2020 State of the City - Year in Review

2019 brought many changes to our city, and as a community, we continued to meet new challenges with creative solutions to make Eugene a more resilient, safe and welcoming place for all. 

Our resiliency was tested in 2019 with winter snow storms that left more than 18 inches of snow in the valley. Trees and power lines snapped, plunging thousands of people into darkness and blocking roads. First responders – including public works and utility crews – worked around the clock to clear roads of snow and debris. Following several years of active winter weather, public works has added four additional plows to its fleet.

In addition to preparing for snow, Eugene Springfield Fire led a project to reduce the risk of wildfire in the south hills. Working with Northwest Youth Corp and Oregon Department of Forestry, teams removed dead and downed material to reduce fire risk and improve safety.

  1. Community Safety
  2. Housing and Homelessness
  3. Equity
  4. Sustainability
  5. Transportation
  6. Plans to Action
  7. Great Place to Be
  8. Looking Ahead

Community Safety

Community safety remains an ongoing focus for Eugene. The City Council dedicated $8.6 million for 18-months of funding to stabilize public safety and emergency response services.

Additional funding added officers and a new Street Crimes Unit, which launched in mid-March. The group addressed and solved problems throughout the city, including targeting drug crimes, illegal firearms, and human trafficking.

In addition, community safety funding allowed the police department to hire four new Community Service Officers, who can respond to more non-emergency calls for service.

Community safety funding also added capacity to our emergency shelters, supported programs to get teens  off the streets, and continued the Community Court program that connects non-violent offenders with social service providers.

In June, the City Council passed a community safety payroll tax ordinance that will provide ongoing, sustainable funding for city-wide public safety efforts. The payroll tax is expected to generate $23.6 million annually to provide faster, more efficient safety responses, deter crime, connect people to services, engage and help at-risk youth, support more investigations and court services, and add jail beds to hold those who commit crimes accountable. 

There was much to be proud of in 2019 – a year that closed out a decade of growth and innovation. 

We welcome 2020 and look forward to working together to honor our past, empower new ideas, and strengthen connections for generations to come.