Letters to the Editor

A Semple Plan

City Councilor Emily Semple has long volunteered on the city Sustainability
Commission, where as a commissioner I work with her. On environment and
sustainability she has helped us get things done. Example: Semple called a work
session, and helped the city pass a ban on cancer causing Styrofoam in Eugene fast
food service — something Portland had done in 1983! She led through to passage the
recent Youth Led Climate Emergency city resolution.

Councilor Semple has also proved her capability to work well with others on City
Council and on the Budget Commission and Sustainability Commission. This year she
has been chosen president of the city council.

I often agree with progressive Semple on city issues. But when I don’t, I appreciate
her willingness to speak directly to the issue. That is, her views are honest and caring.
Such a voice is important to retain on city council this May.

Ralph McDonald, Eugene

Semple Is Simply the Best

I’ve been a Ward 1 voter and member of the Jefferson Westside Neighbors for over 30 years. In this year’s primary, there’s no candidate that would serve Ward 1 voters better than the incumbent, Councilor Emily Semple.

I’ve watched Councilor Semple and candidates Eliza Kashinsky and Tim Morris in action, and Semple stands out as the thoughtful, experienced person who carries on the legacy of George Brown and Bonny Bettman, Ward 1’s capable past councilors. Semple knows her ward and trusts her constituents’ judgement and good faith. Semple is a strong progressive; however, she’s mindful that effective government actions arise from the citizens, not by top-down dictates stemming from an “I know best attitude.”

In contrast, I’ve heard Kashinsky repeatedly criticizing her own neighborhood organization and demanding that her self-righteous views prevail instead of welcoming her own neighbors’ participation in decision making. Kashinsky has been a disruptive and antagonistic presence in neighborhood meetings displaying contempt for those of us who have lived in, and fought for, our neighborhood over many years.

In my experience, Morris has done little to engage and understand the broader Ward 1 community. His involvement has been limited, and his positions appear to simply parrot Lane County Democratic Party’s out-of-touch dogma. Morris isn’t a strong supporter of Eugene’s neighborhood organizations, and he appears to favor the state imposing radical upzoning of Ward 1’s neighborhoods.

We’re fortunate to have a capable Ward 1 councilor in Semple, and no challenger comes close.

Janice Gotchall, Eugene

Keep It Semple

Ward 1 constituents cannot improve upon Emily Semple’s representation on Eugene City Council.

Semple has been strong in addressing downtown business concerns, advocating for the unhoused population, supporting sustainability efforts and endorsing environmental measures.

Semple works hard in preparing for Council meetings and respectfully engages with her colleagues. Let’s keep Semple in the position she competently serves as, Ward 1 City Councilor.

Deborah Noble, Eugene

Semple Is the Clear Choice

I am a longtime Ward 1 renter, and I unequivocally endorse Emily Semple for re-election to City Council.

Semple is also backed by dozens of dedicated community leaders — from former Ward 1 and other city councilors to neighborhood association chairs, sustainability and human rights activists, plus homeless advocates such as myself. This widespread support is based on her clarity in representing our ward as well as the whole city, along with her ability to work respectfully and effectively with others.

I have witnessed Councilor Semple deal successfully with complicated issues like balancing the needs of local downtown businesses at the same time as those of the unhoused, and she has kept her promise to ensure the council refrains from giving tax breaks to big developers. I know Semple spends extra time to thoroughly research subjects and then efficiently translate them into policy, one of the main responsibilities of the city council. I value her careful attention to both economic and human-centered detail.

I want to acknowledge Semple’s work in expanding cost-effective public safety services and pushing to increase science-based COVID-19 testing. Amidst this unprecedented transition, please vote to extend a sure thing by re-electing Emily Semple.

Finn Po, Eugene

Semple Also Does Her Homework

I urge residents of Ward 1 to re-elect Councilor Emily Semple. She is a tireless advocate for the residents of her ward and the city of Eugene. She fights to help those less fortunate, including the unsheltered. She does her homework on city issues. She makes herself available and really listens to citizen concerns. The city cannot afford to lose her wisdom and guidance during these challenging times.

Lloyd Helikson, Eugene

Semple Can Get It Done

Look at the six candidates for Ward 1 City Council. Each has his or her pitch. One claims “We need new leadership at City Council who can get big things done,” without providing any record of how the candidate has ever gotten “big things” done. Another candidate touts that “We need bold and dynamic leadership to change with Eugene,” but that candidate’s statement on issues has nothing other than lists of motherhood-and-apple-pie aspirations — not a single concrete “bold” proposal.

Only one candidate has a history of concrete accomplishments to make Eugene a better, safer, more caring community, and that candidate is Councilor Emily Semple. Before some of the other candidates were old enough to vote, Semple was on the ground fighting for the rights of homeless individuals to have shelter and medical care. Only Semple has led the Eugene Sustainability Commission and City Council to adopt a practical and enforceable ban on one-use, plastic utensils and polystyrene carry-out containers.

None of the other candidates has demonstrated the knowledge and on-the-ground actions that Semple has brought to bear in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. She not only acted in her position as City Councilor to press Lane County to increase and rationalize their COVID-19 testing, Emily volunteered with her neighborhood organization to produce much needed personal-sized bottles of hand sanitizer that were donated to Cornerstone Community Housing.

For Ward 1, experience matters, and Semple stands above all the other candidates in that regard.

Paul Conte, Eugene

*** More to come, soon! ***