February 29, 2024

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Homeless advocate Eric Jackson was one of a kind

26 min read
Sam Broadway: "Eric Jackson was one of a kind and made his entire life a protest of the homeless situation right here in Eugene and continued to be homeless on purpose to make that protest continue until his death this week."

Eugene homeless advocate Eric Jackson passed away this week. Here’s the host of KEPW Newsday, Sam Broadway.

Sam Broadway: We have a passing of a very prominent advocate that made his decision to be homeless since he’s been here. Eric Jackson was one of a kind and made his entire life a protest of the homeless situation right here in Eugene and continued to be homeless on purpose to make that protest continue until his death this week.

John Q: We’ve assembled an audio anthology of his statements to the Eugene City Council, starting with his very first.

(June 11, 2018)

[00:00:45] Eric Jackson: Hi, how are you? My name is Eric Jackson. I’ve addressed many of you at various meetings. This is the first city council meeting I’ve come to.

[00:00:51] I am now a 105-day Oregon resident. I came here, I expected to be in Portland and Eugene has attracted my eye for many reasons—its community, more than anything else.

[00:01:06] I’m from big communities. My last community was Denver, four times the population. Before that it was Philadelphia, and before that it was New York City. So, this is like, slowly but surely, getting to a tight community.

[00:01:20] You guys also have a community of homeless people. And I hate to use that word, but it seems to be the only thing that sends the message, because the unhoused is what they really are. And the housing handicaps is what they have in some cases, whether it be a mild criminal record, whether it be a 585 credit score, whether it be not enough money to put down on a security deposit, or not being sure that their Social Security check is actually going to cover the income.

[00:01:48] There’s got to be initiatives to try and create low-income housing, other initiatives to try and create less criminalization. Banning sleep encourages drug use. Banning sleep keeps methamphetamine dealers in business. Making somebody fearful of sleeping in their community, wherever it is, whenever it is, encourages them to use illegal drugs.

[00:02:25] Banning sleep has got to be the first thing you guys stop, because it’s terrible. Banning people from parks, sitting on the grass, reading a book, enjoying themselves. If they’re not creating a mess, or creating a problem, and they’re just snoring, I choose to leave that person alone because I don’t see any direct criminal activity. But here I know dozens of people that have gotten ticketed for just that and it’s not a good idea.

[00:02:55] Park bans, people, on your city streets, park bans issued by officers, park bans by officers, they’re not really constitutional and it’s been proven in many settings, including my city of Denver, by me, and I’m working on it now here.

(June 25, 2018)

[00:03:15] Eric Jackson: Mayor, Council Members, Mr. Manager, Eric Jackson. Now, I guess, 114-ish days in Eugene. The day after I spoke to you guys last, my 100th day, I got on the 12th a ticket for trespass. So it’s been an interesting one. I believe I added it to the email for the council or the messages for the council on your Facebook page, so you can check out the video of that.

[00:03:39] Again, speaking about the unhoused, some of the behaviors of the law enforcement has been coming up into question. I don’t know if you’re aware of Ward 9 (Note: A proposed Eugene ward representing homeless persons.) I’m one of the people that just gets involved with any of the community organizations. Ward 9 is now organizing to film and the reason that they feel that they need to film is because of some of the behaviors that are a little out of whack in their mind. So that’s something that they’re working on separate from me.

[00:04:05] I’ve been filming police action or any kind of action to protect all involved from the beginning: The officers when they were unvested and not wearing cameras and I had a camera. I believe that it protects everybody.

[00:04:17] Off the homeless subject for one second, being that I’m talking about cameras: The mobile deployment stations that the chief is talking about for surveillance, it’s fantastic. I’m from New Jersey (just so I don’t talk about negative things all the time), I’m from New Jersey, Camden, New Jersey, back in the ‘80s, murder capital of the world, Denver, Detroit and Camden thought about this. The downtown bus terminal was absolutely horrible drug set for dealing drugs and everything else going on in town.

[00:04:46] They put up one of those camera deployment systems—within six months, it stopped. So keep that in mind. And I haven’t been able to address that because of my order in comparison to the chief and any of the other meetings that we’ve been at.

