Since I last wrote at the end of July, Council has been quiet, but much of the work behind the scenes in the past month will come into public view this fall.
A few issues are resolved: the smoking ban downtown has gone into effect; and both Uber and Lyft have begun operating. We expect both of these decisions to have a positive effect not only on downtown but city-wide.
Since returning from my own vacation, in the past couple of weeks I have meet with:
- Representatives from 350 Eugene to talk about our progress on Eugene’s Climate Action Plan. Staff are meeting with “large lever shareholders,” large institutions whose actions have a sizeable impact on our capacity to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. Council will receive an update on this work later this month.
- Advocates for the homeless who are concerned about our ability to meet winter needs. On October 10th, Council will receive a briefing and opportunity to suggest changes and improvements to the feasibility study for a homeless shelter. That study will include a detailed “systems analysis” of the services we have and insights about how a shelter could integrate with those services. The public is invited for a discussion of this initial outline in the evening of October 10. Your input will help the consultants finalize their report, due at year’s end.
- Leadership of the human Rights Commission who are also focused on housing and homelessness. A commission subgroup focused on marginalized voices in our community will present to council on September 12th.
- City staff and Steve Robinson of Cascadia Prepared regarding our preparedness for a large earthquake. The city is addressing our vulnerability and response in much of its ongoing work, including seismic improvements to bridges and buildings and in planning for fire and rescue services. Many residents have received CERT training to be able to assist in an emergency. That said, many of us would not be ready to manage for ourselves if the quake shook tomorrow. I’m looking for ways to help us all move forward.
For fun, I attended the Pride Festival in August which gets bigger and better every year and am closing this week at the Mayor’s Teen Art Show at the Maude kerns Gallery featuring 38 works of art by area high school students.
Council returns for our first meeting on Monday, September 10th.