The City held a second listening session March 30 on how to allocate the new payroll tax funds. They heard from local businesses and members of the Police Commission.
Brittany Quick Warner: [00:00:11] Hi everyone, Brittany Quick-Warner here from the Eugene Chamber of Commerce. We were intimately involved in the conversations of the community safety initiative a couple of years ago and we know that there was an enormous amount of public outreach public input that helped get us to where we were. Our business community ultimately came out and supported this community safety initiative. Yes, addressing the homelessness is going to bring down the number of calls that our police are getting and we should be addressing those differently than with an armed police officer. However, there is real crime happening in our community that is not being addressed. It’s not being answered. I have dozens of examples just in the last two weeks of business owners who have called the cops because they’ve had a serious crime happening on our property and they have not gotten a response. So we know our police department needs more officers, needs more people to respond to these calls. And we really want to see this funding go to actually address those outcomes that were indicated in the original community safety initiative plan.
Sean Shivers: [00:01:12] My name is Sean Shivers. I happen to serve as chair of the Police Commission for the City of Eugene overseeing those policies that Brittany was just talking about. And over the last year, we have been on the front lines of addressing those policies, those issues brought to the fore by the murder of George Floyd. But I want to say that good policing takes more time. You’re all well aware of the statistics of our growing population, while our safety services have just been getting stretched thinner and thinner of calls for services going unanswered, but this goes beyond just simple statistics.
I think we can all agree that we want our officers to deescalate incidents and to make as few mistakes as possible. But what happens when you work overtime, your police force, when you push them to do longer hours, when you give them less vacation time, you inevitably see more mistakes. Deescalation takes roughly twice as long as simply arresting somebody, throwing them in the back of a car, driving them to jail. And unfortunately, while these forces come together we’re going to run into very real problems where these these issues get worse, where our officers have to choose between being ready for an emergency and deescalating a situation.
Our police force and our community need these funds invested and they need them invested in the police now. Absolutely right, this community safety initiative contains numerous worthy causes, but not all those causes are in quite as dire straits as our police department is. We need more officers to respond to crimes and we need more officers so that our officers can respond humanely with de-escalation like we expect, with as few mistakes as possible. Unfortunately, dwindling resources will not help any of us achieve a safe community.
Claire Barnum: [00:03:15] My name is Claire Barnum and I work downtown for Downtown Eugene, Inc, which represents the property owners and businesses of downtown. The promise of the payroll tax was to meet the current needs of our community safety services. We applaud the ad hoc committee that has been put together to look systemically at our community policing and we encourage the continuity of those conversations.
Businesses are really struggling to keep up with the daily challenges they face. Day after day we receive calls from businesses and downtown employees dealing with aggressive and threatening behavior, human waste, trash, drug needles, active drug use, graffiti and more. Downtown should be a safe place to work. It should be a safe place to play and enjoy. The current environment is unsustainable and we are facing a real risk of losing local businesses and the jobs that those businesses support. We were asking the city to please keep its promise and move forward with the allocation as originally presented.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:04:22] Casey Barrett is next.
Casey Barrett: [00:04:24] I am for the current proposed allocation of funds to the payroll tax as it was designed at the time when we were looking at the needs of the community. It is fitting the current needs of the community and the crime wave that we’re seeing, the crimes that are being committed that are not currently being enforced. A lot of wonderful ideas have been shared here. They all require more resources. They’re all require more funds and that’s what this payroll tax was about. And that’s why we stepped up to be able to increase our community safety, increase our response times, increase the amount of officers, also other public safety support individuals that we had out there on the streets to help deal with these matters. I am in support of the current allocation. In my last 16 years of working downtown, it is the worst it has been, and we need this support to be able to improve the conditions of downtown Eugene and make it a place where people want to spend their time.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:05:18] Our next speaker is Ralph Parshall.
Ralph Parshall: [00:05:24] I would just like to speak to my position as a person that’s running a business here in town with 41 employees, and the commitment that the City Council made when we looked at this business community promise, and then our need as a community to protect the BIPOC community and they deserve policing that contributes to their safety, to do it in a way that protects their civil rights.
I think that’s really important that we do that. And the homeless issue is an issue both a positive and a negative. My business is close to the river. And I see through my security cameras, I see my property surveilled by individuals nightly and we pick up the waste that goes on there and that’s unfortunate because it bothers my employees that leave at night.
