This week will stand out in Oregon and US history as dark days as we witnessed an attempted coup in the U.S. Capitol and continued riots at the Oregon Capitol from violent far-right groups intent on destroying our democracy. As Mayor of Eugene, I condemn these actions in the strongest possible terms.
As a City we reject these forces that would tear our democracy apart. Your local government will continue to do the important of work of the people on behalf of all who call Eugene home.
Our City Council has collectively condemned hate, racism and white supremacy and is actively working with the community to review and reform local policies and practices to ensure civil and human rights to all individuals. I have joined regional leaders in condemning the violence in D.C. and signed the Western States Coalition statement to Defend Democracy. This is not enough. I want to be clear on what this means to our community as we look to the future.
As Chief Skinner stated earlier this week, our police department will continue to support the rights of peaceful protesters, protect the life and property of this community, and strive to de-escalate and to contain unpredictable situations.
But let me be clear, our city is prepared to stop violence and destruction in our community, and we will hold those who engage in these despicable acts accountable.
I stand in solidarity with the people of Eugene in opposing white supremacy and the terrorism that threatens to undermine our democracy. Whether it be in Eugene, Salem, or Washington D.C., we cannot allow these acts to continue. We cannot dismantle the systemic racism and oppression of our BIPOC colleagues, friends and neighbors while casting a blind eye toward the privilege that whiteness affords.
I am dedicated to creating a community where all people can safely, freely and fully engage in our democracy. State legislators and Federal Congressional leaders will likely take action to address the impacts of this week’s events. I reach out to all in our community asking you to join me in pledging to work together to find solutions that will improve our community, to advance peace and justice, and to ensure a safe Eugene for everyone.