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Politics & Government

Homelessness Top Priority in Eugene Mayor's State Of City Address

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Tiffany Eckert
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KLCC

In her second State of the City address Thursday night, Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis acknowledged some of the promising steps taken in 2018 and what opportunities may lie ahead. The mayor drew down on four major priorities.

Vinis cited homelessness as the most pressing and consistent challenge for the city. She says each month, there are 130 newly homeless in Lane County. 

“Some people say we are doing too much. That improving services only serves as a magnet for the impoverished. While others say we are not doing enough. Either way, the continued suffering in our midst is unconscionable.”

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Credit Tiffany Eckert / KLCC
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KLCC
The Eugene City Council looks on as Mayor Vinis delivers the 2019 State of The City Address.

Between plans to create a public shelter and a full range of housing opportunities, Vinis says the city is taking promising steps.

On her second priority, climate resiliency, Vinis highlighted the city’s shifts -- from reducing food waste to increased use of public transit. She will host the Mayor’s Emergency Preparedness Summit in March.

“The sooner we are prepared for climate change and for any emergencies that may occur the stronger our economy will be now and in the future.”

Vinis says one move toward meeting the priority of public engagement and government accountability, will be a complete list of links on the city’s website to all audits-- financial and performance.

To meet the priority of inclusiveness Vinis says starting in November, 20 cultures will be honored by the city each month, culminating in a festival just before the 2021 World Track and Field Championship in Eugene.