates" (that's her in the back).
"[Voters] are astounded that we're considering building a streetcar to Lake Oswego in these lean times," said Brady. "City hall gets distracted by pet projects."
She hit the business angle hard, noting that she wasn't one to "wait around for change" and had experience creating jobs at New Seasons. One of her better soundbites: "There is a myth in Portland that we can't have both progressive values and a vibrant economy."
I was surprised to here her also devote a couple sentences to East Portland, saying she would prioritize "making underserved neighborhoods in outer East Portland as livable as any other part of our city." I was wondering if that was meant to undercut Jefferson Smith, the champion of East Portland who is strongly considering throwing his hat into the mayor's race.
In a strange coincidence, at the exact same time as Brady's event in another downtown park, Jeri Williams officially launched her campaign for City Commissioner Randy Leonard's open 2012 seat. The other candidate in that race so far is Steve Novick.