Issues Group Wants Ligislature to Put in Focus; Council Retreat; City Meetings

Issues Group Wants Ligislature to Put in Focus

Two issues that loom large over the state and are of significant interest in western Lane County are housing and child care.  Issues that are coming to the forefront of the short legislative session.  One group that is pushing to stabilize the housing issue is Fair Shot For All, a group that includes unions, education groups and racial equity. They’ve proposed the 2024 People’s Budget for this year’s short session. Coalition director Heather Stuart says one of their priorities is the state’s housing crisis. She says more than 80-percent of evictions happen because someone is behind on rent.

“Rent assistance is the single most effective tool at preventing evictions, making sure that landlords get paid and tenants stay housed. So, our ask for this session is $45 million to make sure that that program keeps up with demand.”

The coalition is proposing the state invest 63-million dollars in housing and rental assistance. The groups behind Fair Shot for All also want the state to make big investments in child care. Stuart says the subsidy program known as Employment Related Day Care, or E-R-D-C, has been beneficial for families but has room to grow. She says more than 13-hundred families are on a waitlist.

“The ERDC program is a lifeline for families. It keeps parents working and ensures kids get the care and early education they deserve. And it impacts all of us, but they will disproportionately be felt by BIPOC communities and other folks who are not able to pay for those child care pieces.”

Stuart says Oregon should also invest more in school-based health centers, which serve a critical need across the state.

Council Retreat

The Florence City Council will take the next couple of days to brush up on a few things including the True Colors Assessment. A personality test that in part can help individuals discover their abilities in working with others and give insight into their governing style.  Day two of the retreat will focus on the Carver Governance model’s Big Bowl issues.  The goal is to keep the council focused on their end goals and formulate plans to achieve them.  The retreat will take place today and tomorrow.

City Meetings

The city of Florence will have three scheduled meetings this week.  The Planning commission will meet tomorrow at 5:30 at city hall and one of the items they will discuss is the design review code in Florence City Code Title 10 chapter 8 as well as Commercial industrial building architecture alternatives. On Wednesday EMAC meets at 4pm and the Public Arts Committee will meet on Thursday and finalized the Art Exposed selections for the public art that will adorn the ReVision Florence Streetscape on Highway 101.  That meeting will be at 5:30 at City Hall.