I don’t myself, I don’t go downtown because I don’t feel comfortable there. I’m an old guy and I just do not feel comfortable going downtown because of the situations that take place there at night. But I think the public perception in our community is that it’s unsafe and it’s going to lead to loss of business and jobs are what fuel the economy here in this community to be able to pay the taxes and support the other things that we all want in this beautiful city that we live in. And I believe the business community needs the city to keep its promise when they looked at this and reevaluate everything that we do with the mindset that’s come about in this conversation tonight. But I think we can do both of these things if we really put a creative eye to that.
Sally Bell: [00:07:06] I’m Sally Bell, vice president and executive director of the Technology Association of Oregon here in Southern Willamette Valley. Our membership here in city of Eugene includes folks like Concentric Sky, Sheer ID, Pipeworks Studios, Avant Assessment, Palo Alto Software. These are some of our very influential and foundational downtown tech companies headquartered here in the city. Community safety and our downtown is vital to our economic recovery, and businesses being able to physically return to their offices is dependent upon a substantial reallocation of these crucial funds in order to adequately support our unhoused population. We are on the precipice of high growth in this Valley. Oregon’s already been identified as experiencing growth as the result of the pandemic, specifically in technology and tech careers. And Eugene has recently made the headlines for one of the most desirable cities to live and work remotely.
In less than 18 months, we’ll be hosting the Oregon 22 championships, which will put Eugene on the map, like never before. The quality and caliber of the visitor experience and reputation of our community hinges on us getting this right, and allocating those funds appropriately. Employers are the mechanism for garnering these funds and their input and priorities are essential to this process. TAO and the local tech community would like to highlight the importance of stable housing for our homeless and unhoused population. It is a community wide issue that requires all hands on deck. There’s too much at stake and the holistic services and innovative housing solutions are pivotal for our growth and stability.
John Quetzalcoatl Murray:[00:08:44] As during the first session, many speakers recommended using those funds to address homelessness.
Felicia Figueroa: [00:08:50] My name is Felicia Figueroa. I’m a POC living here in Eugene, Oregon. I absolutely don’t believe that funding the police is what needs to happen. That doesn’t make any sense at all to me, it doesn’t make me feel safer in this community. If there’s any money available at all, what makes sense to me is to not build more infrastructure for policing. It makes more sense to have more support for the unhoused community here in Eugene. That’s obviously a very big thing happening here. I see it everywhere and I don’t understand why if there’s more money wouldn’t it be used for building a safety net and support for the unhoused.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:09:31] Our next speaker is Jacob True.
Jacob True: [00:09:34] It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me to be allocating this funding source to the police… if folks are, calling the police over somebody sleeping on their doorstep, then we should give the person who needs the house, doesn’t have a place to sleep that is sanctioned, we should give them a place to stay. If there’s somebody shoplifting some food, we should give them some food. Solve the problems at the source. We’ve got a bunch of people who got shot recently by the police when, you know, CAHOOTS could have handled it a whole lot better. Yeah. Address the root causes. Give folks homes. Don’t spend it more on police. Police can sell their BearCat if they need money.
Ahmedi True: [00:10:09] Hi, my name is Ahmedi True and I’m a mental health provider for the state of Oregon. A great deal of the work that I’m forced to do with these patients is undoing trauma that they’ve accrued through their experience of being houseless the sexual exploitation and also a lot of trauma related to their experience with the police, including of course of interactions an abusive behavior in the jail.
So I would encourage the city, look at primary prevention. Look at things that reduce the need for these services. Reduce people’s trauma, help people’s overall wellbeing, as opposed to increasing the availability of police services that often just compound people’s problems, add debt, add legal obligations they’re not allowed to make.
I’d also like to point out the tactics that the two officers that have testified tonight, they’re saying that if they don’t get more funding, then they may continue to be abusive.
What he said previously was that when they’re not funded adequately, that’s when mistakes happen, that’s when inhumane behavior happens. This is the argument of organized crime. This is the argument that if you don’t give us more, well, bad things might happen to your community. Nice community you have there. Shame that you know, hope something doesn’t happen to it, if the police don’t get this funding that they are demanding. There are evidence-based solutions many solutions to the problems that Eugene is experiencing. None of these require increasing funding for the police. This is a nonsensical solution really, that seems to be driven by the police themselves who wants more money for the system that they’ve been indoctrinated in. Yes, they say they changed the policies. It’s no longer their policy to be racist, but their policy to be slightly less racist. But let’s take a big step back and what the real underlying problems are here and look at primary prevention, look at evidence-based solutions, of which there are many.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:11:52] Our next speaker is Marianne Senhouse.
