Mayor discusses plans for homeless, housing and job security at 'State of the City'
BEAVERTON, Ore. —
The city of Beaverton is looking at making some big changes over the next few years.
Hundreds of people came to the annual "State of the City" meeting Thursday morning.
"This year, we're really going to look at what are we gonna do with people sleeping in the streets," Mayor Denny Doyle said.
Housing is one of Mayor Doyle's biggest focuses this year. The issue is plaguing many communities already. So, in his 10th year as mayor, Doyle says, he's not shying away from a solution.
"People say you can't criminalize those folks,” Mayor Doyle said. “We're not gonna try to do that. We're going to try and help, but some folks don't want help and we know that for a fact so we're trying to find the right blend."
It's a work in progress.
"Progress we've made is getting people interested in building things in Beaverton,” Doyle said.
Mayor Doyle noted that there are 230 new units going in and 16 of them will be highly affordable, but when it comes to the housing crisis, Mayor Doyle is very honest about what he thinks needs to change.
“It can't be just Beaverton,” Mayor Doyle said. “It's got to be the region, the states got to help, the federal government's got to get off their duff and help us."
The second battle to tackle in 2018 is jobs and the lack thereof on the horizon. Mayor Doyle says, by 2050, robots will be able to do nearly 50 percent of Oregon jobs.
"We've got to figure out the education piece,” Mayor Doyle said. “We got to retrain people and we got to get going on it."
Beaverton is also celebrating expansion, specifically Nike’s.
“With the support of city and county leaders and the business community here, Nike started and is working its way through one of the biggest expansions in our history,” Julia Brim-Edwards, with Nike, said.
Other projects the city is working on include a new Public Safety Center, which is supposed to be done in 2020, and a Center for the Arts. The city is working on fundraising the City of the Arts right now. The city is about $11 million shy of the $50 million required to make the center a reality.
There's no doubt Mayor Doyle loves his city, but he knows, times are still tough, so he’s reminding people to stay positive.
"Just keep helping one another, that's what makes Beaverton still feel like a small city," Mayor Doyle said.