Eugene Voters Aren’t Optimistic

By Benny Harris

The voters’ response(s) to Tuesday’s election and Eugene‘s seven measures was one of:  worry, apathy and patience. There seems to be a major political malaise across the city of Eugene, despite whatever side of the fence the voters are on, politically.  There was concern over who might be elected and which measures might pass. However, every one interviewed gave an air of being in a political limbo, where change was still possible but nothing offsetting was in sight.

Danielle Rath, a bartender at the O Bar, was only concerned with whether or not Chris Dudley would be elected. “He wants to cut servers and bartenders down below minimum wage, which is going to be a huge break for us,” said Rath.

Denise Downs, a facility manager for parks and recreation, was glad she voted but didn’t feel, particularly hopeful for any immediate change. She said, “I don’t think there’s going to be much of difference for me, I don’t have a lot of confidence in the candidates running, those already in office and those running against them. I just don’t anticipate a lot of change. I think that some of the change has already been established.  I think it takes a certain mindset for the people in office to do the things they say they are going to do, as opposed to just saying what we want to hear to get elected.”

She continued with, “In the past, especially for Oregon, it’s been more of what we want to hear as opposed to what we really need.  As a professional, I think that it changes a lot of things especially in my career in the park and recreation district. We do a lot of
community outreach and community programming. What we try to do is adapt to what is going on in the community and adapt our programs accordingly.”

Tahea Evenstad, an employee at the Science Factory gave a more varied response.  She said, “I don’t know how much it will affect this neighborhood because I live in a different district. We haven’t given the people in office now enough time to prove they can change how things are.”

Evenstad added, “I’m hopeful there won’t be any big changes because a lot of the major players are running on incentives for the wealthy, not the average person.  Locally the people in office are capable of doing what’s right for this community and I don’t see the need for any drastic changes.”

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