Marianne Senhouse: [00:11:54] Why is the success of the program measured in metrics that are tied to police response? Police right now are getting 60% more than half of the budget. There was no mention of mental health, a budget for mental health. And I’m wondering how come success isn’t measured by, for example, the number of homeless people who are helped into temporary or permanent housing. How about we give CAHOOTS its own budget, take it out from under EPD because it can stand on its own. Give it its own budget, expand the program. As it is this whole tax is just a funnel towards the police budget, to inflate the police budget, and I think that they can do with a smaller slice of the pie. We need to address the mental health issues that we have in the community…. and substance abuse counseling, just that this is where I would like to see the money go.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:13:09] Our next speaker is Brooklyn.
Brooklyn: [00:13:11] The idea that police bad behaviors can be excused or explained by like over being overworked or tired is just ridiculous. You don’t get an excuse to do a bad job or abuse people around you because you’re tired or you have a bad day. We need people who know that and who know how to deescalate situations and provide services. I listened to a podcast for interview with the sheriff, and he said that the local jail was the biggest mental health facility in Lane County. And he wasn’t happy about it, he was just stating a fact, there’s more therapists, there’s more people there. That is our inpatient mental health facility? It’s completely unacceptable., You want to take my money? I do not want it allocated to the carceral state and the police.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:14:00] Our next speaker is Amy Raven.
Amy Raven: [00:14:04] I want to speak on behalf of increasing the funding out of that CSI budget for homelessness and decreasing it on the whole police, incarceration enforcement, et cetera. One of the things we have to look at is that, the amount of people now who are homeless in the city are just incredible…. there needs to be real staffing. One of the suggestion is that camps that are set up have a paid care manager, paid from someone in the community who helps keep order and monitor complaints., Toilets need to be provided, drinking water needs to be provided more places around town. There’s no place people can put trash… the fact that homelessness that we have makes the community unsafe. We need the money taken out of policing and put into caring and dealing with our bad homeless situation.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:14:55] Our next speaker is Kory Northrop.
Kory Northrup: [00:14:57] Sean Shivers earlier said that good policing takes more time. He said, deescalation takes even more time. It’s much slower than arresting someone and throwing them in the back of a car and taking them to jail. That’s the part of the problem. It’s that kind of mentality and training model that has led to our overburdened court and jail systems. It’s not a humanistic approach. It’s treating people as burdens to the community that need to be removed, instead of working with that individual’s needs and finding ways to support them so they don’t need to resort to crime. In many cases, their only crime is being poor or black. So why not increase funding for homeless services and prevention services, why don’t we ensure that everybody in our community has access to quality education, stable, home food, and a job that they are able to work and are seeking employment.
Casey Barrett said in his over 16 years working downtown, that it’s been the worst it’s ever been. Much of that is because it’s harder and harder to make a living in Eugene and all over the country right now, and there are fewer services to help people stabilize their lives. And on top of that, the system is just set up in a way that works against them and makes it nearly impossible to get out of it. We’re looking at it the wrong way, as a problem for someone to be around just existing, when the problem is, that they’re not getting support and not having the opportunity to actually have their basic needs met. If you ask people, 99% are not excited about their situation and aren’t actively choosing it. They are just out of options.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:16:39] Ben Christensen.
Ben Christensen: [00:16:42] One of the things that they say in the initiative is, they want to build trust in the community. I don’t think increasing the budget will do that. And I don’t think adding police officers will do that. I think that the Eugene police being held accountable for the actions they’ve chosen— like the violent attacks on people during the curfew, after the start of the George Floyd protest, many of whom were in their own yards and the lawsuits that were brought before them as a result of that violent action and the use of riot police unnecessarily, and the release of tear gas and violent impact munitions and militarized weapons— would actually go a long ways towards building trust.
