I gave a presentation to a group of students in the Erb Memorial Student Union on Wednesday evening, February 9. The students had asked me to talk about local events and about public service in Eugene. They were quite attentive and asked lots of pertinent questions.
After the class one of the students, Allana Strader, asked for a word with me. She told me she was a member of a project team in a class, Business Administration 352, which has an assignment. The assignment is to prepare and submit an ordinance or ordinance change to a local elective body. It is worth 30% of the class grade and must, I suspect, be for the betterment of University of Oregon students.
They decided it was not right that skateboarders in Eugene were not allowed to travel in bicycle lanes, which is allowed in Portland.
Allana asked for my help.
I joined them the next day expecting them to need help from the grass roots on up, but they already had copies of the Portland ordinance and had identified where it would fit in the Eugene City Code. They had, it would seem, done their homework.
All that remained for me to do to help was to provide the likely steps to having Council consider their ordinance.
These are the steps I recommended:
1. Identify a similar ordinance in a intraregional city (Portland for example)
2. Begin testifying at Council Public Forums on Monday nights
Wear the same clothes you wear to class
You will have three minutes to speak
Be concise and confident
Speak of real impact of the ordinance
(such as skateboarding being some people’s sole means of transportation
Use applicable anecdotal evidence: “I save five minutes each way…”
3. Prepare a draft ordinance with amendments particular to Eugene or personal preferences
Remember this is your ordinance and if need be it will be changed to comply with regulations
4. Present the draft ordinance to a councilor (say, perhaps, Pat Farr)
5. Councilor secures support for council action
Three councilors request work session
City attorney prepares draft ordinance language
6. Council holds work session
7. Ordinance is prepared
8. Public process
Council solicits public testimony, written
Further testimony at Monday night public forum
9. Work session (held by council)
10 Public hearing in council chamber
11. Council passes ordinance or amended ordinance (at a subsequent meeting)
While it’s true that not every request for a new or revised ordinance is accepted, this project team of U of O students has in fact done their homework and their ordinance should be considered.
GOOD WORK! This is one way you will change the world around you!