June 12, 2024

Whole Community News

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Meet the candidate: Shanaè Joyce-Stringer

8 min read
Shanaè Joyce-Stringer: Our campaign's motto is that ‘We are moving Eugene forward.’ And so in order to move Eugene forward, it’s going to take new voices, it’s going to take some change, and so I want to represent that for all of you. And I'm doing it from this perspective of a servant leader. I'm here as a public servant, and so that requires me to be a great listener.

This is ‘Meet the Candidate’ on KEPW News, featuring candidate for mayor Shanaè Joyce-Stringer. Our introductory questions are being asked by her mom, Sharon. Here’s Sharon Joyce.

Sharon Joyce: So starting off, please tell us about yourself and why you are running for mayor.

Shanaè Joyce-Stringer: Hi. My name is Shanaè Joyce-Stringer and yes, I am running as a candidate for mayor for the city of Eugene.

[00:00:25] I am an educator, been in education for almost two decades.

[00:00:32] I actually started at the age of 20 and have been able to serve youth in Florida as well as in Eugene and also serve as an educator for an indigenous population.

[00:00:46] And I’ve also been an entrepreneur, taking my passion and turning it into a profitable avenue. And I have also been an avid community advocate.

[00:01:01] And I would say that I’m running for mayor because I believe that there is room for progress, there is room for change in the city of Eugene, and I’m able to take my experience professionally, personally—even lived experience—and apply that to what the city needs.

[00:01:26] I believe that Eugene has great potential to be really an example for the state of Oregon and the way in which we are able to respond to housing, the way that we are able to respond to mental health crisis, the way in which we’re able to respond to the needs of youth in our community.

[00:01:47] And so I am running as a candidate because I believe that progress should be something that every individual, every resident, every member of our community should be able to see—that it is tangible, that it is indeed a part of their experience—that they’re not just surviving here, but that everyone has the ability to thrive.

[00:02:10] And it has been my experience here, being a vocal advocate, implementing some avenues, even in the education genre, which has impacted arts and entertainment here, has impacted DHS services here, even impacted how students and families access higher education and social services. And so just taking those experiences and applying it to the wider community, to Eugene at large.

[00:02:40] And so that is why I am running to be the next mayor.

[00:02:45] Sharon Joyce: Okay, so question two: What’s the most important issue facing the city in the upcoming term, and how would you address it? (If there is a tie for the most important issue, feel free to talk about multiple issues.)

[00:03:01] Shanaè Joyce-Stringer: So I would say, to be honest, there’s definitely multiple issues that should be at the forefront of what would take place in decision-making of the local government.

[00:03:15] And so it is my hope as the next mayor of this city that I would be addressing housing. We know that there is a large amount of individuals who are still without stable housing. When I look at the statistics that let us know that Lane County is fifth in the state for the amount of unhoused youth, Eugene 4J School District is fourth in the state of unhoused youth.

[00:03:47] And so when we have unhoused youth, that means we have unhoused adults. And so for me, I believe that it is so important that every family has the ability to access affordable housing and permanent housing solutions. I also believe that it is important for youth to know that they live in a safe and secure environment.

[00:04:12] And so it is necessary that as mayor, with the support of our city council and definitely with building continued collaboration and even expanding that network that already exists with community partners, that we are able to truly provide a sustainable permanent housing solution that is truly affordable for all residents.

[00:04:37] And so that goes beyond looking at middle housing. That also looks at what are we doing to provide temporary housing. It also means addressing the need for even more warming shelters, when we find ourselves finding inclement weather upon us.

[00:04:52] I also say that another pressing issue is going to be: How do we address addiction? I believe that addiction should not be a criminal issue. It really is addressing a health issue. It should not be something that is solely used for punitive purposes, but I always believe that we need to look at the root issue. What are some of the reasons why people in our community are finding themselves addicted to substances or abusing substances?

[00:05:25] And so that does come with needing more programming, that comes with needing more funding, needing more access to programs so that we’re able to meet the needs of our community members who find themselves that are struggling with abuse. And usually that also means that they’re having impact from either housing, it could be financial instability, it may even involve some mental health crisis.

