From exercising more to eating healthier, many of you made a New Year’s resolution for 2021. I also made a resolution, but it’s different than mine from years past. My resolution is not about me. It’s about our community.
My New Year’s resolution for 2021 is to help the entire Tigard community thrive coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Our country, state and community have been ravaged by COVID-19. In 2020, 336,000 Americans died from COVID. Of those deaths, 1,440 were Oregonians, 140 of whom were members of the Washington County community.
This new year brings new life and new opportunities. We will remain vigilant in following public health protocols. At the same time, we will focus on helping our community thrive. Our actions will be guided by our vision to be an equitable community that is walkable, healthy and accessible for everyone.
We will thrive by ensuring that every member of the community continues to have the basic services they need. In 2020, we provided $29,000 in financial assistance to over 160 utility customers. We have expanded the program to include tenants of multi-family and commercial complexes within our service area. This assistance will remain available through June 30, 2021 at least, and we will waive late fees and water shut offs through April 2021.
We will thrive by working with our community partners. Non-profits and faith-based groups played major roles in supporting community members since the beginning of the pandemic. We recognized the importance of these groups by supporting them with a total of $100,000. The six community groups leveraged the funds to maximize food assistance for seniors, food boxes for students and their families, and housing services to community members at risk of experiencing houselessness. In January 2021, the Council will discuss additional opportunities to support our community partners.
We will thrive by fostering a healthy business community. In 2020, we provided $3.4 million in business assistance and promoted 89 businesses through the Shop Tigard campaign. We are not done. We will continue to work together with the business community to keep current businesses in Tigard and position them to flourish in the future.
We will thrive by evaluating our public safety practices. We must ensure that our Police Department reflects the values of our community. To do so, we have empaneled the 16-member Public Safety Advisory Board (PSAB) to provide recommendations on topics ranging from body cameras to the use of force. The PSAB will meet throughout 2021 and engage the community in its discussions.
We will only thrive with your involvement. We want and need to hear from you — what support do you need, what support do local businesses need, and what support do community groups need? You can share your answers with me at [email protected] or via phone at (503) 810-0269.
– Jason Snider, Mayor