[00:05:00] But the treatment of the unhoused in the community, it’s got to be worked on much more aggressively. Human Resources Committee, Human Rights Commission is working on it as much as they can. The Homeless and Poverty group is making suggestions as much as they can, but action, just like the climate people have said, everything that came out of their mouths, you can relate back to the same, not speaking of energy and climate, and speaking of the unhoused.

[00:05:26] It’s a problem that faces us, it’s a problem that’s here. And it’s a problem that a lot of it can be addressed. I’ve told you guys before, I’m staying here because I think Eugene actually can get a handle on this: Figure out how to house the 65% that want to be housed, and figure out how to better deal with the other 35% that don’t, because a lot of people just don’t have that ability. I ask you guys to just consider it all the time in your brains because it’s a serious, serious problem. Thanks.

(Oct. 8, 2018)

[00:05:57] Eric Jackson: Eric Jackson, Ward 1, corner of Oak and 8th. If I had lots of control of the lights and flashy things. I would set the time machine back three years, three years last month when I started this sleeping on concrete moments of my life, which I had not done prior to.

[00:06:17] I’m reading from a Eugene Weekly from 2015, Sept. 14: ‘Following the Department of Justice findings, Eugene citizens demand moratorium on unconstitutional enforcement of anti-camping laws.

[00:06:29] ‘U.S. Department of Justice exerted new federal muscle against local governments that criminalize homelessness. In the United States letter of interest in a Boise, Idaho case, which just got decided (three years later—10 years later), Department of Justice stated unequivocally that enforcement of anti-camping laws when there is inadequate shelter space is unconstitutional.

[00:06:52] Lane County’s one point in time count has hundreds of unsheltered citizens. The city official website confirms this. Consequently, Eugene enforcement of this anti-camping law 4.815 is unconstitutional.

[00:07:07] The Department of Justice conclusion in the Boise case, the U.S. Attorney, Sharon Brett, stated that ‘if the court finds that it is impossible for the homeless individual to secure shelter on some nights because of no beds available, no shelters meet their needs of disability, or they have exceeded the maximum of stays, then the court also find that the enforcement of the ordinance under those circumstances is criminalizing the status of being homeless and violates the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States’ (based on cruel and unusual punishment.)

[00:07:40] ‘Thus criminalizing homelessness is both unconstitutional and misguided public policy, leading to worse outcomes for the people that are homeless and are from our community. Citizens both housed and unhoused, demand that 4.815 be dismissed or suspended.’

[00:08:00] I ask the same thing at this point, three years later, and I ask for very specific reasons.

[00:08:05] We’re working to come to conclusions and come to solutions. For the time being stop the ordinance, stop waking people up from sleeping so that I can stop sleeping on the sidewalk. Thank you.

(Nov. 23, 2020)

[00:08:22] Eric Jackson: Eric Jackson here. The mayor, you said they’re working with a youth advisory commission, your board, to get together. I think you should leave a space open on that, if you have not issued applications to Hosea‘s and New Roads, as well as the high schools, because there’s too many homeless kids in the community. And I think they should be heard as well.

[00:08:42] Egan Warming Center. City Manager, I think that if you got the Public Works and Parks Department to let people know on the streets that Egan is open, it would change the dynamic dramatically. Because I have a hard time getting the word out because people don’t have on-the-spot communications.

[00:08:59] So Saturday was a problem, but more of the word got out for Sunday. I don’t know what the populations were at the warning centers. There’s lots of CARES Act money sitting still, and boy, it ends on the 30th of December. I hope we can take advantage of it.

[00:09:13] CAHOOTS. Speaking of CAHOOTS being a great system is 100% correct. But speaking of CAHOOTS dispatched through the police department, causes 50% of the calls that are needed to be made, not made. Because the interviewer, the operator at 911, because it’s the same operator whether you’re calling the emergency line or the non-emergency line, it’s the same human beings.

[00:09:39] Some are answering the non-emergency slower, but they need to be a different dispatch. It’s an imperative. If it’s a different dispatch, people will use it reliably, and they won’t get harassed, and they won’t have police show up first if they didn’t describe the situation perfectly. And in April and May of this year, we had trash pickups at all of the camps.

[00:10:03] John Q: We’re remembering the late homeless advocate Eric Jackson, by collecting his statements to the Eugene City Council from 2018 to 2023.

