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Greenville & Hockessin Life

Q&A: Gerald Brady

Jun 18, 2018 09:38AM ● By J. Chambless

Gerald Brady has been serving in Delaware's House of Representatives since 2006.

Gerald Brady is a busy man these days. In addition to serving as a member of the Delaware House of Representatives for the 4th District, he is also the executive director of the Delaware AFL-CIO. Before being elected to the Delaware House of Representatives in 2006, Brady was a Wilmington City Councilman from 1996 to 2006. He is also a Chief Warrant Officer Four with the Delaware Army National Guard, where he has served since 1981. He is also a veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the Counter War on Terrorism. Greenville & Hockessin Life caught up with Brady to find out what inspired him to enter public service and to discuss some of the issues that the Delaware General Assembly will be addressing this year. We also discuss the importance of labor unions in 2018.

Q: State Rep. Brady, you're in your 12th year as a state lawmaker, and before that you were a member of City Council for ten years. Can you talk about what led you to enter politics in the first place?

A: I was inspired by images of my father, who served as a Wilmington City Councilman from 1956 to 1968. After his death in 1968, our mother instilled in us a deep sense of commitment to our community and city. My grandfather, Dr. Gerald Luke Dougherty, was a prominent family physician in the community. His service to our community and neighborhood was renowned. Conviction and commitment to serve was a natural inheritance. Actively participating in the solution to many of the problems that surround you is a great feeling. Last, but not least, serving constituents on a daily basis is a great feeling.

What is the best part of your job?

Observing the progress of a particular program or project that you helped initiate or inspired. Experiencing the benefits of legislation enacted by the General Assembly, with the full knowledge and appreciation that future generations will also be the beneficiaries of such actions. Constituent satisfaction is also a great feeling to share.

How about the most challenging part of the job as a lawmaker?

Feeling the imposition of a difficult decision regarding an issue which is deeply seeded in social divide. It is also extremely difficult to separate your own personal beliefs or views from those views shared by the majority of your constituents. Sadly, tragic public events, like mass shootings, stimulate the pulse of our society. Our society is polarized on certain critical issues, thus the sights and sounds of devastating news triggers public outcry. Unfortunately, such occurrences lead to impulsivity regarding the means to corrective actions. Any attempts to satisfy a majority of the public triggers temperamental responses.

What are a few of the statewide issues or initiatives that you would like to see the General Assembly address this year?

As a general statement, I am sure we would all love to witness effective legislation that would eliminate the threat of mass shootings, especially in our schools. Such actions do not have to restrict one group of citizens, yet these actions would identify the threat before it becomes a catastrophe.

Improve the public school operations, while restoring integrity to the curriculum, minimize needless waste, increase salaries for staff members at all levels. Consolidate school district overlaps where practicable.

Establish a balanced mechanism which would establish a reliable and fundamental revenue stream, which could also regulate frugal budgets when possible.

You're also the executive director of the Delaware AFL-CIO. Can you talk about the importance of unions in 2018?

Organized labor unions guarantee a qualified, trained and skilled workforce, which enables an advanced socioeconomic foundation for the marketplace. Economic development and sustainability are assured if the labor force is healthy, energized, dependable and competitive. These factors assure a quality craft. Bargaining units negotiate contractual benefits and wages. Each of these provisions stabilize an entire middle class. The direct infusion of substantial wages reciprocates through robust local economies and retail businesses. Through many of the health and welfare benefits, our communities tend to be much healthier at little or no expense to the government.  

You probably travel throughout the legislative district that you represent quite a bit. What are a few of your favorite places to eat, relax, or spend time in the area?

This is an easy one. The places I like to eat include Gallucio's, Capers & Lemons, Gianni’s Trolley Pizza, Pizza by Elizabeth’s, and Catherine Rooney’s. As for places to relax, Alapocas, Rockford Park, and Brandywine Park. As for favorite places to spend time, the Delaware Art Museum, Hagley Museum, Saint Anthony’s Italian Festival, the Greek Festival, and the Flower Market.

If you could invite any three guests, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would they be?

My dad, my grandfather (Dr. Gerald Luke Dougherty), and John F. Kennedy.

What food is always in your refrigerator?

Almond milk and spring water. Fresh fruit and vegetables. Eggs, cheese, meat, pork and poultry. Pizzas, Jello (no sugar), frozen fruit pops, and salad dressings.

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