Mayor Lucy Vinis
WelcomeBelow you will find links to my weekly blog, monthly recaps, and the Mayor’s Report, a dynamic list of projects that council and staff are working on – a real-time living tool to track our work and progress online, providing consistent updates of where we are on important issues. I hope everyone finds these tools useful.
A City Hall is not just a building. It is not only a physical place where we gather, debate, and decide the important issues of the day. It is also a statement of our collective values: that coming together is central to our health and vision as a representative democracy. At a time when we face such enormous challenges — in our nation and our community — we need a strong civic center more than ever.
As Eugene City Council returns to work this fall, our deliberations about a new City Hall will be renewed. It’s time. We’re all impatient with the view of an empty lot where our City Hall once stood. That empty lot has in some ways become a metaphor for empty vision.
But the vision is robust and important. Multiple priorities have converged into an exciting vision of a re-emerging Town Square, blending goals to renovate the Park Blocks, create a permanent home for Lane County Farmers Market and establish 8th Avenue as a great avenue connecting downtown to the river and our new riverfront neighborhood. A new City Hall can be the catalyst behind the revitalization of our downtown core.
We are living in a pivotal age. We face life-altering natural disasters in the form of global warming and earthquakes. We live in a nation deeply divided and fraught. Our progress on many fundamental human rights, including labor, race, immigration and health, is open to challenge and reversal. As a community, we see enormous economic growth coupled with stagnant wages for many and a dramatic shortage of housing. Homelessness is a human tragedy that plays out on our streets, parks and in our schools every day.
In the midst of these challenges, our community comes together in City Council meetings and public forums to deliberate how best to reduce our impact on climate change; where to build housing; how to improve our public safety; how to invest public dollars in infrastructure like roads and parks; or how to encourage economic development that also brings good wage jobs and solid public benefit.
When the big earthquake shakes our valley, our center will need to hold. Our city leadership will need to orchestrate the immediate emergency response and oversee the long road to rebuilding. Our City Hall will stand as a commitment by today’s residents to the well-being of tomorrow’s.
In spite of frustrating delays, we are in good shape to move forward. Previous City Councils had the wisdom to set aside funds for this purpose. Current leadership has options to devote other one-time funds as well. We’ve had time to look at alternatives. The final determination about the land-swap with the county is still pending in the courts.
As we await the legal go-ahead and grapple with the siting and costs of our new City Hall, let us not allow our short-term frustration to blind us to our long-term vision.