On Jan. 5, Eugene City Council members livestreamed their annual State of the City Address. The event is an opportunity for public officials to reflect on the previous year’s accomplishments while speaking to citizens about their goals for the future of the city.
This year the stream began with a West-African Gumboot dance put on by Michael Moloi and featuring John Mambira, Rutie D, and Joshua Caraco. The performance itself was titled “Peace Song.” After, Mayor Lucy Vinis made a land acknowledgement to the Kalapuya tribes and went over a summary of what was to come from the rest of the stream.
Following a sequence of clips featuring council members—and what they believed they had improved upon in Eugene—Vinis proceeded to announce the winners for the Bold Steps award, won by Summit Bank, and three Community Service Awards given to St. Vincent de Paul, Alex Reyna, and Pastor Gabe Piechowicz.
Other notable events throughout the city shown in a pre-made video went over the implementation of Hearing Loop technology—a wireless service for those with hearing aids—and the resumption of live performances at the Hult Center with COVID-19 safety regulations and testing.
Also highlighted were downtown art galleries occupying vacant window space, the introduction of new airlines to Eugene Airport, the construction of microsites and council approved rest areas for the houseless, and many others.
A significant portion of this sequence was spent on efforts to improve housing, focusing on both affordability and availability, within Eugene. They named The Commons on MLK, The Keystone, Sarang, and Iris Place as examples of their efforts.
The narrating voice continued to state, “58 multifamily housing developments are actively under construction in Eugene. Turnaround time for building permits improved during the pandemic and the city’s permit services issued more than 8,100 permits in fiscal year ‘21, including 44 multifamily permits and completed more than 52,000 inspections.”
Overall, the city’s goal is to create over 6,000 new housing units by the year 2027.
Another section of the pre-recording went over the city’s review of public safety and police reform. It noted the creation of the Ad Hoc Committee on Police Policy to provide representation on behalf of marginalized communities.
The video concluded with a summary of ongoing construction sites for public use, Climate Action Plan 2.0, awards given to Eugene-Springfield Fire’s Young Women’s Fire Camp and the Love Food Not Waste Program, and anticipation for the upcoming summer events at Hayward Field.
Upon the end of pre-recording, Mayor Vinis began her address by offering words of encouragement and the acknowledgment of three specific areas that continue to be a struggle, but remain of vital importance: houselessness, climate change, and equity.
The stream came full circle with another performance by Michael Moloi and company titled “Sanibonani (Hello, How Are You?).”
It can be watched in its entirety here.
Categories: Local News & Events