I hope you appreciate this year's 2015 State of the City program statement.
As I reflect on both the accomplishments achieved and the challenges faced by our city in 2014, I feel that Eugene can be proud of our record this past year. Personally I can point to the historic passage of Eugene’s earned paid sick time ordinance as a landmark achievement for my own goals as an elected leader and for our city’s workers. With the adoption of this important law, Eugene became the smallest city in the nation to adopt such a progressive and beneficial policy and laid down a marker for what it means to be a leader in protecting public health and working families. Eugene’s ordinance will help workers stay healthy and financially whole while improving productivity and stability in the workplace. It is a signature achievement we can build upon as we continue to help working families achieve greater economic parity and strengthen our middle class.
Even as we celebrate our accomplishments we must continue the important work of helping those who struggle with homelessness. In this arena I am grateful that Mayor Piercy has made this a priority by serving on the newly formed Poverty and Homelessness Board that includes Lane County and the City of Springfield. Through this board and other initiatives Eugene’ mayor and city manager have already helped direct more resources and energy towards increase our region’s emergency, transitional and permanent supportive housing capacity so that we can get more people off the streets and into stable safe housing. This is in addition to the many programs we already support with thousands of dollars in general funds and community development grants.
Of course there are still many other important issues to be addressed and causes to champion including establishing a railroad quiet zone, promoting economic development and community planning in the underserved parts of our city, especially within Ward 7, and continuing to seek stable funding for our parks, libraries and neighborhood services. I look forward to working with my fellow city councilors on these and other initiatives in 2015 and beyond.