The headline news for this week was the council’s 8-0 decision to ask the City Manager to draft an ordinance affirming our commitment to the safety of everyone in our community, regardless of immigration status. Although commonly referred to as a “Sanctuary” ordinance, this decision essentially affirms and codifies Eugene’s existing practices. We do not request, seek or gather information about anyone’s immigration status as part of the normal work in any City department. The ordinance adopts language in two state statutes and expands their application from law enforcement to all city departments. The Mayor’s Ad Hoc Committee and City staff prepared the ground for this ordinance with clarity, specificity and respect for constitutional law. I am proud to be part of this process and decision.
Council also received an update on the conditions of our rental market and the stresses and possible protections to help tenants retain stable housing. Council is concerned both with the supply of affordable housing, the condition of housing stock, the assurance of nondiscrimination, and the potential for improved protections from no-cause evictions.
Coming up on Monday will be the public hearing regarding possible downtown restrictions on dogs and smoking. We’ve received a lot of email and expect a crowd.