Community advocate responds to Beaverton Valley Times' survey

Lacey Beaty

Age: 29

Family: Husband, Ian Beaty

Job and education background:

Employment: Former U.S. Army Combat Medic. Current Lacrosse Coach and Business Consultant.

Education: Bachelor of Science, Political Science, Oregon State University; Master of Science, Management and Organizational Leadership, Warner Pacific College

Neighborhood you live in: Central BeavertonLacey Beaty

Length of time living in Beaverton: Lived in the Beaverton area for more than five years

City involvement and community service experience:

City involvement: Visioning Advisory Committee, Vice Chair; Beaverton Police Citizen Academy

Community Leadership: HomePlate Youth Services, Vice Chair; Oregon Girls Lacrosse Association, President; Leadership Beaverton, Board member; Beaverton American Legion Post 124, Second Vice Commander

What skills, knowledge and experiences do you bring to the City Council?

My strongest political skill and interpersonal skill is the ability to network beyond boundaries. While I learned the theoretical framework of these concepts in my master’s degree program in organizational leadership, I have practical experience with this as well. Politically, a utilitarian approach makes the most sense, as the benefit of the majority is usually in the best interest for the community. Sometimes this requires the interpersonal skill of being able to bring two groups or individuals together who might not otherwise on their own. A community on its own can do good things, but networks of communities within a city can do great things, and most often the missing piece of that is a leader who can organize and facilitate such relationships.

My service in the United States Army taught me how to take action. If you sit around looking at every possible solution but nothing ever gets accomplished, people will get frustrated with elected officials because there is a lot of talk with often very little action. I am a person of action.

Serving on the Beaverton Community Vision has armed me with the knowledge of what the community wants our city to look like over the next 20 years. I am ready to bring that broad scope of knowledge to City Council.

Being a student of organizational leadership, I understand what makes large organizations successful and what makes them fail. With this background, I have a thorough understanding of how to communicate within a large organization such as the city and its neighboring communities such as Hillsboro and Tigard. Beaverton is not an island; we need the help and support our community partners to accomplish great things for our city. Beaverton deserves outstanding leadership — I will provide that leadership.

Why are you running?

I am running for City Council because I believe that our community deserves strong, compassionate leaders who listen to people’s concerns and engage the community. Local government has the responsibility to support citizens and to deliver vital public resources. I want to help the great city of Beaverton become even better by building a friendly and welcoming community, having a thriving downtown core, increasing mobility, enhance overall livability, and providing high-quality public services.

How should the city prioritize spending?

The city should first prioritize on key services such as water and road maintenance, followed by making sure that we have an adequately funded police department and finally by focusing on what the citizens find important as outlined in the Beaverton Community Vision.

What community issues have you tackled at the neighborhood, Planning Commission or City Council level? Have you worked to resolve or address a concern within Beaverton?

Yes, even while knocking on doors for the campaign I am solving issues for residents as a candidate. In this last month, I have helped citizens who are not knowledgeable about who to call at the city, fixing such issues as: removing graffiti from a fence, notifying public works of existing potholes, informing homeowners of the city’s involvement to fix sidewalk cracks, and even helped a community leader start a petition to lower a speed limit in a residential area.

Additionally, my proudest recent achievement in Beaverton was the Beaverton Community Vision's “Rock the Block” community clean-up event. This was a desire I wanted to see in Beaverton since I became a Vision Advisory Committee member. I believe neighbors who need help might not always look like they need it, and clean-up events that only target certain demographics miss those who might not look a certain part. The “Rock the Block” event simply sought out to help everyone in a downtown Beaverton neighborhood. The committee was able to do this with support from Beaverton CERT, Beaverton Committee for Citizen Involvement, Beaverton High School Lacrosse, Beaverton Police Activities League, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, Faith Bible High School (Habitat volunteers), Habitat for Humanity, HomePlate, Lanphere Construction and Development, Mayor’s Youth Advisory Board, and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. They all came together to clean 45 yards and removed 24 cubic yards (nearly 1.5 truck loads) of leaves and yard debris. Local business such as Coffee Rush, Domino’s Pizza, Executive Suites at The Round, Einstein Bagles, New Seasons, Starbucks, Target, and Lanphere came together to donate food and supplies for all 199 volunteers who served that day. This is the type of organizational planning and development that I plan to continue as a city councilor.

What’s one issue the City Council tackled that you wish had turned out differently? What went wrong?

I wish that Beaverton’s original request for Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (Tiger) grant for $10 million to improve Southwest Canyon Road would have been successful. This would have helped reduce the speed limit, made the road more walkable and promoted economic development in the downtown core. The Beaverton Community Vision as well as the Civic Plan, calls for addressing the safety problems on Canyon Road. I would like to continue to influence city staff to bring back new ideas so we can accomplish this common goal.