The police department in Eugene is fundamentally flawed. It’s built on a premise of white supremacy and they use force and violence, intimidation as their main source of maintaining that… our modern police state— disproportionate policing is built into the very foundation of our country and it is the legacy of this country. Increasingly the police budget will have little to no positive impact on the white community. In fact, I would say it would definitely negatively impact two more vulnerable groups in our society, the poor and people with disabilities…. I ask that you defund the police, the Eugene police department, in addition to not giving them any additional funding through this program.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:17:55] Our next speaker: “First name, Last name.”
First name, Last name: [00:17:58] When we talk about community safety, we need to look at what we mean by safety. Safety needs to be the addressing of needs and harm in the community. Policing is not an approach to safety oriented towards meeting needs and reducing or restoring harm. Policing sees unmet needs as something to be disciplined and punished. It fundamentally ignores the causes and temporality of needs and harm in order to criminalize it, discipline it, invisibilize it.
Safety does not come from silencing and punishing needs. It comes from addressing them. Safety cannot be about maintaining an illusory status quo. It comes from listening to the needs and hurts of community members, deciding to be with them in that trouble, because we care more about each other than about a sense of peace and stability and refusing long tries and long failed strategies rooted in the history and historical presence of racist, sexist, classist, able-ist power structures.
We don’t need more police. We don’t need a faster court system. We need to make caring about people in our community the cornerstone on how we define safety in our city.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:19:03] Our next speaker is Ellen Rifkin.
Ellen Rifkin: [00:19:06] The mayor said at the beginning that this conversation about community safety is front and center about communities of color, but the needs of these communities are not situated front and center in the proposal with which we are presented.
I am angry and disappointed that the needs are so stunningly disrespected in the proposed distribution of funds. 80% of these funds are directed to the criminal justice system, a system that does not have the trust of communities of color, and historically was never meant to. And just as importantly is fundamentally unrelated to meeting basic human needs, including housing, whose fulfillment is the only true basis for safety and security.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:19:50] Our next speaker is Rob Fisette.
Rob Fisette: [00:19:52] I just wanted to comment on something that struck me during the video. It was talking about support for people who are marginalized. It just led me to ask, marginalized by whom? A marginalized person is just a human being, who in the context of their existence is placed at the margins by someone else who’s in the center. And so I think we have to ask who that someone else is in the center, who enforces keeping marginalized people in place at the margins.
And frankly, it’s the police, it’s the social support structure that we have built, the education system, the city’s choices of how they spend their money and what things they choose to fund, what things they ignore and choose to put at the margins. These are the same systems that have orchestrated that marginalization of those people.
You know, there’s an EPD RV currently camped outside the camp site at 13th and chambers 24-7, it says community safety initiative on the side. It’s like a dystopian nightmare, this continuous surveillance in the place where they live. No housed person in my neighborhood would accept that sort of 24-7 surveillance of their home and bed, even if the express purpose was for their own safety, but that wouldn’t happen because they’re not marginalized.
This is the act of marginalization, the act of determining and enforcing who will be assigned to the margins. And this is an example— 24-7 surveillance RV at a campsite, which is ostensibly funded by the CSI— increasing that marginalization, not increasing safety.
We urge Council to direct no less than 80% of CSI funding towards support for the unhoused, root cause prevention, CAHOOTS, and CAHOOTS-like services. Investment in support services and prevention rather than policing decreases call gaps and court volumes by working to address the social inequities rather than criminalizing people and using brute force deterrence.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:21:40] Our speaker up now, Michael Hames Garcia.
Michael Hames Garcia: [00:21:43] I am a person of color in Eugene. I teach at the University of Oregon where I have taught classes on, among other things, Policing and Criminal Justice, for close to two decades. I’m currently a member of the Eugene Police Commission, and the Civilian Review Board in the past.
What makes communities safer, what reduces homelessness, and what most effectively addresses drug addiction are empirical questions the scholars who study these issues have answered. I literally teach an entire university class on this, and I’m pretty certain that increasing a city’s police budget does not positively correlate with most accepted measures of community safety. Reducing police response times is a very strange measure, as opposed to say, reducing the number of calls requiring a police response. And the same is true for an increasing number of jail beds as opposed to reducing the need for jail beds. I want to echo and reiterate some of the points that have been made by previous speakers about the need to prioritize solutions for the unhoused population in the city, the need for expanded services for responses to domestic violence that don’t involve police responses, and drastic rethinking of the metrics.