(March 8, 2020)

[00:10:14] Eric Jackson: I want to speak on the advertisements that I saw for an outreach person, a homeless outreach person that they were hiring and the ad read like an invitation from somewhere else in the country to come here.

[00:10:26] It didn’t read like an ad for an outreach person that says ‘Looking for somebody for only four months of a position that is not from out of town, but is in town and involved and informed as to the homeless community, for four months outreach.’ What is that going to do in outreach? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Give $52,000 to White Bird and have them keep doing what they’re doing.

(April 26, 2021)

[00:10:51] Eric Jackson: My name is Eric Jackson. I am a homeless advocate in Eugene. For three years now, since the Martin v. Boise case, the city has continued with the planter strip ordinance, the attempt at the panhandling ordinance, they’re now attempting to pass ordinances that are just going to—not as (Councilor) Mike (Clark) so explicitly said, ‘Play whack-a-mole’—but it will just play musical chairs, just musical chairs. That’s all that will happen. So everybody that’s in one spot will move to the other spot and everybody that’s in one spot will move to the other spot. It is not providing a legal place. And (Councilor) Matt (Keating), thank you so much for voting against it.

[00:11:32] Just in its essence, I know there’s still going to be public hearings on it, but if you’re creating a camping-in-cars ordinance, that’s what I’m going to be bringing in in the federal case if it goes forward, it seemed that that’s all you were talking about was how to move the homeless out of the areas that they’re in. Now for making 90 degree turns, Councilor Groves, they can just paint yellow lines, so that it’s clear.

[00:11:57] I’ve seen it done in New York. If it’s done by the place that owns it and they do it, nobody’s going to be complaining that there’s not cars parked there preventing a 90-degree return. Nobody’s going to complain that the lines on the road are not legally applied. They’re just going to avoid them. Then there’s ways to cure things, that are curative.

[00:12:12] And you guys are never going to be able to fix this ever. Cause you’re never going to have a grip on what goes on in the streets, unless you come out and stay there, or you start hiring the intelligent homeless people that are already running the camps to run the camps and get these people services because those people know where the services are—because I know I do.

[00:12:36] And I know that there’s a dozen of me out here, at least.

[00:12:39] So you guys got to think about this because it’s, long-term, the only way this is going to get affected is if you stop making a master’s degree the basic requirement for helping the homeless. It’s absurd. It’s ill-conceived thought of where the basics of survival should come from. And where are the basics of planting people back into housing successfully come from? So you guys got to think about these things. You should include homeless in your meetings. Thank you.

[00:13:08] John Q: He encouraged the city council to hire homeless persons to manage homeless camps.

(April 26, 2021)

[00:13:17] Eric Jackson: Eric Jackson again, homeless advocate.

[00:13:20] The 99 Camp failed for lies. There were not several overdoses. There was one, one overdose of a person visiting a low barrier camp that was required by you guys, that Chief Skinner told me the only way that the city council is going to do anything, to the City Manager Jon (Ruiz) at the time, going to do anything, is if it’s low barrier to entry.

[00:13:40] I said, okay, we went through all of this and they recorded as overdoses. That’s a shame that you do that in the public eye, and that will be radically paid for by the county.

[00:13:52] But I appreciate all of you saying no to St. Vinny’s on that property. Amen. Very good. Now you guys can say yes to the 40, I would even go 50 for the 10 camps, if you want people that are going to stay there, you want to be able to keep 10 around. So 40 will go and rotate out, roll out into services but you want to keep 10 around because you want to pay them to be in the place of doing something. So you can roll out a three-year program and do something.

[00:14:22] You can’t do anything if you guys don’t understand that a master’s degree is never, ever, ever going to work. You’ll never figure out the safety nets that are necessary to support the people that are getting inside the house. Nor will they pick up the phone and call or knock on the door and see how somebody is doing, to follow up. People like me will that are on the street.

[00:14:45] When I applied for a job for the county’s homeless services supervisor, I don’t do it half-heartedly or thinking that it’s a joke. I do it with every ounce of my soul, as an entrepreneur for 20 years. Things that people go to college and get master’s degrees for, I did in life. Very much so.

