With one of the longest-seeming election seasons heading to a close, I am motivated to pause and reflect on what it means to live in a democracy. Civic engagement is a sign of a healthy community, and it thrills me to see people getting involved in ways that are individually and collectively meaningful. Civic engagement strengthens networks and builds social capital—important ingredients for stability and growth. Whether it’s at a hyperlocal level, such as a resident council or neighborhood group, or on a larger scale, I am grateful to live in a nation where voices are meant to be heard.
BRIDGE encourages our staff, residents and neighbors to be civically engaged. This fall, we supported voter registration efforts championed by the NPH Action Fund, making it easier for residents at BRIDGE properties to have a voice on Nov. 8.
We have also been setting our sights on a record number of housing initiatives up and down the West Coast. In the midst of rising housing costs and an unprecedented affordability crisis, we published our first-ever endorsement guide to non-partisan ballot measures. Santa Clara County’s Measure A ($950 million) and Portland’s Measure 26-179 ($258.4 million) are just two of the important affordable housing bond measures we support.
In Portland, we named our newest building “The Abigail” after Abigail Scott Duniway, an outspoken and courageous national champion of women’s and human rights. Over a period of 26 years in Oregon, women’s suffrage lost a winning vote five times. It was a testament to the persistence of Abigail and her peers when Oregon women finally celebrated their right to vote in 1912. Talk about civic engagement!
Please join me in honoring the efforts of Abigail and so many others who have fought for—and continue to work toward—a more perfect Union. There are many ways to make a difference through civic engagement: listen to others, let your voice be heard, and exercise the right to vote!