I live and own property in downtown Eugene. I would like to invite anyone who is afraid to come downtown to reach out to me. I’d be happy to escort you around my neighborhood.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:23:06] Our next speaker is Ethan K.
Ethan K: [00:23:09] I strongly support funding houseless services and more robust mental health services, being proactive about these these issues that, affect our whole community and against throwing it towards reactive services.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:23:23] Our next speaker is Sarah Lamog.
Sarah Lamog: [00:23:27] I demand a change to the proposed allocation of funds. Defund the police, prosecutors, courts, and jail beds and instead invest in prevention services and houselessness as a priority.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:23:39] Our next speaker is Lydia Scott.
Lydia Scott: [00:23:41] The mayor talked about centering, uh, people of colors’ voices and wanting them at the table. And yet in this whole community safety plan, there’s not any funding allocated towards, you know, dealing with racism and white supremacy in our community.
Is that how we want to deal with our safety is just by creating a police state where we need an ever increasing budget and always going to have to increase the amount of police and being on that kind of feedback loop of a police state, or do we really want to look at it as, How do we create safety in our community? And what are those needs? And people have said a lot of really great things tonight around addressing root causes and the homeless issue in our community.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:24:24] Our next speaker is Bonnie Dominguez.
Bonnie Dominguez: [00:24:28] I’m also one of the people on the Police Commission. I started last year and I’ve been trying to address the issues as best as I can. Everybody who talked about homelessness, I echo all of that. Also I would just like to bring up that domestic violence again, is something that I think is very important. We need more shelters for women. That’s the kind of safety thing that we need. We need places for people to go. I know somebody that was murdered three weeks ago. She was going to go through a divorce. We need to have an alert system that says this person is going through a divorce so there’s a possibility that there is danger there. So we need to have that addressed.
I understand the police officers wants to have guns. But the thing I don’t really think that we need to have guns. If we wouldn’t have guns, we wouldn’t be shooting people. And I think that maybe if we had officers that were identified as gunless, not armed, that would be really helpful to the community, would create a feeling of safety.
And one of the ideas that I’ve been hearing a lot is actually having an alternative dispatch system. When a complaint only involves prohibited camping, and there is no threat to public safety or crisis response necessary, create a one point of contact type reporting system available online or by phone, staffed by trained information and referral specialists, possibly managed by a designated nonprofit to assess resource needs, track interactions, and provide follow up communication.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:25:40] Our next speaker is Catherine Elizabeth Hunt.
Catherine Elizabeth Hunt: [00:25:45] I would like to see a larger portion of the funds put towards housing and basic survival needs. This should include permanent housing as well as transitional housing. And how about putting some funds towards training and paying the lead people in the micro sites, as well as the agency supervising the sites. I would like to see more prevention services being provided for people, especially for mental services.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:26:26] Our next speaker is Siobhan Cancel.
Siobhan Cancel: [00:26:29] Are we looking to protect our individual warm-blooded community members or are we trying to protect more the businesses that make up our downtown area? As a person of color, I would like to echo that no more money should go to EPD. We need places for people to go eat, have a roof over their head, get help to get back on their feet. Mental health is a huge issue here. We can’t just keep asking for armed patrols to solve our problems. It just goes so much deeper. And as a person of color, I’m already traumatized by local police officers here in town. So I don’t even feel comfortable engaging in the police system or the courts. So over 80% of that budget would not affect me positively. And I would dare to say it will affect me negatively.
Trina Cleland: [00:27:20] My name is Trina Cleland. When it comes to safety, it seems pretty clear to me that the most unsafe people in the community are those that don’t have homes or a place to live, where they can close and lock a door. When we’re talking about who needs safety the most, it’s folks who are poor, don’t have a comfortable place to live, hungry, don’t have a place to wash up, don’t have a place to go to the bathroom. They’re struggling, they’re being moved around. Their stuff is being thrown away. That’s a crime right there. Let’s face it. It’s really obscene that this kind of immoral activity, immoral in the sense of society not taking care of people, is allowed to go on and we all turn our heads and look away. So I really agree with those who would like to see more of this budget go to homeless prevention, homeless services and housing.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:28:12] Our next speaker is Alison.