[00:15:01] I’m not out here for the homeless issue because I don’t have a brain and ‘cause I don’t have a voice. That’s exactly why this is my chosen passion. It’s something that has to be done. It’s something that has to be seen.

[00:15:14] You have to change your mind in the way that things go. You can’t look at it from the perspective you’re looking at it at. You guys have got to realize that if you don’t come up with 80% of the homeless to fix the 100% of the homeless problem, which is a very small number of people, you’re never going to fix it. You can have 20% master’s degrees, but they’re not necessary, because you can pay the homeless a little less and you can do a lot more.

(May 10, 2021)

[00:15:39] Eric Jackson: Eric Jackson. I have concerns about Washington Jefferson Park with regards to a caregiver that is next to her person, being that she’s caregiver for the gentleman, and they’re being told that they can’t be in the same place at the same time is absolutely absurd, because they’re already congregating as a family to begin with, in just the caregiving. For the parks department to insist without any skills whatsoever—you guys want a master’s degree for outreach people, how about your parks department? Do they have master’s degrees? I doubt it. And to make decisions like that seems to be inordinately odd.

[00:16:12] Beyond that, the 12 feet is a huge problem. And overall, I don’t understand why you would possibly consider moving the Chambers property. Make it a drug-free property, get 40 people in and make it a drug-free property.

(Sept. 13, 2021)

[00:16:25] Eric Jackson: My name’s Eric Jackson. I hear other speakers asking for CSI funding to be looked at in a completely different way. And curatively, I would think that if the city goes with the ADUs, that they would put in an idea of using some of that funding for givebacks to the people that are building the ADUs on the property, for putting in plumbing and going to the sewer lines and putting in electric, going to the electric line, because that helps. And it helps the property owner take into consideration something to do with the costs.

[00:17:02] As far as Washington Jefferson park, the Friday meeting, when I heard them say that they’ve organized it into a more functional manner of putting us in a grid: People were separated. People were separated by 50 to a hundred feet, except for their little clusters of who we set and interact with. And now it’s in a situation where it’s completely different and everybody is lined up in rows and the interaction is not separated.

[00:17:30] They were taking everybody out from under the trees. They were taking people’s property. They were taking people’s lives on the spot. They were forcing people to move. Is it a park or is it a sanctioned camp? I think city management needs to figure that out. Is it a public place where the eighth amendment and the Martin v. Boise case overrule us? Or is it a case where the city has made it into a sanctioned camp? Because you’re running it both ways and you can’t keep running it both ways.

[00:17:58] You’re playing both sides against the middle. But yeah, what’s going on in Washington Jeff has got to be decided as to, is it a park or is it not a park? The park bans and 30-day, 90-days, 365-day park bans given by officers is not as city management put it at Fridays meeting, ‘few and far between and not that many.’ It’s a lot. A lot of people are being denied their liberties automatically. Make it 10 days before the end of the ban before you can—

(Sept.12, 2022)

[00:18:28] Eric Jackson: Nice to see you. Hi. Eric Jackson, Ward 1, but it might be Ward 7. I’m not sure. All the speakers tonight were very articulate in what they had to say. And I appreciate the residents caring about the town as much as they do.

[00:18:40] I’m also one and I’m here to address the fentanyl challenge that the city is having right now is absolutely beyond comprehension. I was out of town in California for a few weeks and came back to being asked between the Whiteaker and the Red Barn Natural Foods place, to 11th and Adams, three different times out of vehicle windows, SUV windows, if I wanted to buy blues or heroin.

[00:19:14] That’s never happened to me in five years of being on the streets in this town. Never, not once, not ever. I was carrying a skateboard after midnight, just walking down the street. I wasn’t doing anything, but I was that approachable. I would think you guys could stop some of these people that are coming from out of town in vehicles to distribute this in our town.

[00:19:34] I have a very close friend that just died of a fentanyl overdose, but he thought he was buying methamphetamine. Either one, is it right? No, but if you think you’re buying one thing and you inhale another, you could be dead five minutes later. There’s been reports of people having laced joints, marijuana, coming from the streets.

[00:19:54] And in Oregon, everybody gives away pot since the day that I got here and it hasn’t stopped yet, including me when I came back from California. But I knew where mine was grown and I knew how mine was handled. Not everybody does. And that’s a big problem.

