Eugene Wake Up calls on city council to act

Business owners said they and their employees have been attacked and said they've had to pay thousands of dollars to repair damages caused by vandalism.

Posted: Nov 7, 2019 6:17 PM
Updated: Nov 13, 2019 4:16 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Small business owners and community members in Eugene are making their voices heard about crime in the city.

The packed meeting, which was held at Togo's downtown, was put on by the group Eugene Wake Up. Leaders with the group want to put an end what they call lawlessness.

The group was co-founded by Stephen Sheehan, owner of the Elk Horn Brewery, after his business was vandalized last month. He said they will lobby on behalf of small businesses with the city council.

"If we can get this group to 300 strong, I can guarantee that this city we all love is going to hear us," Sheehan said. 

RELATED: DOWNTOWN BUSINESSES SAY 'EUGENE WAKE UP' TO HOMELESS CRIME

Business owners said they and their employees have been attacked by homeless people and said they've had to pay thousands of dollars to repair damages caused by vandalism.

Chris Boyd, a district supervisor for Dari Mart, brought a stack of incident reports he said came from ten stores just this week.

"We have people who are scared to go to work. We have managers who sit out in cars honking their horns until the people disperse 'cause they're afraid to go into the stores," said Boyd. "I'm at my wit's end."

Eugene City Councilor Mike Clark came to the meeting. He urged the group to share their stories with the Eugene City Council during their public forums. 

"They need to hear from you frequently about the reality you are facing because they are making decisions based on the kind of inputs they're getting, and they're not the kind expressed in this room," Clark said.

One homeless advocate who spoke at the meeting said the issues point to a need for more services for the homeless.

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