EUGENE, Ore. — Mayor Kitty Piercy goes one-on-one with the public and answered questions about the expanding SLEEPS movement.
The sessions are part of Piercy’s plan to meet with the community. She sat down with several residents at Albertson’s in the Bethel area.
At least one person talked with Piercy extensively about SLEEPS and the protest going on at the Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza.
The city recently gated off an area near the plaza because of the discovery of human feces. The city hasn’t connected the discoveries to the demonstrators.
Mayor Piercy says the SLEEPS protest in downtown is a county issue. The City Council is closely watching the action Lane County may take.
While she understands the right to protest, Piercy says she has to keep a livable community while addressing social needs.
KEZI 9 News asked her about the expanded SLEEPS sites, including the new location at the Lane County Fairgrounds. While she said she’d only recently heard about that protest, she did express concern.
“That’s certainly something I would not like to see,” said Mayor Piercy. “If they want to protest and challenge the law, that is one thing. Do I want these to pop up and spread all over, no.”
Demonstrators say the expanded site at the Lane County Fairgrounds has grown over the last few days.
Piercy did point to several pilot programs inside Eugene for area homeless, including the new Opportunity Village.
She says the best solution for the protestors is a stronger economy, which would then provide more jobs for people to get back on their feet.