I often share about what makes Beaverton the great city that it is, and the wonderful comments I regularly hear from people who call our community home. Lately though, the more I speak with residents and witness some of their experiences, the more I realize that our community is hurting.
Even with our diverse makeup and a commitment to being welcoming, Beaverton is not immune to the systemic racism that has plagued our institutions and services for far too long. From Beaverton’s incorporation more than 127 years ago on Indigenous land to the state’s historically racist treatment of People of Color, many have suffered at the hands of our government.
Rightfully, there is a strong spotlight on these institutions, as well as an equally strong commitment from our leaders in public service to remove this bias. For that reason, I’m proud to have been the second mayor in Oregon to sign the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance pledge led by former President Barack Obama and commit to review city policies, seek community input, communicate findings and reform our police use of force policies. But, it can’t and shouldn’t stop here. Systemic racism is real and pervasive, and we all have a role to play in its demise.
Despite our current struggles, I see signs of hope. I’ve attended Black Lives Matter gatherings led by local residents and have witnessed the energy of people of all backgrounds committed to making Beaverton better. The work is emotional, demanding, and long overdue but I know that we are up to the challenge, Together, we will create a brighter future for everyone who calls Beaverton home.