Community Engagement for Climate Action
Residents, businesses, institutions, community organizations, government partners and many others each have a role to play in Eugene’s transition to a carbon-free future. Each of these stakeholders also has a role in ensuring that the benefits of climate action reach everyone. And making sure that everyone, especially the most marginalized, have a seat at the table is critical. Below is a brief overview of the engagement tactics that have helped put decision making for climate action back into the hands of the community.
Engagement for Climate Action Plan 2.0
Eugene's Climate Action Plan 2.0 (CAP 2.0) is the result of robust community engagement that occurred with many different stakeholders over the course of three years. The plan represents a commitment from the Eugene community as a whole to address climate change and improve our resilience. The CAP 2.0 was approved by City Council in July 2020.
Engagement as a Foundation for Ongoing Work
As the City moves into the implementation phase of CAP 2.0, engagement continues to be the foundation. Stay tuned as engagement around specific projects unfold, or contact us directly if you'd like to get involved.
"We must envision and start working towards a world that does not pose a threat to public health. Until we get there, the least our city can do is create adequate protections to ensure that vulnerable and marginalized communities are not disproportionately impacted."
-Luis Pablo Alvarez, NAACP
- Eugene Climate Collaborative
- Mayor's Ad Hoc Work Group
- 2019 Equity Panel
- 2021 Equity Panel
- Public Meetings
Eugene Climate Collaborative (ECC)
The Eugene Climate Collaborative (ECC) are organizations with significant oversight and impact on community-wide fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions; or organizations that have the ability to affect or alter systems that will enable the community to adapt and prepare for climate change. The first stage of the CAP 2.0 focused on engagement with these community partners. Staff worked with ECC partners to identify their commitments to address climate change. Their commitments are included in Chapters 5-7 of the CAP 2.0.
ECC Partners met across six topic areas to share analysis, learn about each other's efforts, and share feedback from community outreach processes. Approximately 60 individuals from ECC Partners and the public participated in each round of meetings.
- City of Eugene
- Lane County
- Bethel School District
- Eugene 4J School District
- Lane Community College
- University of Oregon
- Lane Transit District
- Eugene Water and Electric Board
- Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission
- Northwest Natural
- Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce
The Mayor’s Climate Recovery Ordinance (CRO) Ad Hoc Work Group
Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy called for the creation of the Mayor’s Climate Recovery Ordinance Ad Hoc Work Group during her last year in office and incoming Mayor Lucy Vinis advanced the Work Group in 2017. The Work Group brought together a diverse set of stakeholders, including youth voices, businesses, non-profits, and public sector leaders.
Mayor's CRO Ad Hoc Work Group, 2018
This group set a vision for the CAP2.0 to be the roadmap of actions the community will take to help Eugene reach the community climate goals in the CRO. Several work group members were veterans of previous city-wide policy efforts and directed the project team to not create something new, but focus on developing an integrated approach that built on existing policies and plans, drawing connections between climate with topics like housing, transportation, equity and resiliency.
Mayor's CRO Ad Hoc Work Group, 2020
In February 2020, the City reconvened the Mayor’s CRO Ad Hoc Work Group to provide input on additional action ideas generated from the community for the CAP 2.0 and provide recommendations on broad community engagement. The Work Group evaluated over 300 community-submitted ideas for new actions which are summarized in Chapter 10 of the CAP 2.0.
2019 CAP 2.0 Equity Panel
National research and local experience have shown that the impacts of climate change tend to disproportionately impact marginalized communities, such as communities of color, the elderly, low-income communities and people experiencing disabilities. To help address this disparity within Eugene, the City convened the Equity Panel to elevate the concerns of marginalized communities and develop an equity lens for Eugene's Climate Action Plan 2.0.
- Huerto de la Familia
- Eugene Springfield NAACP
- Lane Independent Living Alliance
- FOOD for Lane County
- National Alliance on Mental Illness Lane County
Six local organizations participated in the City of Eugene’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) 2.0 Equity Panel. The panel’s goal was to capture and elevate the concerns of marginalized communities as they relate to the CAP 2.0, and it met 10 times between February and June 2019. Each organization on the panel received a $3,000 grant to support their work on the project.
Tasks of the Equity Panel
- Revise the Climate Action Plan’s Project Equity Lens, which is a tool to help elevate opportunities and concerns around equity issues throughout the project.
- Identify general opportunities and challenges for marginalized communities as it relates to climate change in six different topic areas.
- Provide specific feedback on actions included in the CAP 2.0 as applicable.
Recommendations and Case Study
An Equity Panel Case Study was written to summarize recruitment, meeting topics, and lessons learned.
For the video of the Equity Panel Work Session Presentation to City Council on June 17, 2019 click here.
2021 Equity Panel
Once the Climate Action Plan 2.0 was complete, the City stood up a new equity panel to ensure that new sustainability-focused projects in areas including transportation, climate action, and housing are sensitive to the needs of marginalized communities. Eight local organizations participated in the City of Eugene’s Sustainability Equity Panel. The panel met twice a month from June 2021 to May 2022.
- Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC)
- Community Outreach through Radical Empowerment (CORE)
- Eugene – Springfield NAACP
- Lane Independent Living Alliance (LILA)
- Lane East Asian Network (LEAN)
- UO Sapsik'ʷałá (Teacher) Education Program
- St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County
- The Arc of Lane County
The recommendations and overview of the 2021 Equity Panel can be found here.
Beyond the collaboratives, work groups and equity panels, more than 140 people provided their thoughts on the CAP 2.0 document through the following processes.
Public Open Houses
The City held three open houses in partnership with community events:
- Planning Fair at the Eugene Library
- Washington Park Community Center
- Sheldon High School Multicultural Room
The City held 6 focus groups to seek recommendations and input from stakeholder groups:
- Students and youth (under 25 years old)
- Business owners and operators
- Environmental justice advocates
- Environmental expertise groups
- Sustainability Commission
- Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce
The survey was intended to provide an opportunity for the public to feedback to staff and council.
This portion of the community engagement process is summarized here and resulted in 12 Additional Strategies included in Appendix 7 of the CAP 2.0, with the recognition that they each require additional research, policy decisions or funding as next steps.