Council has a lot on its plate!
Our forum on Monday night hosted 35 speakers. Of those, 20 made an impassioned plea to the city to divest from US Bank. The city has a very limited account at US Bank, but the speakers were well-informed in their calls for withdrawing association from an institution involved in the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Of the other 15 speakers, quite a few protested the proposed ordinance to ban all alcohol in city parks except for permitted events. These objections have been heard: the Public Works Department has now withdrawn that proposal.
On Wednesday, Council engaged in a long process conversation about how we conduct our meetings. This may not sound interesting, but our decision about how to handle motions for items not on the scheduled agenda has significant impact on public engagement. Our goal in the discussion is to protect the integrity of public discourse, ensuring that councilors are prepared for discussions that emerge at City Council meetings and that the public is able to know in advance if an issue of concern will be discussed.
I was happy to attend a final report by Ethan Stuckmayer, a graduate student at UO Planning, Public Policy and Management program about Missing Middle housing. This is one more step in understanding our opportunities and challenges in encouraging the creation of more housing that people can afford. I also had the opportunity to explore the same topic with UO President Michael Schill and UO Community Relations Director, Matt Roberts, who are interested in and supportive of our efforts to address our housing shortage.