What is an initiative you feel turned out well, and what made it work?

The initiative that I believe worked out well is the investment in Portland Community College’s Future Connect Scholarship Program. The program is an initiative to eliminate barriers to attending college. This program helps low-income, first-generation college students become successful in college through a support and mentoring system. About 84 percent of the students in the program are low-income students from Beaverton, and 100 percent of those students are still in the program! That is a huge investment into our community with the most impressive return I have seen.

I feel very passionate about making education accessible to all; I attended college on the Montgomery GI bill, and I am so thankful to not be straddled with debt from attending college. This program helps students receive training to obtain livable family wage jobs.

I believe it has been successful because of the partnerships with PGE, the city of Beaverton and PCC. This program needs to continue, ensuring our community members have not only access to education, but resources to complete degree programs.

The city faces a number of looming issues. What should leaders deal with now, and how? Which should be priorities for later?

Making it easier for new business owners to obtain permits and licensing. In keeping with Beaverton’s “open for business” campaign, a streamlined strategy to simplify processes for new and existing business owners is key to economic development. A centralized business center to help new owners get their business off the ground is another way to help citizens cut through the difficult paperwork involved with licensing, zoning, inspections, mapping, etc. The more “business-friendly” the city of Beaverton employees are (or other business center staff), the easier the process will be to start and/or grow a local business.

Traffic is always a central point of people’s concerns; we need to address traffic issues now, especially as South Cooper Mountain is developing.

Creating a downtown core is of the utmost importance. We need to create a vibrant downtown! We need to have space for people to congregate, new business to develop, and the city to keep more revenue from being spent elsewhere. We must improve mobility. We can encourage alternate use of transportation, and we need to make road expansion and maintenance a priority to get people moving. We as a city need to make sure we are providing high-quality public services. Most importantly, we need to enhance livability while keeping Beaverton the safety city in the Northwest.

What should voters know about you?

Voters should know that I am a community-driven person. I have spent my entire adult live in service to country and community. I am brining an important voice currently missing from the City Council; the voice of a younger generation and a voice of someone who is a specialist in organizational leadership, both from a theoretical and practical perspective.

How do you plan to encourage citizen involvement/engagement within the community?

The city of Beaverton has a great model of citizen engagement: The Beaverton Community Vision. When the city first started this project over five years ago, it reached out and communicated with more than 5,000 people! Since its inception, it has been the model in the city for community engagement. Most important, it’s not just a book that was placed on a shelf to never be read again, it’s a living document that influences the city and makes Beaverton a community-focused place to live. The vision has helped renew emphasis on small business development, helped start community clean-up days, encouraged concerts in the parks and so many more wonderful things. When you walk into City Hall, the five areas of emphasis are displayed on the wall, and mentioned over and over again from every level of staff to elected officials in the city. While the vision committee members talked to a large number of people, it’s the goal to talk to thousands more during the five-year update (that is currently going on). We are always looking at new ways to engage the community to make sure every voice is heard.

What distinguishes you from your opponents?

My time serving as a U.S. Army medic in time of war taught me how to connect with people during their most vulnerable moments in life. I truly understand the needs of police officers, firefighters and emergency responders, and I have walked a mile in their shoes. I understand what is unique and necessary to the police department, which is important for the city fiscally, as they are our largest employee base.

My presence in the community, you cannot lead people from a desk or from a grandstand. The days of elected leaders talking down to people from a pedestal are over. You must be present in the community to truly understand the needs that our community has. I have the ability to connect with people on a human level and am able to direct questions or concerns to the appropriate person or group in order to get results. I currently serve as the vice chair of the Beaverton Community Vision and interact with the community daily about what is happening next in the city. I work with HomePlate Youth Services that cares for and serves the youth of our community who are currently experiencing housing instability or homelessness. Serving on the board of Leadership Beaverton provides me with constant contact with our business community as well as the leaders at every level from Metro to the School Board.

What is your leadership style and how will you work with the mayor, other members of the council and city staff?

I believe John Maxwell said it best “Leadership is Influence: Nothing more, nothing less.” To be a good leader, one must build relationships, and gain trust. I have been building relationships with regional partners as well as elected officials before I even considered running for office. There are no substitutes or short cuts to relationship building, which is a vital piece of being an elected representative.

As a lacrosse coach I constantly impress upon my athletes the meaning of teamwork; that it’s not always about the accomplishment of individuals on a team, rather it’s about the success of the team as a whole. I am a collaborative individual who values input from others, and our city deserves to have a City Council that can work together through differences in order to best serve the citizens of Beaverton.

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