At their September 20, 2021 work session, the Eugene City Council reviewed 2020 census data and two possible scenarios that would more evenly distribute the city’s population across the eight Council wards. The Council approved sharing the scenarios with the community to collect their input and feedback over the next month on possible boundary changes and options. Information about the census and ward boundaries, scenario maps, population data, and a survey are available on the City’s website at eugene-or.gov/wardboundary.
Every 10 years, after the federal census, boundaries for federal, state, and local elected offices, including City of Eugene wards, are reviewed and adjusted to reflect new population data. Updating ward boundaries helps ensure equal representation by local elected officials by making sure each Councilor and EWEB Commissioner represents about the same number of constituents.
Earlier this year, the Council approved a set of criteria to guide the creation of the scenarios including limiting the population range difference among wards to plus or minus 3 percent and creating scenarios that consider geographic and neighborhood features and strive for relative compactness and contiguity. The City received the official US Census data in August and began using the Council’s criteria to develop ward boundary scenarios based on the new population information.
The current population of Eugene is 176,945, which indicates that each of the eight wards should have approximately 22,118 residents. The population differences among Council wards are relatively small and two scenarios were developed for Council to review.
Beginning in late September and continuing through October, the city will collect community input on the ward boundary scenarios. In addition to community meetings and online opportunities, a public forum will be held on October 25 for people to provide their input directly to City Council. Community members can also sign up to receive email updates on the website. An online and printable survey will be available to collect feedback on the ward boundary scenarios or people can send their feedback. Public feedback will help inform any adjustments needed to produce a final set of proposed ward boundaries that will go to a public hearing.
Staff will present a summary of the public feedback to the City Council at an upcoming work session. In November, the Council will have the opportunity to select a preferred scenario and direct staff to prepare an ordinance that would establish the new ward boundaries. A public hearing will be scheduled for the public to comment on the ordinance and proposed boundaries.
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