I love Eugene. I have spent countless hours over the past half a dozen years working to help Eugene. And during that time, I've seen Eugene declare we will take action on the challenges that face us. We will address climate change, find compassionate solutions for our homelessness crisis, solve our lack of housing affordability and supply.
But when it comes time to actually do the things we need to do, the City Leadership is timid. They call for another public process; City Council holds another work session. We don't have the luxury of being timid. We can't delay any more. We can't wait for others to fix this for us.
I spend most of my evenings and weekends working to help make Eugene a better place. I’ve served on the Eugene Active Transportation Committee and serve on the Eugene Budget Committee. I have worked diligently through the Walkable Eugene Citizen Advisory Network (WE CAN) to help ensure that the voices of those in our city who want to see our land use polices support diverse, walkable, affordable neighborhoods and housing are heard.
I have spent my days working at non-profit organizations to help make sure they have the tools and resources they need to accomplish their missions. I help them solve not just the straight-forward challenges, but the sticky, tough problems that don’t have easy solutions. My coworkers know I won’t shy away from the challenge; I’ll get it done.
I believe that we can’t solve the problems that face us without really understanding the diversity of needs and experiences that exist within our city. It takes more than simply listening at three minute public hearings or reading an online surveys to truly engage with the community. It requires not just listening to what people say, but hearing what they need and what they value. This is something I do every day, both in my professional life and in my community work, and will continue to do.
I do my homework. My idea of a fun Saturday afternoon is sitting on my porch with a City Budget or a stack of zoning code-- getting into the weeds of how to solve the problems that face us in a way that will hold up for the long term. I know that makes me a little weird, but we need City Leaders who have the passion and the willingness to delve deeply into the problems that confront us, and push for solutions and action.
I believe in Eugene. This is an amazing community in an amazing, beautiful place. The residents of Eugene are passionate and persistent about solving the challenges that face us, willing to work to make it happen. We can, together, overcome these challenges. We can make progress. We must not just proclaim bold visions, but take bold steps to chart a course for ensuring Eugene becomes even more amazing in the next decade, the next 100 years.