Alison: [00:28:14] I agree with the vast majority of speakers tonight and saying that EPD does not need additional budget. I did hear early on someone speak on the fact that officers are overworked and that they’re just stretched thin and that might explain their lackluster performance or the performance that is troubling to a lot of members of the community. If that’s the case, that is an even better reason to fund the programs that would alleviate some of the calls that the police are getting. Let’s relieve some of that pressure. Let’s put it to appropriate resources, have those calls go to the programs that can actually assist in those situations and give EPD an opportunity to properly manage the officers, to give them appropriate vacation time. We actually need to help these residents of Eugene. They are also Eugene. They live here, they breathe the same air that we breathe, and if we invest in them, then we can uplift them to help them contribute to our society as well. Awful to think about someone living out there, someone going through different life stages out, just last night, got down to 29 degrees.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:29:26] Defund EPD X, go ahead.
Xia Wang: [00:29:30] It is the end of March now, already at the least the three homeless people died in Eugene. Honestly, I don’t know how this city officials can sleep at night when this that’s happening in a city they are serving. Being homeless, being treated like criminals and being harassed and swept like a dust by EPD, increasing stress of being homeless. It’s a stress leads to mental health and the physical health crisis like heart attack and a stroke. EPD has little training and skills to work with the homeless population, besides acting violent.
Chief Skinner still has not released an official statement, if there was an EPD officer at DC on January 6th, after over three months of request. Former EPD officer Christopher Drumm sexually assaulted a domestic violence victim who is identified as black and nonbinary, Christopher Drumm placed on leave May 28th, later resigned June 10th, 2020. I haven’t even talked about Eli Rodrigues and Charlie Landeros and Brian Babb and others who were killed by EPD. Eugene needs more social service to build a safe community. Defund EPD, stop funding money to those who are sheltering for violence, rapists, and murderers.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:30:50] Our next speaker is Pamela Krause.
Pamela Krause: [00:30:53] I’m issuing you, please, a blanket invitation to be on the street, engage, offer yourselves as presence with anybody, especially somebody who may not have had someone look directly at them or speak to them kindly for a long, long time.
I spent my morning this morning, which happens often. Right away, I couldn’t wait to get into town, to go be with and visit with and listen to my unhoused friend who’s in her late sixties who sleeps on bare sidewalks in our community. I don’t even know how she’s surviving.
So something’s happening here. And a lot is becoming clear, in my estimation, and there are reasons why there are a lot of awareness trainings, trauma trainings, and skill trainings, and legal trainings going on about how to be people who can stand in our truth with our legal right, up against a front of police departments. Our presumptions and assumptions of who we are, what we own, and what credentials someone to be okay and included in our embrace of community is something we really need to pay attention to. And that includes racism and white supremacy and Nazis in our community.
Kevin Alltucker: [00:32:26] Our next speaker, Gatson.
Gatson: [00:32:28] I wanted to get on here and add my voice to the plethora of voices that have already spoken in support of reducing the current allocation of 80% of this new tax payroll to the EPD. More police will not make us safe here in this city. I am a person of color here and I have had several interactions with police where I have been, I felt threatened intimidated by their actions of staring and gesturing with their weapons on their hips as I am passing by. Um, cause it’s not a good feeling. We don’t need to give the police force any more time. We’ve given them enough time. We need to give our marginalized community some more time. We need to give the homeless more time. We need to give the disabled more time. We need to get the people of color more time, not the police.
John Quetzalcoatl Murray:[00:33:20] The City heard another request for more and better data on the City website.
Corrie Parrish: [00:33:25] My name is Corrie Parrish and my pronouns are she, they. Both in terms of the system and gaps within our system the community safety initiative really needs to think about better coordination with other departments, such as the Planning Department. For example, Vision Zero is a policy here in Eugene to decrease all amount of traffic deaths, which includes cars, bicycling, and pedestrians. And we actually have a plan for this and it was updated in 2018. And in that plan, there was funding increased for seven officers and one sergeant, and supposedly this group meets with other stakeholders, although we don’t know who those stakeholders are, according to the plan, “to meet quarterly, to review traffic crash data, equity data, and traffic safety performance.” However, I can’t find any of these performance measures online or in the plan. And this is important because it allows us to fine tune on where we need to focus on in Vision Zero within the high crash network from a safety perspective…. Vision Zero is to decrease the whole traffic deaths from what it is today to none. And then without the data, we can’t evaluate the performance of these officers or evaluate how this how traffic impacts different BIPOC communities or hold the police accountable. As many of us know Eli Rodriguez was shot and killed by the Eugene police just two years ago while jaywalking. And while it was justified by the DA, we all have to admit that was preventable. CAHOOTS could have responded to that. This year alone, Isiah Wagoner was hit in a crosswalk when a driver went the wrong way around a roundabout and the Eugene Police Department did not cite that driver with reckless driving until after the DA and the grand jury decided not to not uphold the reckless driving charge…. if we can focus on decreasing and holding our police accountable in terms of Vision Zero, we can create a lot more change that way.
