This dude here has a bird’s eye view into Portland’s political scene and issues. How? For the past several years as host of Oregon Voter’s Digest, he’s either sparked or continued much needed public discourse on issues that effect us all. One of his strengths may likely be one of his biggest distractions, he isn’t afraid of controversy. What a noble albeit dying quality in today’s leadership.
To demonstrate this point, he recently hosted a series of discussions with Baruti Artharee, the brotha’ accused of inappropriately addressing Commissioner Loretta Smith at a public event. As the Senior candidate for district 2, he’s too old to be embarrassed and too young to give a damn! Bruce Broussard is a straight shooter and after you read this interview you will be CRYSTAL CLEAR of his opinions on the incumbent, neglected issues, concerns, his goals and a lot more. Note: Oregon Voter’s Digest airs on Cable Community Access channels 11/23 on Tuesdays@12pm, Fridays@8pm and Sundays@4pm.
Hello Bruce, how are you?
I am doing fine and my supporters enthusiasm for the task at hand is at an all time high.
Bruce, before really getting into this interview, I want to clear up a few things. I hope that is okay. I want to start this interview by asking, why are you running for Multnomah County Commissioner Seat #2?
I believe first and foremost there needs to be experience in various and divergent areas of the county i.e fiscal accountability, Seniors, Youth, innovative crime prevention techniques, stronger housing policy and an effective economic development model that creates real jobs.
Particularly, there is a lack of service to the diverse population in Multnomah County. There are more than just black concerns(even though those concerns are important and I plan to work diligently in the Black community as well).
There is a belief out here that you are running to spite incumbent Loretta Smith, do you care to comment on this?
Yes, I firmly believe the incumbent lacks vision and a broad enough background to act and think in innovative ways to improve living condition’s in our district.
Let’s back up a bit. Many folks know you from your weekly program Oregon Voter’s Digest but you’ve been involved on several levels for years. Will you please provide some personal background…
I have a varied background— Military, Business, Community Activist, Developer, Publisher etc. Specifically, I worked closely with at risk youth as a Marine recruiter. In order to be effective, I had to understand the crisis confronting our youth and tailor special programs to break a destructive pattern. I have owned and operated several enterprises. I have developed Senior Housing Complex and Affordable Housing for low income populations which gave me insights into the difficulties and needs of a diverse population(Seniors,Youth and Veterans). I have owned three publications, The Portland Observer which provides perspective and context to the challenges of the past and the future. During my watch, I initiated the process which created a district for a Black person to be elected.The American Contractor publication and we started the Association of Minority Contractors to create construction and economic opportunities for Black people. I purchased the Oregon Voter’s Digest to insure a divergent voice would be heard.
Of all the candidates seeking seat #2, including incumbent Smith, are you the most qualified, if so, why?
Qualified is a very subjective point of view. However, my experience gives me a unique perspective to determine where we’ve been and where we need and must go. In order for real progress to occur, I further believe the notion that a community must have different voices which are not controlled by an elitist mentality that tell us what to think and who our leadership and concerns should be! Due to my continued involvement in the community and my service to the country as a veteran prepared me to step in and get the job done.
What are some of the issues you would address?
One of the most difficult and challenging issues that confronts the county is our approach to crime.The standard view of thwarting crime is enforcement (I believe in effective law enforcement) WE must retool the present system to include preventive programming that has short and long term implications. Senior housing codes and health care programs must be audited and regulated more effectively. Youth opportunities must be considered in a holistic manner not just the juvenile court system. We must work in tandem with youth service providers to encourage innovative programs to encourage mentoring as part of the service delivery system. Veterans, we must work overtime to insure that housing, health and employment is part and partial to the assistance package provided to Veterans.
The property on Alberta and MLK has been a hot topic lately, do you have an opinion on this?
Firstly, I am concerned with the silence of elected officials who represent district #2. My contention is a lack of a broad knowledge base. She [incumbent Smith] could not discuss the subject and did not relate to any of the implications and its economic impacts. Effective representation would have mediated the problem as opposed to wanting to be liked by the political bullies and being silent. No question I support Trader’s Joe’s locating in Walnut Park !!!.
Are you receiving much support in your decision to run?
Yes, we are receiving a lot of support and so far we are progressing and on time.
Why is this particular election so important?
This is a critical time in terms of where we go from here. We must break the negative cycle that has plagued our district. We know what has not worked in the past— getting your name on an edifice is not enough to say we are here, we have made it!!! We must do better and I will do better. That is an oath I shall deliver to residents of district #2.