Beaverton mayor will host virtual State of the City on March 4
Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty will host her first annual State of the City address on Thursday, March 4.
On Thursday, Feb. 25, the city announced that the virtual event will be focused on Beaverton's recent accomplishments and upcoming plans — more specifically, the city's response to the coronavirus pandemic, ongoing recovery efforts, homelessness, housing and public safety.
"I won't let my staff say 'recovery' in the office, because we're not there yet," Beaty said of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. "We still have families struggling with school and businesses losing revenue, but we have to talk about where we are, so we're working towards recovery."
In Beaty's remarks, the new mayor — elected last November to her first term after six years as a city councilor — will look back on 2020 and share upcoming opportunities for 2021. The event will also feature perspectives from business leaders and community partners, according to city officials.
"I'm pretty excited, but it's going to be remarkably different than past State of the City addresses," Beaty said. "I really wanted to strike the balance of the city doing some cool things, but we're still in the middle of this pandemic. So, while I wish it's one where we talk about all of these things going forward, it's going to be a good snapshot of where we are right now."
Beaty hopes the event can also be an opportunity for people to get an inside look into government. She recounted hearing people on the campaign trail last year tell her they don't feel connected to what the city is doing, and the State of the City address is a good opportunity to make that connection, she said.
As for other events, city officials say they're embracing ambiguity due to COVID-19.
The mayor says the city's event team is planning smaller and frequent events throughout the year, while following COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. If there is another surge in cases and restrictions are re-imposed, organizers know, those events could end up being scrapped or postponed.
However, Beaty says the virtual format of the State of the City provides an opportunity for more people to tune in.
"This year, what's unique with COVID is that everyone can have the event on while you're doing your work from home," Beaty said. "I'm hoping to see more working families and students. My hope is that more people can engage in this process than ever before."
The virtual State of the City address will premiere at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 4, on the city's YouTube, Facebook and Twitter accounts.
The event also will be accessible online at BeavertonOregon.gov/SOTC with a transcript of recorded remarks.
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