Mayor’s Corner May 2024

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People. Partnerships. And Progress.

As I prepare to deliver my State of Our City address on May 13, I’ve been reflecting on our work together to move Tigard forward. And that’s a theme I’ve been thinking about- People. Partnerships. And Progress. On so many community priorities, we’ve been making progress thanks to people working together here in Tigard, and with our local, regional, state, and federal partners.

Even though Washington, D.C., is geographically far away, we regularly work with our federal partners to invest in key community projects here in Tigard. We’re fortunate to have Congresswoman Andrea Salinas as our voice in Washington, D.C. and as a champion for our community. She sought our input about specific projects that could help make life better for people in Tigard – and delivered federal investments for three key initiatives.

The first is badly needed upgrades to our library’s HVAC system. It also serves as an Emergency Heating and Cooling Center, so we can provide a safe place for all our neighbors, including those without shelter, when it’s simply too dangerous to be outside. Second, she helped us secure resources for a Community Service Officer, someone who works full-time building relationships with our houselessness neighbors, to connect them with services, like housing support. And third, she delivered federal funds for ODOT to build two new crossings on Hall Boulevard, so we can have a safer, more connected community.

Partnerships are a key part of our work to make progress on houselessness. That’s because houselessness neither begins nor ends at our city limits. Houselessness is a regional – and national – challenge that demands regional and national solutions. While Tigard is acting to support people and stem the crisis, real solutions will happen with cities, counties, states, and the federal government all working together.

Along with securing a Community Service Officer, we’re working with our regional partners to prevent evictions to prevent people from experiencing houselessness in the first place. For those people already experiencing houselessness, we’re also working closely with Washington County to grow the number of emergency beds in Tigard.

We’re also working with our partners to make progress on a challenge that Tigard has faced for decades: Our aging, overcrowded, and unsafe facilities. As I shared with you in my previous column, we’re making progress on acquiring City-owned property so that we can have new, modern, and seismically sound facilities for the people who will be the first responders in the event of a major emergency, like a serious earthquake: Our Public Works and Tigard Police Department teams. 

These are just a few examples that show how people and partnerships are delivering progress. I’m looking forward to sharing much more in my State of Our City address on Monday, May 13, at 6 p.m. at Broadway Way Theatre (www.tigard-or.gov/your-government/council/state-of-our-city) – and I hope to see you there for a community celebration. While the event is limited to 300 community members, we’ll also be livestreaming it across our City channels. 

In the meantime, you can always reach me at 971-435-0964 or heidil@tigard-or.gov, or you can connect to the whole City Council at CouncilMail@tigard-or.gov

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