[00:20:07] I want to say that you guys are doing a standup job. There’s 500+ more beds for temporary housing for homeless than there were two, three years ago, not 10 years ago. The permanent supported housing is absolutely phenomenal, and keep it up. Don’t stop. It’s working. It changes people’s lives. I’m watching it every day. You guys can give you yourselves a round of applause and COVID a round of applause, because I don’t know if you would’ve had any of the money to do any of it without it. So thank you. Thank you for your time. Thank you for your work.

(Sept. 26, 2022)

[00:20:37] Eric Jackson: Council, Mayor. Claire (Syrett), sorry to see what’s going on for you.

[00:20:41] City Manager, City Attorney: I have a question about the ordinance. That is administrative rule because I’m hearing very, very different things from several police officers and then further things from Ben Miller, who is the prosecuting person.

[00:21:00] And for the gentleman that asked about the prosecutions that are not happening, 90% of what you just ran off is all in municipal court, unless you’re already a felon or it’s a combined felony that would go to county courts, all handled in municipal court, everything that he said, including the DUIs, except for the sex offenders.

[00:21:18] So that’s one thing, but is an administrative rule for a parks violation an arrestable offense? We need a once-and-for-all answer because sometimes you get arrested, sometimes you don’t, and that’s not okay. Some people get arrested, other people don’t. Some people get park bans and I don’t know how the Shannon McCartney case came out other than being dismissed.

[00:21:42] If there were any conclusions that somebody should be able to with a park ban, say, ‘Hey, we’re going to wait until I go to trial so that there’s due process on one thing rather than already sentenced me with double jeopardy by an officer.’ So if the city could get back to me, if any of you guys get back to me, if you can ask management to come up with an answer for that, it would be really appreciated.

[00:22:04] As far as fireworks, I agree with everybody out there that said fireworks are the big booming ones that are the problems, not the ones legally sold and the big booming ones disturb me. And I don’t have PTSD , for war or anything of the sort. But the suddenness and unexpectedness of them cause me to flinch every time they go up. And it’s not the small ones, it’s the big ones, and they’re not legal here to begin with. So making further law on it seems rather irrational.

[00:22:36] But the administrative rule is a very disconcerting thing because one officer says one thing, another officer says another, A third said it is arrestable, but then pointed out that it was administrative rule, said, ‘Oh yeah, you’re right.  It’s not arrestable.’ So somebody needs to figure out what it is. And that’s you guys more than them, but one of you guys could like help me with getting back to me on my email, it’d be appreciated. Thanks.

(Oct. 24, 2022)

[00:23:04] Eric Jackson: My name is Eric Jackson. I’m currently in Ward eight, Councilor Groves’s ward. I was contacted by police today and told we were trespassing where we’re at, and I don’t know that the police acted in anywhere near a professional manner.

[00:23:19] In seeing me, knowing my previous involvement as the homeless activist, and probably knowing about the federal lawsuit that had gone through previously and is now out of court, and they said without any accreditations because I said, ‘Well, if you give me a ticket for trespassing, then by all means I’ll be out of here.’

[00:23:38] They said, ‘No, we’re not writing tickets, but because you said that, we’ll just come and arrest everybody tomorrow.’ That was harassment. That was coercion. That was definitely picking on just me and I understand that.

[00:23:48] I came here to this property to help the person that’s been running it for well over a couple of years, or year plus, at least that I know of, because when I came back into town from vacation, I came to visit her.

[00:23:59] When I did, I saw where she had previously tried to remove trash from the property from years. I know people that have been staying here the entire four and a half years that I’ve been in town. She tried to remove the trash and they closed the area where there was a hole in the gate, and she was very sad.

[00:24:15] When I came back, I saw the same trash there. And I vowed that I would help her because I have contacts to be able to help her. And (Councilor) Randy (Groves), you have an email from Bill Coble in your email that shows that he’s helping us as well. He’s taken several loads to the dump with me and one of the other campers.

[00:24:32] They’ve now completely cleaned up the entire property around the skate park, cleaned up all of the other people’s trash, and we’re handling and stewarding the land well. The rationale of the police officers seemed quite improbable, but it happened because it was me. It seemed like it was targeted, but I know that there were 10% of your calls today for police dispatch were illegal camping, which is absurd, but somebody’s obviously calling in.

