Ted Was There . . .

At the start of the pandemic

During the early days of the pandemic, before vaccines were on the horizon and household staples were in short supply, I met with Ward 1 City Councilor Emily Semple and together we made 200 bottles of hand sanitizer for the neighborhood Cornerstone Community Housing. Read more about our efforts in the Eugene Weekly.

As restrictions on street camping were suspended, a shelter opened at Lane Events Center, and EPD and city staff struggled with new protocols on camping in public spaces, street camping quickly spun out of control.  Large camps emerged at Monroe Park, on W. 13th near LEC (for those who did not want to abide by shelter rules), and at Naval Reserve site at 13th and Chambers. Fires, even explosions, trash, open drug use and public defecation, theft, and trespassing was rampant.  Neighbors trapped in their homes were largely left to fend for themselves.The remaining board JWN members Eric Dil, Sue Cummings, and myself held extra Zoom meetings, put together special mailers, and fielded desperate calls and emails to try and connect neighbors to services

For our neighborhood parks

Since I moved to Ward 1 in 2016, I've been committed to making our neighborhood parks clean, green, and safe. I am the lead for the Friends of Monroe Park. Creating a "park-centric" neighborhood strategy meant that clean, green, and safe parks make for safe neighborhoods. I made sure we had established park groups in every JWN park and built relationships with Parks and Open Space staff and management, Park Ambassadors, and Eugene Police. Advocacy resulted in JWN park improvements such as new lighting, more and better trash receptacles, fencing, new plants, desired amenities, two hour parking zones, a mural, and a remodeled bathroom. I have spent over a thousand volunteer hours working on our parks.

Addressing homelessness

For the past 8 years, I've walked the talk on addressing homelessness in Ward 1. 

In 2020, Heather Selicki Operations Coordinator at White Bird, Laurie Hauber, Staff Attorney, Oregon Law Center/Lane County Legal Aid, and myself worked together on a series of recommendations for mitigating some of the impacts of homelessness on neighborhoods as well as blunting the effects on homeless people of using police, with the resulting high costs, to enforce the camping ban. The resulting proposal earned the support of numerous neighborhood leaders, service providers, religious organizations, and businesses.

When a large camp emerged at Naval Reserve site at 13th and Chambers during COVID, I pushed for sanitation, water, and security. The St. Vincent DePaul’s sanctioned car camping residents fled, the Conestoga Huts residents at the Unitarian Universalist Church locked themselves in at night, the Eugene Faith Center had to hire private security and suffered thousands of dollars in damage, and the UU church had to go as far as to disable outside water and power and install razor wire on the roof to keep people off it.


I rallied the churches, 4J and Caesar Chavez Elementary staff, and neighbors in calling on the city of Eugene to respond. At its height, I was spending 20 hours a week meeting neighbors' needs and advocating for services, sanitation, and security for unhoused people. The coalition I built formed the foundation for the successful effort to bring affordable housing to the Naval Reserve site at W. 13th Ave. and Chambers.  

Finding housing solutions

“The leadership from the JWN’s is humbling.  I have never experienced neighborhood leaders that are so supportive of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing in particular.  I am extremely thankful and am looking forward to delivering critically needed affordable housing in partnership with JWN.  My best.  jacob”

Neighborhoods often get accused of resisting affordable housing, but the JWN we embrace it. We have been trying to get the city interested in building affordable housing on their property at W. 13th and Chambers since 2009! In the aftermath of the homeless camp debacle, I leveraged our coalition to take advantage of changes in state law to reach out to Jacob Fox at Homes for Good. Over 13 months of intense neighbor engagement with HFG, HeadStart, and ECCares we achieved buy-in for 80 units for affordable housing and an early learning center. When the Eugene City Council met to consider it, not one neighbor voiced opposition.

This effort was based on a relationship I developed with Jacob and HFG during the development of the 16-unit Keystone Apartments Permanent Supportive Housing at W. 13th Ave. and Tyler. I conducted the public process during the pandemic and set up a Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA). That relationship and the GNA provided a foundation for neighbors and staff to address several difficult issues in a productive manner. 

Supporting addiction treatment services

When Lane County Health and Human Services proposed a Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) Clinic at W. 11th and Lawrence, there was some fear and resistance. However, I examined the record of other such facilities and educating myself and neighbors. After engaging in a public process, we moved forward in support of the project and negotiated a Good Neighbor Agreement. This much-needed facility has proven itself to be great neighbor and illustrates how neighbors can learn and change their perspectives with good information, engaged staff, and solid public participation. 

I recently met with Eva Williams, director of Willamette Valley, to welcome her and their new facility at the former Salvation Army building at W.7th and Jefferson. Willamette Valley provides critically  needed addiction care services. Eva is excited to partner with the JWN. This is just another example of how the neighborhood does more than its fair share in tackling Eugene's challenges.