Keeping in touch: Notes from the Mayor

Mayor Lucy VinisThis blog aims to nurture our conversation and understanding of the issues before us. Every week, I will provide a weekly update on the activities in the city government, my activities as mayor, and brief reflections on progress, opportunities and challenges. You are invited to respond with reactions, insights and questions. We do this work together.

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Mar 05

March 5, 2021

Posted on March 5, 2021 at 12:27 PM by Niyah Ross

Council did not meet this week, I will use this space to report on my mayoral activities.

Unfortunately, the week began with the report of hateful graffiti disfiguring the mural at Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) the previous week.   I met with CALC leadership earlier in the week and attended their press event on Thursday.  We are experiencing a wave of hate crimes washing over Eugene.  Council is planning for a work session to look at specific ways we can prevent, respond to, and better protect communities of color and LGBTQ Eugeneans.  I support the call to recognize racism as a threat to public health – both the danger of physical assault and the repeated trauma of racial aggression endanger people’s immediate and long-term health.  

Tuesday night, I attended the meeting of the Ad Hoc Committee on Police Policies. The committee is now working its way through a long list of motions that have been brought forward by the subcommittees.  Tuesday’s work included motions from the Police Oversight, Use of Force, and Body Worn Camera subcommittees.  The committee approved a specific motion recommending that Council undertake an evaluation of the City’s current oversight system to determine whether is it appropriate for this community.  The committee has requested a second timeline extension. The extension would add two more meetings and give adequate time to vote on all the pending motions.  Council should consider that motion at the Monday night meeting this coming week.

In related work, I had the privilege of participating in a panel on Thursday hosted by the Obama Foundation and My Brother’s Keeper.  I am one of 337 mayors that has signed the Foundation’s “Reimagining Policing Pledge.” Part of that pledge includes participation in workshops to share reforms and experience.  Thursday was the first forum and I was joined by Ebony Morgan, Director of the CAHOOTS program.  Two other mayors who presented their city’s work were from Ithaca, NY and Orlando, FL.  We focused our presentation on CAHOOTS, yet I also gave deserved recognition to the work of the Ad Hoc Committee and our Community Safety Initiative.

On a closing note, we’re rounding a year of the pandemic.  Vaccines are coming faster, restaurants are incrementally opening, and Eugene is beginning to blossom in the start of our long, resplendent spring.  Thank you all for your patience and perseverance that has brought us to this point where we can begin to really see the end of this ordeal.