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I Dream of the City

Kitty Piercy Eugene mayor

In this holiday season my wishes remain constant, and are not constrained by neighborhood or political or philosophical differences. I wish that all are welcome and safe here and that those without homes find welcoming arms here, whether they be victims of war or a failing economy. I wish for excellent schools and educational institutions, available to all, that instill a love of learning, inspire creativity, practice justice and embrace the talents and aspirations of every young person. I wish that each of us has the means and opportunity to thrive, and the heart to share what is ours. I wish that we support those who struggle and recommit ourselves to the future, that this may be a healthy and beautiful home for generations to come. 

 

Mike McFadden Agriculturalist, backpacker and writer

Imagine the Lane County Butterfly Lot metamorphosed: I dream of a year-round Farmer’s Market Food Hub Pavilion anchoring an 8th Street Promenade toward our Willamette riverfront.

 

Kevin Matthews Eugene native and community advocate

I dream of a Eugene that lives up to its amazing potential.

This is a Eugene that has somehow matured beyond the reciprocating illusions of a cute university town that’s the seat of a ruthless timber county, intermittently donning makeup and fancy clothes to play a modern city.

Evidence of this would include a planning department and development professionals who stand above business as usual, who can take a straight fact as such, and work from there collaboratively and effectively, with common benefits in mind.

The glowing but squishy pillars of Envision Eugene and the aspirations of the Climate Plan would be given real weight — not traded off against each other for political points. We could see a drastic reduction in planning and design botches such as the South Willamette Special Area Zone proposal, the costly razing of City Hall and the bureaucratic burial of the New Vision for West Eugene.

Building on the global consensus 1.5 degree C warming target just agreed in Paris, a quantitatively verified redo of the city climate plan would give Eugene a real roadmap for how to grow better, not bigger, working together to thrive amid the real challenges of this place, in these times.

 

Sue Sierralupe Clinic manager,
Occupy Medical, ACTIVIST, NATURALIST, HERBALIST, PODCASTER

I dream of living in a Eugene in which every citizen and visitor has equal access to viable healthcare. I dream of city that offers healthy foods, income and living space so that healthy lifestyles are fostered. I am lucky because I get to see these dreams realized at Occupy Medical, Lane County Master Gardeners Association and Mt. Pisgah Arboretum.

 

Lynn Reichman Director (volunteer), Spencer Butte Wildlands

A dramatic vision for a large greenbelt of thousands of acres of preserved open space ringing the southern slopes of Spencer Butte is suddenly moving towards becoming a possible reality. Individual landowners, private organizations and government agencies are working toward this previously impossible-seeming dream. Yet it hangs in the balance, needing crucial funds. Most of the land between Eugene and Spencer Butte’s southern slopes is being rapidly subdivided and developed, and actualizing this vision is a race against time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

So close in to Eugene, if these wild forest lands, including oak woodlands and prairies, now part of the view from atop Spencer Butte, are saved from development by purchasing conservation easements, they will provide important native habitat for a vast variety of plant and animal species and an ecologically healthy emerald green edge to our urban area. And if permanently preserved now, some could eventually become future parkland and trail linkage. Envisioning this dream is exciting; we can hope that the opportunity to save the last of this remaining wild and open land truly becomes a reality for our future.

 

Joshua Skov Board member, Better Eugene-Springfield Transit, Candidate for Eugene City Council, Ward 1

I dream of zero.

Specifically, Vision Zero — the international movement to redesign streets and change habits to make sure zero people die on our roads, bike paths, and sidewalks.

This is my dream because I believe it will unleash other greatness. It will lure people out of their cars.  As communities the world over have shown, people will choose to walk and bike and take transit when those options are safe and convenient, and it will be the same here. Our air will be cleaner, our bodies will be healthier, and we will be able to say "Hello!" to each other more easily as we move around town. We will be more connected to our neighbors.  Parents will happily encourage their kids to walk and bike to school, and the kids will love it.

The Eugene City Council recently passed a resolution making Vision Zero our policy. We are now figuring out how best to use a combination of engineering, education, and enforcement to improve our streets and how we use them so people on foot, on bike, and in cars don't die just trying to get from one place to another.

Let's dream Vision Zero together!

 

Roscoe Caron Retired Kelly Middle School teacher and member of the Community Alliance for Public Education

I dream of a Eugene where we reverse the 15 years of corporate “reform” of our schools. I dream of a Eugene where we rediscover the things that once made Eugene schools nationally recognized models of creativity, experimentation, dynamism and meaningful learning.

I dream of a Eugene in which schools are no longer ruled — and no longer ruined — by obsessive-compulsive, data-driven testing.  I dream of local school districts that no longer parrot vague, focus-group-derived clichés like “rigor” and “college and career ready.”

I dream of a Eugene where the local school board once again views itself as a community school board, not an extension of unimaginative, corporate-oriented educational bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. or Salem, Oregon.

I dream of a Eugene where local parents, students, community and educators determine the kind of education that works best for their school  — not for Bill Gates, ill-informed or expedient politicians, or billion dollar testing companies.

I dream of a Eugene where the mission of schools is based on the Latin educere  — “to bring out, to lead forth.”

 

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