Happy New Year, Tigard!
Before looking forward to 2020, I want to look back at December. My month was characterized by one word – celebrations. I attended many celebrations throughout our community, where I witnessed the power of how our celebrations define our community. Our celebrations reflect both who we are as a community and what we want to become. In Tigard, our celebrations reflect a commitment to becoming one of the most connected, inclusive cities in the Northwest.
Here’s how this played out in 2019, and what to expect in 2020.
When people think about our community, I want them to think about hundreds of people gathering on a cold December night to start a new tradition. A tradition in which we celebrate Hanukkah with a 9-foot tall menorah in Liberty Park. The menorah represents the ideal of universal enlightenment and the importance of freedom of religion for everyone.
When people think about our community, I want them to think about the Avon Street neighbors and city staff member Joanne Bengtson. These dynamic community leaders started a new community tradition, the Holiday Lights Walk – a tradition that in just four years has grown in attendance from 10 people to over 1,000.
When people think about our community, I want them to think about the many smiles – young and old – lighting up the night at the Holiday Tree Lighting. Our downtown leaders have grown this event into one of regional significance, and one that ensures Santa receives a warm welcome in Tigard.
In 2020, when people think about our community, I want them to think about faith-based leaders, non-profit leaders, and city leaders coming together monthly for the Community Roundtable. This is a gathering where community leaders tackle difficult topics ranging from homelessness to inclusiveness.
In 2020, when people think about our community, I want them to think about Latino community members getting their first-ever Hop Pass. By partnering with TriMet and St. Anthony’s Church for ¡Ahorre con TriMet!, we will make it easier for everyone in our community to access public transportation.
In 2020, when people talk about our community, I want them to think about neighbors, business owners, library staff, and others starting their day with ‘Coffee and Conversation’ at the Tigard Library. I am excited about the future possibilities that will come from the connections built during this informal gathering.
In 2020, when people talk about our community, I want them to think about our community gathering to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision and legacy, and learning from one another in a facilitated conversation about cultivating a community for everyone.
In 2020, when people talk about our community, I want them to think about you. I want them to think about the role you played in advancing our commitment to being a community for everyone.
I invite you to learn how to be a community influencer at the State of the City address “Late Night in Tigard” on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 at Broadway Rose Theater.