The Beaverton City Council is expanding from five seats to six — and Nadia Hasan hopes to fill that sixth seat.
Hasan, a longtime Beaverton resident, announced her candidacy Tuesday, June 30. The former teacher and human resources professional brings a mix of public- and private-sector experience, which she thinks is essential to Beaverton's growth in order to meet the needs of its ever-changing communities and businesses.
"As our lives evolve amid this pandemic and we confront the systemic barriers for our community members and ensure every person has a seat at the table, our residents deserve to be seen and heard," Hasan said. "And I am here to listen and amplify their voices and experiences. We are stronger together."
Under its expiring charter, Beaverton boasts five councilors, along with Mayor Denny Doyle who lacked a vote. As part of Measure 34-298 passed by voters May 19, the city will adopt a new form of government in which a city manager appointed by the city council, not the mayor, will oversee the city's day-to-day operations.
In addition, a sixth City Council seat will be added, and as a result the mayor will be provided a vote as to assure an odd number.
Doyle is running for a fourth term as mayor and is opposed by sitting city councilor Lacey Beaty. The two will have a runoff, and the sixth City Council seat will be voted upon Nov. 3.
Hasan, a Westview High School graduate, earned her undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon and a master's in math education at Oregon State University.
After working in marketing and sales for several years, she pivoted into teaching where she was an instructor at Beaverton and Sunset high schools. Beyond that, she worked both in human resources and in recruiting, most recently at Nike. It was that experience that led her to the conclusions that inspired her to run for City Council.
"I saw a lot of systemic issues that were not serving the needs of all students," Hasan said. "Working with kids as a teacher, and later recruiting and hiring in the private sector, I felt like there's kind of a disconnect between what the world needs in terms of talent, and then what we're teaching in our schools in terms of training.
"And looking at our current state with school being shut down and kids at home, now more than ever, we need more support for kids in all of our communities."
Inclusion is important to Hasan. She thinks that access is necessary for youth in all communities, especially now when kids are forced to learn from a distance.
"I think it's important that kids have the ability to ask for help," she said. "And when they need that help they can get it, be it emotional, academic or any other mental health issues."
Equity is a big part of today's ongoing government and community conversation. Hasan started a group known as Beaverton Families for Equity, which has been practicing education advocacy with the Beaverton School District for the past year. Consequently, she understands the value of diversity and preached such as part of her work with the THPRD Visioning Task Force, where she spoke to hundreds of people in the community about what they want to see in the future for parks.
"Nadia brought much needed diversity of thought to the Visioning Task Force and enabled us to connect with various underrepresented communities," said THPRD Board President Felicita Monteblanco. "Her work with THPRD is just one example of her engagement and commitment to lifting voices. She believes in the importance of inclusion and will be a great asset to the city of Beaverton."
And with the current level of civil unrest, is Hasan happy with what the city is doing to embrace all in the community of Beaverton?
"I think that there's work to be done," she said. "I think everyone is doing the best they can, but I know that we can do more, and that we can do better."
Primarily, Hasan is concerned with giving everyone a voice, which she feels she can provide as a member of the Beaverton City Council. She cited 36% of the Beaverton School District is in the Free and Reduced Lunch program, meaning more than a third of the district's residents are living below the poverty line. That's a demographic she thinks is desperate to be heard, and one that she would proudly represent.
"Those people matter, and if we're not hearing those voices, then we're not serving our community," Hasan said.
And as a mother, teacher and working professional, it's that experience that is invaluable.
"I believe that representation matters and know my lived experiences will bring diverse thinking to the council."
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