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 10

Weekly Recap - March 10, 2017

Posted on March 10, 2017 at 3:42 PM by Elena Domingo

“Safety” is the word of the month: safety in our downtown; safety for our immigrant community; safety for people who seek shelter in our rest stops; and safety in our neighborhoods and streets. City Council is engaged in all of these areas.

City Council voted 8-0 to direct the City Manager to write an ordinance assuring and protecting the rights of all people in our community to conduct their lives without fear that the City will investigate or gather information about their documentation status, religion, or political beliefs. The public hearing and vote on this ordinance is scheduled for Monday, March 13th.

Council has devoted a lot of time to issues related to downtown—and to the challenges that extend beyond downtown, particularly to the Whiteaker neighborhood, which is increasingly burdened by criminal activity and the strain of hosting large numbers of unsheltered folks.  

On March 15th in our last work session before Council breaks for a spring recess, we will discuss a requirement for a 1,000-foot buffer separating marijuana retail establishments, a decision that is increasingly urgent as more and more retailers are opening. 

A work session about the next steps in planning for the South Willamette area has been postponed to later in the spring to allow neighborhood representatives and staff to continue their discussions about how to proceed.

At our April 26th work session, we will begin conversations about a permanent shelter for people who are homeless—a priority in the Poverty and Homelessness Board’s strategic plan. I plan to spark a conversation about how this might work, who the key partners are, and, most significantly, how it might be funded. Meanwhile, I am doing my homework by meeting with non-profit housing providers—St. Vincent de Paul, ShelterCare, Community Supported Shelters, Eugene Mission, and Square One—to begin the framework for this conversation.