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Governor Kotek Visits Lane County on One Oregon Listening Tour
Stops in Veneta, Cottage Grove, Leaburg, Springfield, and Eugene wrap up the year-long commitment to visit every county
Yesterday, Governor Tina Kotek and First Lady Aimee Kotek Wilson visited Lane County to mark the 36th and final stop of the Governor’s One Oregon Listening Tour. The Governor and First Lady met with Oregonians in Veneta, Cottage Grove, Leaburg, Springfield, and Eugene.

“Every Oregon county has a diverse mix of communities, and Lane County is no exception,” Governor Kotek said. “I was energized to see the hard work and collaboration between local governments, business groups, and community organizations to take on unsheltered homelessness, the needs of our youth, access to affordable child care, and long-term recovery from the devastating Holiday Farm Fire. I’m inspired by the work people are doing in the community to meet challenges and make progress for the future.”

The trip began early at breakfast in Veneta with a conversation with local leaders about the unique needs of communities in western Lane County, including Dunes City, Veneta, and Junction City.

The Governor and First Lady then traveled to Springfield to hear from students at Connected Lane County, a local organization that works collaboratively with Lane County school districts, industry partners, workgroups, and community organizations to connect young people to opportunities and help them prepare for their lives beyond high school.

They then traveled to Leaburg for a discussion about wildfire recovery efforts in east Lane County. In September 2020, the Holiday Farm Fire blazed through the McKenzie River Valley, burning 173,393 acres, destroying 517 homes, and flattening the community of Blue River. The discussion centered around the collaborative local efforts to promote long-term disaster recovery and the importance of ensuring that the families who have been in the Valley for generations are able to stay in the community.

In Cottage Grove, the Governor and First Lady toured a low-barrier shelter operated by Carry it Forward, where individuals experiencing unsheltered homelessness can access basic services and obtain support to attain their goals and support the community. Following that visit, they had a conversation with members of the Lane County Multi-Agency Coordinating (MAC) group to discuss how the process is going and what challenges persist in helping unsheltered residents across the county. The MAC groups were established by the Governor’s Executive Order 23-02, which directed the Oregon Department of Emergency Management (OEM) and the state housing agency to support the establishment of MACs in emergency areas to serve as the core infrastructure of the emergency response.

The visit to Lane County concluded in Eugene, where the Governor and First Lady met with local leaders and discussed a variety of topics, including efforts being made in the county to identify promising strategies to increase access to affordable, quality child care.


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