Downtown Eugene


Monday, March 12, 2007

Flash: murmurs of subconscious guilt

Most of the council, mayor and staff of the City of Eugene is so indoctrinated, that they can barely imagine development for downtown Eugene involving the people already there. The clear exception is Betty Taylor, who is keenly aware of reality. But she only has one vote.

The local tenants were mentioned enough recently, however, that I heard murmurs, inspired by a mild sense of guilt, bubbling up from the subconscious of some councilors. Even Chris Pryor quietly mentioned "integrating with local business", by which, I believe, he really meant "preserving local business". But he didn't vote for the resolution Alan Zelenka made, which included a request from the (eventually two) selected developers, for their plans for existing businesses. Along with a long list of other details. This makes the staff work harder, which gives us time to protest, to modify the worst aspects of the City's initiative.

Andrea Ortiz made a statement about these plans for downtown, and how they explicitly excluded the poor, rather than simply tryng to create a more inclusive and civil community on West Broadway. This made people think, but only for a moment ... it didn't translate into anything concrete.

It's very hard to inject ideas into the process of government. The only apparent approach is to be a wealthy developer.

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