January 26, 2023

Whole Community News

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Southeast Neighbors ask for open discussion of ‘racist and repugnant’ rift on council

3 min read
Jess Roshak: "As a neighborhood association board with the mission to promote awareness of important city issues, equity in our community, and a sense of community and belonging for all, we have a duty to ask for an account of the details surrounding this event."

Southeast Neighbors will ask the city for a full accounting of what happened behind the scenes, leading Councilor Greg Evans to call another councilor’s behavior ‘racist and repugnant.’ At the Jan. 10 board meeting:

[00:00:12] Jess Roshak (Southeast Neighbors): Just to review, at the Dec. 14 city council meeting, Councilor Evans stated that a fellow member of council acted against him in a racist and repugnant manner, counter to everything he had worked his career to accomplish.

[00:00:28] It’s my belief that voting citizens should receive a full report with accurate and truthful details about these allegations, about acts Evans is referencing in his public remarks at the meeting. To my knowledge, an official report is not being furnished by the City of Eugene.

[00:00:46] It’s my belief that as a neighborhood association board with the mission to promote awareness of important city issues, equity in our community, and a sense of community and belonging for all, we have a duty to ask for an account of the details surrounding this event.

[00:01:01] Therefore, I move that the SEN board initiate this process by writing a letter to the Office of Equity and Community Engagement (OECE), asking that they direct us to the appropriate department, commission, or person that will then be asked to give us a full and accurate account of the event that transpired, up to Councilor Evans’s comments at the council meeting that I mentioned.

[00:01:24] Dennis Hebert (Southeast Neighbors co-chair): Do I hear a second? (I second.) Discussion?

[00:01:30] Gerry Meenaghan (Southeast Neighbors): Jess, is your understanding that that would be public information anyway? I mean, it was the proceedings of a public meeting, right?

[00:01:38] Jess Roshak (Southeast Neighbors): There were comments made at a public meeting in reference to something that was not fully detailed at the meeting. So, I don’t know how much those events are public, but it’s basically an ask. The ask is for the Equity and Community Engagement Office to let us know basically who are the appropriate people to ask for an accounting of what it is that we can find out about it.

[00:02:04] And it’s my understanding that, you know, we’re all complicit if there are merits to the allegations and we don’t say something or we don’t engage a conversation about it. And so I’m asking for the board to sign on.

[00:02:21] Ela Kubok (Southeast Neighbors): The request is for the board to support. I think that it is within our role as a board to have an opinion about it, if it has to do with someone who’s representing our community. And we are the connection to that office that Jess is referencing at the city. That’s where Fabio (Andrade) is. That’s who we interact with. So I think like asking for an explanation and transparency from the City of Eugene, I don’t see why we wouldn’t do it as a whole board.

[00:02:50] Because we really just like, don’t know what happened. We just heard like hearsay. And I think it’s a question that’s worth asking of that office.

[00:03:03] Emily Fox (Southeast Neighbors): I think that we’re more likely to get information if we submit it as a board.

[00:03:10] Dennis Hebert (Southeast Neighbors co-chair): Any other discussion? Okay. No further discussion. So all in favor of the SEN board, signing a letter to be sent to OECE. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, we got five. Okay. We have three abstentions. So then—it has passed. There’s five in favor.

[00:03:37] John Q: Voters ask for a full accounting of what happened behind the scenes, and exactly what led to allegations of racism on the Eugene City Council.

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