Originally Written April 26, 2019
In February 2018, City Council voted to support the International Declaration on Human Rights and Climate Change. The declaration is based on the principal that both human rights and commitment to climate justice are interdependent and indivisible. National research and local experience have shown that the effects of climate change tend to disproportionately impact marginalized communities, such as communities of color, the elderly, low-income communities, and people experiencing disabilities. The City Council’s direction for completing the Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0 included the creation of an Equity Panel, that strives to build a stronger understanding of how to engage equity concerns in the face of climate change.
The CAP 2.0 Equity Panel has met six times starting in February and will continue to meet through June. The six organizations that are participating on the CAP 2.0 Equity Panel include Sapsik’?alá , Huerto de la Familia , Eugene Springfield NAACP , Lane Independent Living Alliance , Food for Lane County , and National Alliance on Mental Illness Lane County . During these meetings, participants have expressed an interest in learning about how to get involved in policymaking and wanting to know how their voices can be heard in local government. At the participants’ request, staff have provided climate science updates so that information can be shared with the organizations they represent and the clients they serve.
We have received thoughtful insights about the City’s proposed Equity Lens for the CAP 2.0 project. An equity lens is a tool comprised of reflective questions and principals, intended to improve decision-making and lead to more equitable policies and programs. The feedback we have heard includes using the equity lens not only to think about the equity implications of a proposal before that action is adopted but continuing to think about the consequences as the project is carried out, allowing for flexibility and revision as circumstances change.
As staff gather the lived experiences of marginalized communities, this input will be integrated into the ongoing CAP 2.0 project efforts. Engaging and responding to the needs of underrepresented communities is necessary as our community makes progress towards the CRO goals. Additionally, the Equity Panel facilitator will be completing a Case Study that will be shared with project teams across the organization to assist in integrating a greater equity component into other city- wide projects.
For more information on the CAP2.0 including the Equity Panel, visit the project website .