Council Corner: Lacey Beaty

We Need to Support Our Working Families

With the recent news of schools starting remotely with no in-school services, I’ve been asked numerous times from families why it seems no one is asking how we help working parents. We often say the quiet part loud and the loud part quiet, and the whispers I am hearing from working parents are “what about me?” 

As one myself, I too am worried about my young child, her socialization with other kids that is so key to long-term healthy development and who has needed speech therapy in the recent past. It is impossible to work full time and parent full time, and I’ve appreciated the slew of national news articles speaking this truth and the effects a lack of childcare has had on working parents, especially essential workers, low-income workers and adults with jobs that cannot be done remotely. Moreover, if many childcare providers close permanently, what will the longterm impact be to our families and on our economic recovery? 

With parents feeling the pressure, now more than ever we need to have government and community organizations working together to create a plan to support working parents. That’s why I am pushing to have the city of Beaverton to focus some of the incoming $2.577 million in funds from Washington County on childcare providers. 

To date, we have spent the majority of funds from the city helping restaurants and bars reopen and stay open. Like you, I enjoy takeout from my favorite local restaurants, but with the start of online learning looming, I am deeply worried about working parents, including those in restaurants and bars who were called back to work weeks ago. For them and all working parents, we need to prioritize licensed childcare providers that are following state health guidelines in this next round of financial support. This is how we show up and support our working families and children. 

As your city councilor, I have worked to be responsive — to navigate the global pandemic within our community. I’ve listened — and want to hear more so that I can continue to support what’s best and needed at this stage and when the school year begins. Please reach out to me and let me know how you think we should prioritize this latest round of funds. Getting through this together is the only way. I look forward to hearing from you via email at lbeaty@BeavertonOregon.gov.