[00:05:53] And so I would say those would be the pressing. Issues that are facing our city in the next election.

[00:06:01] Sharon Joyce: If elected, what would you do differently than the other candidates or past mayors?

[00:06:07] Shanaè Joyce-Stringer: For me, it’s important to be visible. I think that there is a necessity to be relatable with the people in which you are representing. And so that means going out where the people are that is sitting in a coffee shop and having conversation that is going to the Farmer’s Market and greeting individuals.

[00:06:33] That is going into small businesses and talking to the owners, the management, the employees that is engaging. Even the more with those who are employees of the city and learning more about their plight as residents, as well as employees as well. So I believe that visibility is key for me as being mayor.

[00:06:59] I also believe that what I would be doing differently is greater exposure about what is happening in the community. It was in my experience, and even professionally, you know, being a connector of resources to other individuals and outside of Google searches, needing to know how I can connect someone with what we already are doing and being able to identify identify what resources already exist and, but also being transparent about what we are doing in the city.

[00:07:33] And so making great effort to have those campaigns, making sure that we are touching every neighborhood when we are going to have things that we’re voting on, things that are going to be considered and really ensuring that every voice is invited to the table and that people know that their voice is welcome to the table and inviting them to the table.

[00:07:58] I think in terms of being different than the other candidates, I offer just a different perspective. I would say that as one of the newer, somewhat newer, residents to the area, definitely having a different perspective is what will make me different from the other candidates.

[00:08:16] I also think about equity. Equity is key to change, and so when we are talking about equity and when we’re talking about inclusion, that means that we consider every person that calls Eugene home and so because that is how I have operated in the spaces that I’ve occupied in the city, even spaces that I’ve curated and cultivated, that have always made sure that everyone was visible, that we made sure that there was accessibility for everyone to come to the table, to be heard at the table, to be invited to the table and that is what makes me different in this race.

[00:09:00] Sharon Joyce: Is there anything else you would like to say to the voters? How can they get involved and contribute to your campaign?

[00:09:08] Shanaè Joyce-Stringer: So what I would say to all of the voters, all the residents of the city of Eugene, I want encourage you to vote. It so important that you exercise your civic rights, your civic duty to make your voice heard. And oftentimes your participation in governance is usually associated with your vote. And so I want you to know your vote is never wasted and that you should be engaged in all political processes that impact you.

[00:09:39] The former civics teacher in me would always tell individuals that it’s so important that you are plugged into what is happening locally. Because that is where things are being passed. Decisions are being made that impact you the most.

[00:09:53] And so I want to first encourage everyone to vote May 21, 2024. And then what I would also say is to invite you to our platform and our website, which is ShanaeForEugene.com. That’s S-h-a-n-a-e F-o-r E-u-g-e-n-e dot c-o-m.

[00:10:16] And so on that website, you’ll be able to find out even more about who I am, what is our platform, all the ways that you can donate, because we are indeed a grassroots campaign and so we are representing the people and so we need the support of the people to continue to show up in this race.

[00:10:37] I know that I am a viable candidate. I know that I am the best fit for the job. I know I already possess all of the skills and experience that is needed to lead Eugene in its future. And I hope to connect with all of you to work together to collaborate and be co-conspirators for one another in order to shape Eugene forward.

[00:11:02] You know, our campaign’s motto is that ‘We are moving Eugene forward.’ And so in order to move Eugene forward, it’s going to take new voices, it’s going to take some change, and so I want to represent that for all of you. And I’m doing it from this perspective of a servant leader. I’m here as a public servant, and so that requires me to be a great listener.

[00:11:24] And so I’m listening and I’m learning in this process, and that is what I would carry into City Hall is listening to the people, learning from the people, and taking that into leadership to make decisions that is for the best of all Eugene’s residents, in order for us to be forward thinking, forward moving, and surely prepared for the future that is upon us in Eugene.

[00:1:53] So thank you so much.

[00:11:55] John Q: Eugene mayor candidate Shanaè Joyce-Stringer, recently endorsed by the Democratic Party of Lane County, responds to questions prepared by KEPW 97.3 and posed to her by her mom, Sharon Joyce.

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