Every year City Club invites individuals who see Eugene from a great variety of perspectives to offer virtual gifts to our community. We ask them to tell what they think would make us an even better place to live, given their experience of our assets and deficiencies. Because each sees Eugene from a unique perspective, each has a different insight about our needs. In past years, a giver offered a gear shift lever excavated from a junkyard, in hopes it would make it easier for us to change when a policy or practice becomes plainly unworkable. Another offered a challenge: meet someone with whom we disagree; have lunch and learn all we can about their position without trying to change it. A third proposed to share his old VW van for a trip down Memory Lane to revisit moments of sweetness in a turbulent age. Good natured ribbing and calls to new action give us ideas to consider as the New Year approaches.
This year Dan Bryant is reprising his role as host. He is the Senior Minister at First Christian Church. His many civic activities include chairing the board for Opportunity Village Eugene and the Public Policy Committee of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (www.emoregon.org).
Ten distinguished community members will offer their gifts. Jenette Kime, AKA SluGoddess Slime Shine, is the reigning Slug Queen of Eugene. She participates in this program as one of her royal duties. Jim Evangelista is the founder and executive director of Reality Kitchen. Bethany Grace Howe is a journalist and comedian whose recent work focuses on transgender identity. Jean Tate is a developer and philanthropist who started work as a high school teacher and still serves as a mentor and advisor to many. Clay Beauvais is the vice president of the UO College Republicans. Erik and Fay de Buhr are the executive director and financial director of Community Supported Shelters. David Fidanque is a journalist who served for decades in the leadership of the ACLU, from which he recently retired. Diane Retallack is the longtime director of the Eugene Concert Choir and Eugene Vocal Arts. Heather Sielicki has been a leader in Southeast Neighbors and serves as the operations director of White Bird Clinic. James Manning is the state senator representing Oregon’s 7th District, which includes north Eugene and Junction City.