Slant – 2017-01-19

• Let the games begin! Pete Sorenson’s announcement that this is his last four-year term as Lane County commissioner opens the floodgates for candidates to step up in his progressive South Eugene district. Not an easy job for a progressive, it does now pay $84,457 annually, making it the best political pay prospect in the county. We wonder if Andy Stahl will run again or if a smart, strong woman will try to join the current men’s club? Kudos to Pete for making this announcement four years out.

• Donald Trump is not Making America Great Again, but he is doing a lot to make Saturday Night Live amazing. Don’t forget to watch Alec Baldwin’s cold opening on SNL this historic week. His Jan. 14 take on Trump’s “press conference” dissing the media was hilarious. We can’t even imagine what he and his writers will do with the inauguration.

• The Eugene arts world hasn’t quite signed on to the national J20 Art Strike against Trump’s inauguration, but two arts groups plan positive protests. Oregon Contemporary Theatre, 194 W. Broadway, will join the national Ghostlight Project from 5 to 6 pm, Thursday, Jan. 19. Bring a light and “make or renew a pledge to stand for and protect the values of inclusion, participation and compassion for everyone.” At the UO, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art offers free admission Friday so people can “use art and the museum as (a) place for reflection and dialogue” on Inauguration Day.

• Let’s channel energy into action! The Women’s March is Jan. 21 in Eugene and across the country, and thousands of people are traveling to Washington D.C. the day after the inauguration to address fears women and minorities face as President “I Grab Them By the Pussy” takes the oath of office. On Jan. 16, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day march in town saw a group we estimate to be around 1,500 take to the streets rallying for racial justice (kudos to Phil Carrasco of Grupo Latino de Acción Directa and Kevin Summerfield of Eugene 4J schools for getting NAACP Community Leader Awards) and on Jan. 15, rallies for affordable health care, inspired by a call from former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, took place in Eugene and across the nation. Now, as our favorite fictional president Josiah “Jed” Barlet used to say on The West Wing, “What’s next?”

•  In the print version of last week’s Slant about the upcoming Jan. 25 Point in Time homeless count, due to an editing error, we incorrectly wrote, “Four unhoused people in Portland have died as a result of Oregon’s frigid weather. That’s two people too many.” It should have read “four too many” as EW believes no unhoused person should die of exposure. Since last week, a stillborn baby birthed by a homeless mother has further called attention to the issue in Portland. 

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