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  • Avni Gulrajani

Celebrating Civic Engagement: A Year of Impact in Beaverton

As I walked into the Reser Center for our Annual Boards & Commissions Celebration, it was inspiring to see how the various Beaverton boards and commissions, particularly those of us from the Mayor's Youth Advisory Board (MYAB), to which I proudly belong, have profoundly impacted our community through dedicated civic engagement. These groups' collective accomplishments exemplify our city's vibrant spirit and the tangible differences that active participation can make.

The Beaverton Committee for Community Involvement (BCCI) led remarkable initiatives, mobilizing over 442 volunteer hours through 9 Neighborhood Matching Grant projects. These projects enhanced our community spaces with garden and tree planting work and strengthened bonds among neighbors through events like picnics and shred days. The BCCI's efforts culminated

in a Volunteer Fair that drew nearly 500 attendees, showcasing the multitude of ways individuals can contribute to our community's betterment.

Simultaneously, the Diversity Advisory Board (DAB) made significant strides in celebrating Beaverton's cultural diversity. The Night Markets, a highlight of their efforts, brought together an estimated 15,000 people, featuring over 75 vendors and performers. These events were not just markets but festivals of diversity, offering glimpses into the rich tapestry of cultures that make up our city.

The Human Rights Advisory Commission (HRAC) championed the cause of human rights, creating displays and presentations that sparked conversations and increased awareness about local and global human rights issues. Their participation in city and community events, like Welcoming Week and Pride, underscored the importance of advocacy in building an inclusive community where everyone feels valued.

On the front of urban redevelopment, the Beaverton Urban Redevelopment Agency (BURA) Board adopted strategies and plans that promise to reshape our city's landscape, making Beaverton more accessible and enjoyable for all its residents. Their work sets the stage for future community and recreational spaces everyone can enjoy, primarily through their partnership with the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District for the Downtown Beaverton Parks and Open Space Framework Plan.

Amidst these city-wide initiatives, MYAB has been a beacon of youth advocacy and engagement. Our involvement in the Beaverton Toy Drive and the Beaverton Youth Summit organization have provided platforms for youth voices and highlighted the critical issues facing our young population today. Our presentations to the council have been pivotal in bringing these issues to the forefront of city policy discussions, ensuring that the youth perspective is integral in shaping a city that is truly for all its residents.

This past year has shown that civic engagement is a duty and a rewarding journey that brings us closer to the community we envision. Each board and commission's work, alongside MYAB's initiatives, illustrates the power of collective action and the profound impact of getting involved. As we move forward, let's carry the momentum of this past year's achievements into new opportunities for engagement, advocacy, and community building.


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