As cities throughout the U.S. look to CAHOOTS as an alternative to the police, a group of local activists are hosting a bake sale to raise money for the program after the Eugene City Council voted for a budget that didn’t reallocate funding from Eugene Police Department to the White Bird Clinic program.
The bake sale is 4 to 9 pm Friday, July 3, and it will donate 100 percent of the proceeds to a fundraiser that is raising money to expand CAHOOTS’ presence on the streets.
“We feel that Eugene has the opportunity to set an example for the entire country, as we try to envision non-violent alternatives to law enforcement,” one of the event organizers, Ethan Rainwater, said in a statement. “We were extremely disappointed that the recent City Council budget meeting resulted in zero change to the budget of EPD, so we figured we would take matters into our own hands.”
Rainwater tells Eugene Weekly that everyone seems to think that CAHOOTS is necessary for the community. So he and event organizers want to create a more positive experience for the community.
“Everyone agrees CAHOOTS is awesome, so we wanted to support them” he adds.
The proceeds of the bake sale will go toward White Bird’s active online fundraiser to expand CAHOOTS’ services in Eugene-Springfield. For its 50th anniversary, White Bird is aiming to fundraise $200,000, according to the webpage. So far, the nonprofit has raised $170,000. On its fundraiser, the nonprofit says it will use the money to expand the hours of CAHOOTS’ mobile crisis services. Those services responded to more than 23,000 calls in 2018, which saved taxpayers $6 million in emergency medical services costs.
The bake sale will have a variety of baked goods, says Katy McGuire, another event organizer. The sale includes cakes, cookies, loaves of bread and brownies, as well as iced tea, iced coffee and lemonade. The bake sale will include vegan and gluten-sensitive food. Locally made zines are also available, McGuire adds.
“We want to have a healthy discussion,” McGuire says. “But we want to think critically about what our community looks like and how we can improve it.”
The bake sale also features DJ Tinta Turnter, Calvin Orlando Smith, The Whiteaker Hot Club and speakers from EUG Blac,
On June 23, the Eugene City Council voted unanimously to support the city’s annual budget that gives $67.9 million to the police department. The vote happened despite a Change.org petition signed by 12,860 people demanding the city of Eugene defund the police and reallocate more funding to CAHOOTS. EPD is set to receive 17.2 percent of the city’s $391.5 million 2021 proposed budget and will receive the largest share of the general budget.
The bake sale is located at outside of 1045 W. 1st Avenue. Can’t make it to the bake sale but want to support CAHOOTS? Visit FlipCause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/NTg3OTg=.