KNUDSON CAN BRING PEOPLE TOGETHER
I am so thrilled that Kaarin Knudson has decided to run for mayor! As an architect working on the front lines of our housing crisis, I have witnessed Knudson’s deep commitment and amazing fortitude when it comes to addressing our city’s staggering issues like housing and homelessness.
At Better Housing Together, I have seen firsthand Knudson’s ability to bring people and organizations together. Her approach to leadership inspires people to work together in a group process that leads to positive outcomes amenable to a wide range of stakeholders, even when there are competing interests in the room. It makes me a proud Eugenean to see Knudson running to be our next mayor, continuing in a line of strong, smart and committed mayors over the past 20 years. I want that for my kids as we look to the next 20.
KNUDSON WILL SHAPE EUGENE FOR THE BETTER
I was happy to see the article this week highlighting Kaarin Knudson’s candidacy for mayor (“Drafting a Campaign,” Oct. 19). As a banking professional in Eugene with 17 years of experience in leadership positions, I decided to start using my organizational skills and financial knowledge to better support our community.
To this end, I have served on local boards and commissions, but my four years on the Lane County Housing Policy Board is when I met Knudson for the first time. She came to speak to us on behalf of Better Housing Together, an organization she created and led, and its consortium of organizations who were committed to making housing more affordable for folks. I was immediately impressed with her poise, articulation and knowledge of the relevant facts. Despite being an architect by trade, she has a broad and thorough understanding of the financial challenges and political landscape of this complex issue.
Her ability to understand so many disciplines at such a high level, while still being able to build community and explain these subjects to lay people, is a rare gift. Over the last 10 years I have seen her speak at many more engagements. She provides relatable examples that help sway hearts and minds to mutually beneficial outcomes, while simultaneously presenting relevant, data-driven facts. To say I am excited about her becoming our next mayor is a vast understatement, as she will surely rise to the challenge and help shape the future of our city for the better.
HAMAS CARES NOTHING FOR PALESTINIANS
I stand solidly with Israel to defend and defeat Hamas, the terrorist group who attacked Israel. However, I’m worried about the growing conflation of Palestinians with Hamas. Ordinary Palestinians are not Hamas — Hamas cares nothing for the people they rule. To read about hate crimes against Palestinian-Americans is insane and lacks any context! Let’s reach out to both Israelis and Palestinians with compassion and stop the conflating.
THIS IS WHAT GENOCIDE LOOKS LIKE
My name is Katie Preston, and my husband and mother-in-law are Jewish. The violence committed by Hamas was atrocious and has no place, but we must understand it did not occur in a vacuum. Palestinians have been under an apartheid regime, robbed of their human rights on a daily basis, their food and electricity metered out by the Israeli government.
Now civilians are being massacred, starved and deprived of the necessities of life. This is what genocide looks like. Why can we not still see it? Why can we not scream it? White phosphorus rains in Palestine and our lawmakers are unmoved. The Al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza was bombed yesterday, at least 500 dead, as women and children watch their peers blown apart. Israeli politicians have the audacity to blame Hamas for this crime. Does this not ring a bell? Blaming the ones who are suffering the abuse. We need a ceasefire, we need humanitarian relief, we need an end to the siege and a beginning to peace talks. We need people in powerful positions to stand up against genocide no matter the repercussions, because what are we if we’ve no humanity left?
STOP BUILDING GAS STATIONS
While a ban on new gas stations is less effective toward achieving the city’s sustainability goals compared to policies and investments that discourage driving, such as building bike lanes and improving public transit, I still support a ban on new fossil fuel gas stations in Eugene.
The use of fossil fuels for transportation is a significant driver of climate and air pollution, both of which significantly threaten the health and well-being of Eugenean, particularly those living in neighborhoods closest to freeways, major thoroughfares, and other highly-polluted areas. As a result, the transportation industry is undergoing a dramatic transition away from fossil fuels and toward zero emission vehicles, and an extensive network of long-established fueling infrastructure must be updated to adapt to and benefit from this new market.
Following the state of California’s lead, Oregon has set a goal to phase out the sale of new gasoline vehicles by 2035. In addition to significantly expanding the availability of electric vehicle chargers, it is prudent to begin a transition away from gas stations by halting the building of any new facilities and enabling the provision of zero-emissions fueling alternatives.
Several cities in California have already institutionalized such, and the West Hollywood City Council has directed staff to evaluate the prohibition of new fossil fuel gas stations and for any expansions of current gas stations to be limited to zero-emissions vehicles.
Eugene should continue leading the way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution.