I understand why a lot of people don’t trust local governments, especially the Eugene City Council. On the issues I care about most — homelessness and affordable housing — I don’t trust them either. They’ve spent years dragging their feet, doing studies and avoiding immediate action.
There isn’t anyone on the City Council, including the mayor, I would vote for again.
But we should understand that their failure is our fault for not paying attention, not organizing and running working-class renters for the council. Most of them are volunteers who run for re-election with no opponents. It’s a part-time, poorly paid position without a lot of power.
We’re getting what we pay for — basically, a committee of upper-middle class business people and professionals who don’t really understand or care a lot about our issues. What they care about is business. Eugene has become a business.
The City Council will only do something serious about homelessness and affordable housing if we push them. But they will never do anything without the millions of dollars it costs to put up apartment buildings.
Measure 102 is one way to get that money. The construction excise tax (CET), which the city and county have so far refused to pass, is another.
We need to pass 102, and then get out and push.