In Eugene, we cherish and regularly exercise our right and privilege to free expression.
We also recognize that with this right comes responsibility.
As we approach the elections this year, I am calling on everyone to uphold your responsibility to exercise your rights peacefully.
I know that emotions are running high about this year’s election. Many of you are anticipating participating in protests.
Peaceful protests are a meaningful, important, and time-honored way for people to call for change.
Acts of violence and destruction are not. Destroying and defacing our local businesses, streets, and shared spaces hurt us as a community and do more to pull us apart than bring us together. While I am hopeful that we will stay peaceful, our police professionals are prepared to keep our community safe.
As a community, we have shown we can make space for, support, and participate in peaceful protests. I have confidence that we can do so again. If you feel called to join a protest, in addition to checking your own emotional state of being, please also take care of our community’s health: wear your mask, maintain physical distancing as much as possible, keep your hands clean with sanitizer, and of course, stay home if you’re not feeling well.
The most important way to express your opinions is by voting. I encourage you to vote the whole ballot. In addition to the presidential race, there are important local and state races and measures at stake this year.
Turn in your ballot to any Lane County Elections collection box before 8 p.m. on Tuesday. It is now too late to mail your ballot. Our vote by mail system in Oregon has been safely and securely working for two decades. And this year, our police department is taking extra precautions to ensure that ballot boxes are safe and secure. You can have faith your vote will be counted.
We must be prepared to be patient. We may not know the outcomes of national elections right away. It will be important to let our election process work so every vote can be counted – from the presidential race to the local measures. All votes are important, and we want to make sure we get verified, accurate results.
No matter the outcome of the elections, let’s demonstrate the grace and kindness Eugeneans are known for.
Let's be an example for our state and nation.