SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN, FAMILIES, AND SENIORS
Parks and Recreation facilities and programming for all stages of life. When children, families, and seniors can thrive, our whole community succeeds. Providing more walkable and livable spaces where neighbors get to build community also provides public safety benefits. Finally, housing security ensures that people feel rooted in their community and therefore invest in it’s success.
Affordable Child Care is one of the biggest challenges that working families face. Research shows that access to child care is key to economic growth and results in increased worker productivity and fewer absences. The availability of child care also allows workers to pursue additional education. One solution that is becoming popular is a parent co-op, where parents form a small group and share care responsibilities. This is how I was raised and I am sure many of you were, as well. We are also seeing co-ops created that connect parents to providers. In these, families pay into a pooled fund that pays the caregivers good wages with benefits. These groups support whole networks of families and have the added benefit of creating community between the families in the groups.
Be a Welcoming Community. By declaring Gresham a sanctuary and nondiscriminatory city, we will send the message that all our current and future residents are welcome here. Diversity and being an inclusive city are important in a competitive global world where the communities that attract and foster the best talent will perform the best in the global marketplace. Many industries, like health care and technology, now depend on recruiting and retaining talent from all over the globe. Businesses want to relocate to cities with diverse and vibrant communities.
After School Activities and Summer Programs that invest in our children. Let’s set our kids up for success by fostering after-school and summer programs that are fun and educational, like Junior Achievement and other programs that build life and job skills while bridging that gap in time between school getting out and parents getting home or long summer breaks. We must also ensure that all our children have at least one good meal each day year-round, not just during the school year. Wood Village as started a program that provides summer meal support for families. It is a minor investment that ensures our communities children, who through no fault of their own, are going hungry.
Access To Mental Healthcare Services. After talking with Gresham Police Chief Robin Sells, I think we need to prioritize adding mental health specialists to our first responder system. A large percentage of the calls our officers are responding to are due to lack of mental health care and/or drug and alcohol treatment. Let’s get our residents and our police officers the support they need. I will work with Multnomah County to secure funding to add these critical positions to partner with our police department and also to increase access to service for residents before they get into a crisis situation.