[00:24:58] I can guarantee that the owner of the property didn’t call in and I can certainly guarantee that. So I think their statement of ‘You’re trespassing and you’ll be arrested,’ it’s absurd. There was no posting. There’s no posting now for 72-hour removal. There’s no posting of 24-hour removal for health and safety purposes.

(Nov. 28, 2022)

[00:25:16] Eric Jackson: How are you? Council, Mayor, City Manager, Attorney. Weeks and weeks ago I asked for a update as to what the standard for arrest is with concern to administrative rules. I never got any return messages from anybody at city council (and I’ve checked my messages) nor city staff.

[00:25:39] I was wondering how that would go about. Do I have to do something different than ask city council for this information?

[00:25:46] Secondly, last meeting I was watching, I did not participate, but I heard a gentleman (I don’t know if it was Mr. Locke that just spoke) saying there were 600 empty beds, but it might have been that there were over 2,000 total beds and the only place fully occupied was Everyone Village.

[00:26:04] I think there should be more places like Everyone Village. There’s no reason that there isn’t more general self-managed camps without giving millions of dollars to St. Vincent’s. I like the model that Carry It Forward has. I like that the county is giving money to different organizations in the cities, promoting this sponsorship, but it could be more.

[00:26:23] But I would really like the answer to the administrative rule. And is it, are they misdemeanors or are they violations? And how does that work, how do I get that information? Thank you for your time.

(April 17, 2023)

[00:26:35] Hi there. Construction Excise Tax: I just hope that you guys will make more efforts to go to the Peace Village-type setting with the construction excise tax and invest in that rather than homeless sheltering. And how do I find out the number of dollars that went to the Peace Village project from the construction excise tax, whatever it was, $1.4 million. And who do I contact for that? Thank you. That’s all.

(April 24, 2023)

[00:27:10] Eric Jackson: Hi, how are you? I just watched your work session meeting. I have to commend Councilor (Emily) Semple, Councilor (Lyndsie) Leech, giving people an idea of where to be so that they have a sense of stability so that they could go to work, so that they could have, say, the St. Vinny storage type situation back. Storage is much more than you would think, and personal property is much more than you would think.

[00:27:37] And when, as she said, the EPD comes out, it’s not EPD that’s taking and stealing people’s stuff: It’s the city. It’s the city. It’s the city at large. It’s the city and what the city chooses to do, and it’s the format in which they choose to do it. When you read the article that’s in the Weekly, and you have officers that are telling people to ‘Grab what you need and leave the rest,’ that’s where all the landfill stuff is coming from. Then you have to go get stuff from people that are being charitable and giving it to you. And it’s a vicious cycle that has to stop.

[00:28:15] You guys, in four years since the 99 camp (that Jen said that she saw nothing positive about, which, boggles my mind, that statement specifically), but organized camps work. Even without the organized camp, I’ve still housed people that are sitting in the Nell, that are sitting in MLK, that are sitting in private housing. And I did that by directing them to where to go at the right time. Now I’m trying to house me—not quite so simple, but that’s beside the point.

[00:28:44] You have to find a better way to do these things. You, since (Martin v) Boise, have done nothing except subjectively look at the situation. Mike, you included (wherever you may be in cyberspace wherever the camera may be that I’m talking to Mike). Being subjective is not doing anything. You see that? So continuing to look at the 4.815 rule and to think that it matters because as (City Attorney) Kathryn (Brotherton) said, there are not enough places by half.

[00:29:12] So you can’t even use the rhetoric that’s in it until you have enough places that are legal according to the federal rule, period. It’s all semantics at that point. It’s all conjecture. It needs to stop, find a positive way. There’s definitely a positive way to object.

(May 8, 2023)

[00:29:30] Eric Jackson: Hi, Eric Jackson, Ward 7, standing down at the Garfield Police Evidence location which is right next door to where the homeless pick up their property from 9 a.m. to 2:30. If you get out of jail at 3:30, it makes it very difficult if you were homeless, getting picked up, and you were being picked for, say, blocking the sidewalk with a piece of plastic, as I was, the reasonableness of reasonable accommodations to get somebody back their lifesaving property? It’s got to be better.