John Quetzalcoatl Murray:[00:35:19] Zondie Zinke lashed out at the City’s elite, saying that those who benefit in a system built on white supremacy are complicit.
Zondie Zinke: [00:35:28] This is Zondie Zinke. I want to call out the white supremacists who spoke tonight, Brittany Quick Warner, Sean Shivers, and Casey Barrett. I wanted to underscore that Casey Barrett is the grandson of the former mayor, Brian Obie of this town, and he has recently received a 10 year tax break on one of his developments worth in excess of $4.5 million. This was to build housing and that housing, the entire second floor of the building he built, 400 plus square foot studio apartments and 500 square foot one bedrooms, the one bedrooms are renting for $3,000 a month. This is in Casey Barrett’s building downtown and the studios are renting for just under $2,000 a month. This got a tax break from the city and now Casey Barrett is here trying to take regressive payroll tax money from all the taxpayers in order to get police for a police state to guard inequality. That’s what this is about. We are taking more and more of the people’s common resource, in order—well, not more than when we stole it from Kalapuyans, however, the elites in this town as everywhere are tapping into the common resource in order to guard their inequality. That is what Brittany Quick Warner is a lobbyist for, what Sean Shivers is a lobbyist for, and what Casey Barrett’s family personally profits from, hugely. This is about to happen also with Mark Frohnmayer and with Mark Miksis, who are going, looking to have three acres of land granted to them for free with $4 million thrown in at the riverfront. Meanwhile, the city names the riverfront streets after two black residents and the Kalapuya name for duck. This is a sick charade, a coverup for white supremacy, and we have a paradigm of white supremacy rooted in capitalist inequality, and it must end.
Anyone, including city staff like Kevin Alltucker and Laura Hammond who continue to work for the system without changing it, are white supremacists. Kevin Alltucker and Laura Hammond, you were in the room when Dr. Gary Manross of the Strategic Research Institute presented the findings of the research that taxpayers paid the consultant for not not according to our will. And the consultant found doing his professional research that the taxpayers clearly wanted, saw homelessness as a priority.
It was a front of mind concern, core value, and public safety was never rated among the top tiers of categorical concerns. And so how are we, when you two staff oversaw that ruse of a process, that ruse of a public input process, by which 80% have gone to cops, courts, prosecutors and jail beds, how are we to have any sense that you are not all deeply embedded in the white supremacist system where cops protect property of the capitalists, which Brittany Quick Warner and Sean Shivers are the lobbyists for? Defund the police and fund homelessness services and housing.
John Quetzalcoatl Murray:[00:39:01] Sean Shivers responded and spoke at length about Charlie Landeros.
Sean Shivers: [00:39:05] I want to clarify, I am just a citizen, like all of you. I’ve been involved in Occupy Wall Street. I agree with so much of what I’ve heard tonight. I also want to say that I knew Charlie Landeros, uh, before their deaths. I knew them when they bought the gun, that they eventually walked into a middle school with. And I never, never planned on talking about this publicly, but when they, when they bought the gun, I asked them why. And they said, when they called the police, when their daughter was being harassed, nobody showed up. So they knew the police would not protect them.
When our department receives calls that they cannot respond to, it has real consequences for the rest of our lives. We don’t just leave crimes. We don’t just leave businesses without enforcers. We leave fathers. We leave fathers and mothers without support. We leave children without trust. It is not acceptable to ignore the very real consequences of community justice and how those systems negatively impact one another. It is complicated. It is not simply a competition between our police and our homeless services.
I agree with so much of what you’ve said, but we also need good cops. We need to give them the time to deescalate situations. We need to give them support from our community to ensure that everyone receives quality service from our department.
John Quetzalcoatl Murray: City staff will summarize all feedback for Council at a work session May 10.