This was a week of reviewing our investments and priorities. Council benefited from reports by the Human Rights and Sustainability Commissions who reviewed their work in 2017 and outlined their work plans for 2018.
The work of both of these commissions plays a crucial role in keeping our sights on priorities and public engagement. The Human Rights Commission was instrumental in our pursuit of the Protections for Individuals ordinance and decision to offer scholarships to Dreamers to renew their DACA status. They completed work on their report “Marginalized Voices” to survey and summarize the experiences of communities of color, LGBTQ, and Muslim residents in Eugene. That report will frame a significant portion of their work in 2018.
The Sustainability Commission has been a valued review and advisory board on the city’s major initiatives and investments including the Climate Recovery Ordinance, the Transportation System Plan, and the Urban Growth Boundary expansion.
Both commissions are concerned about housing and poverty, and proposed a closer collaboration in 2018. This foreshadows the Council’s conversation on November 8th about the role of boards and commission –how they can most effectively contribute to public understanding and process, and contribute to Council deliberations.
We also heard the first annual report about the Library Levy, which by all measures has delivered expanded programming and hours, added to our collections, and enhanced and upgraded technology materials. An independent citizen review committee has met monthly to review the library’s investment of the levy funds.
Finally, on Tuesday morning, I cut the ribbon at the Wild Iris trail. It’s the first new segment of trail to be built in years and represents a decade of collaboration and investment. Every dollar of public funds leveraged $2.60 of private grants and donations to realize this extension of the Rivers to Ridges vision for the Ridgeline Trail system. The trail can be accessed near the intersection of Bailey Hill and Bertelson Roads.