There is an adage that I find myself thinking about quite often as I stroll through Downtown Beaverton; there is power in numbers. The streets are bustling with morning vendor traffic. There is the usual humming of human interaction in the First Dining Commons. I greet one of the town’s lovable retired constituents on their morning stroll. Different dialects coalesced with familiar sentiments greet me as I pass the historic 1916 Fisher-Rossi Building. “Peace be upon you, brother!”

As I saunter from one meeting to another, I see doors of businesses propped open; at first I presume it is nothing more than a sign for customers indicating operation hours. However, the open doors also welcome commercial neighbors and the sharing of information (and inevitably trite gossip) that feels inherent to a close-knit community.

Outside of the proven Ricardian model of economic comparative advantage, it is clear that collaboration between business owners, property developers, government officials, and nonprofits marginally elevates the status of a community as a whole. Along with financial opportunities yielded from entrepreneurial networking, the cohesion resulting from collaboration shapes a community’s overarching identity.

We often bifurcate history into past and present with minimal understanding of the connection between the two. I’m referring to the constant balance between imagination and realization or ideology and practicality. The BDA exists as a body to preserve what holds meaning to the Beaverton Downtown area while accommodating the imminent change that growth will bring to our community. Our organization aims to cement the legacies of the past, honor the contributions of the present, and ensure equitable representation for the future.

Whether you enjoy a scrumptious meal with us on Beaverton Restaurant Week at the last week of September, indulge in a few brewskis at Brewerton beer walk, or get the family costumed up and ready for an unforgettable BOOverton, there is always a shindig going DOWN in DOWNtown Beaverton. It’s poppin’ y’all!

I still have a long way to go before meeting the necessary stakeholders, memorizing their names, hearing their stories, assessing their needs, and piecing together where I fit in to enrich this overall burgeoning community. But what I have witnessed are the organic relationships between local businesses in Downtown and their true preference for harmonious collaboration over unpitying competition. In the words of the late Coretta Scott King, the distinguishable “greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”