Warning, this may get a little “blue” as they used to say. This is also going to piss you off. All of you. Some of you because I’m speaking out and you think I don’t understand, some of you because of what I’m speaking out about. Both groups need to do this City that you live in a favor. Call the City Manager. Call the Mayor’s Office. Call the City Council.
Complain about the way we are handling homelessness. Complain about the way we are allowing “travelers” and youth with no respect for this city, or the people in it, to cloud the issues, confuse the dialog and trash our city at the same time. Call and complain about the hostile environment that Downtown Eugene is becoming. Call and complain about the complete lack of response to illegal activities in what is arguably one of the highest crime areas in the City: Downtown Eugene. Call before you go to work. Call at Lunch, call during a small slice of your facebook browsing time, call before you go Pokemon hunting. Call.
For those us you who are more focused on everything but the homeless and vagrant population issues in Eugene – here’s a little history on what has/hasn’t been done about the problem since 1947. Of course this only covers through 2012, but you’ll get the idea. Naturally there is plenty of opinion on the subject, like this article from Amy Bowers (via RG) last year: http://www.calclane.org/homelessness-is-not-a-crime/
Homelessness may not be a crime, but a lot of what they are doing here in the heart of the city is. The worse crime is the blind eye turned to it by our City Government.
Here’s a little info compiled by AreaVibes.com
Gives you something to think about. I’d had my car broken into a year ago (downtown). Talking to a friend of mine, a police office for EPD, he guessed it was the Park District before I had done more than said the window had been broken out.
You want to use the downtown mall area (where the Saturday Market and Farmers Market sets up)? Clean your shit up. Don’t hassle people who work and (try) to shop down here. The City spends money giving you trash service and port-a-potty’s, use them. I even watch the never ending stream of homeless youth taking turns charging their iPhone 6’s on the outlets provided just for that purpose while simultaneously talking trash to each other, arguing, fighting and dumping their trash in the flowerbeds while doing it. This isn’t governance. This isn’t sensitivity to the homeless problem. This is nuts. Our police and city workers don’t need to spend large chunks of their time cleaning this shit up.
Starting to get the picture? Unless you work down here or spend time down here, you really don’t understand how empowered this group of people feel. There is no accountability for their actions, there is no concern for repercussions when they trash the bathrooms or the park. There is no concern for anything but themselves. Here’s a little more perspective: while panhandling is (apparently) considered a respectable trade here in the Emerald City, and I have no problem buying a hungry person food or helping how I can, but the last 10 or 12 panhandlers I’ve dealt with downtown aren’t looking for food or money, they want to know if I’ve got a joint. Sorry folks, but that’s not a homeless person. That’s not someone who needs a hand out/up. That’s just bullshit.
So what’s the solution? I’d like to seem them bring back the Exclusion Zone, strengthen vagrancy laws, write tickets for littering and vandalism and being a public nuisance. You sure have no problem writing parking tickets and overcharging for parking (watch for a viewpoint on that one soon). In short, care for the people who live and work downtown at least as much as you “care” about the vagrant population living in our parks, doorways and alleys. And for God’s sake, spend funding on organizations like the Mission, like WomenSpace and Occupy Medical instead of making the new City Hall into yet another government palace.
Or maybe they just need to put a couple of rare Pokemon downtown…