[00:30:01] Additionally, the officers that currently handle and I did my best to make sure that none of my protest signs are showing. So if I show you my tent, you don’t have to stop it, because the protest signs are covered by my Mickey Mouse bag.

[00:30:12] If public Works via a police officer is saying, ‘Close this area for cleaning,’ and there’s not a stitch of anything on the ground, except a couple of sundries that were delivered by a donor very nicely, and they were sitting outside, and the officer says, ‘You are going to get a ticket for offensive littering,’ which when I first heard it six months ago, I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ And I looked it up and I looked up the code and I looked where it was dropped into the code in July of 2021 and it was more for properties. And when you have a couple of officers, and I just mean a couple of officers, like the handful that calls themselves a homeless criminalization team in the back door, but they call themselves the housing support team on paper. Makes no sense.

[00:31:04] You have to stop. Like Wayne said, you have to put compassion first. You have to put objectivity first, and you can’t have that when you have officers that are so tainted doing the same job.

[00:31:17] When did Eugene—and I say this with such solace—when did Eugene become a place where the First Amendment doesn’t matter for homeless? I understand the eighth Amendment. They gave that up when Boise came out and said, ‘Okay, they say it’s the Eighth Amendment, but we won’t do it.’ Now, First Amendment? That’s not fair.

(Sept. 11, 2023)

[00:31:36] Eric Jackson: I was going to say things about 9/11, but I’ll pass on that because it’s been done.

[00:31:40] Happy birthday yesterday to Wayne Martin. Pastor Wayne turned 79 yesterday, and he’s alive and kicking and still doing well. He’s done at least a decade of service in this community and he deserved a moment.

[00:31:52] The city’s website, aside from the fact that I couldn’t get on Zoom and I have probably have to uninstall and reinstall, it was so difficult and it is every single time I do it, to get to this little tiny word here, to get to the signup. Shouldn’t it be at the top of the meetings page? Like: ‘Public meetings, Click here if you want to participate online,’ very simple. No, you got to go three pages deep and they all repeat themselves. It’s a problem.

[00:32:16] It’s also a problem with the Police Reporting Page. It only goes to report homeless people, not anything else. So that’s manageable to fix, I would think.

[00:32:25] Homeless: Transparency on the letter of trespass. The letter of trespass, I’ve asked a couple of times. Everything else in the city is available online. I can tell how much you owe on your houses, what you paid for your houses, what insurance you cost, what criminal acts you have, don’t have, in the city, municipal, on their website, and the data available, as well as in the state. All of it’s available. Everywhere. But the letter of trespass on file is hidden, because it doesn’t exist except for the police department to see. And when an officer says to you, ‘Yeah, there’s a letter of trespass on file. I don’t need to see it. I just need to know it exists,’ I asked to see it. I said, ‘You have that?’ Didn’t get an answer. He had a computer strapped on his chest, but he didn’t have the answer to that. ‘I just need to know it’s there.’ That’s not true because it’s not true.

[00:33:15] Transparency is a big thing. Police, property, and Public Works, it’s still going on. They’re stealing people’s houses and putting people on the streets, even when there’s no reason to. And the few officers and their qualified immunity give them the ability to just have a suspicion that it might be doing something wrong and they’re allowed free rein on anything: A person, person’s property, person’s house, all of their property.

[00:33:38] Winter sweeps are coming again. Winter sweeps probably took five to 10 years off my life span, and it’s not fair. And the trailers and RVs, to be taking people’s homes is absolutely—

[00:33:49] City of Eugene: Thank you, Eric. Your time is concluded. Mayor, that was our final, final speaker.

[00:33:55] John Q: Eric Jackson, who bore witness to the city’s treatment of the unhoused. He praised city councilors when they acted with compassion; he asked for transparency at the municipal court; and he asked the city to honor the rule of law, as stated in the First and Eighth Amendments.

[00:34:10] In his final appearance before the Eugene City Council, Eric Jackson testifies that the city’s winter sweeps, moving the unhoused and confiscating their property during the winter months, took five to 10 years off his life.

[00:34:23] In his tribute on KEPW Newsday, Sam Broadway:

[00:34:26] Sam Broadway: There’s going to be no others like Eric Jackson ever again. See you on the other side. We will see you. We will see you on the other side, Eric.

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