by Lily Bussel
Despite the liberal façade that downtown Eugene touts, especially evident during political protests at Saturday market, the coming elections reveal the deep split between downtown’s voting citizens.
Neighborhood News interviewed several voters in downtown Eugene about their thoughts on the current presidential race, their views on the importance of voting and what measures mattered most on the local ballot. Though Neighborhood News talked with a variety of individuals with differing political views, all of the people interviewed had clear convictions about their opinions—no one wavered on their opinions on measures or the current race.
Darrell Olson is the owner of Poppi’s Hot Dogs—a food cart on 8th Ave. and Oak St. With a head of tight curls and a booming voice that filled the empty street block, Olson discussed his thoughts on the most important issues in the presidential campaign.
“I don’t think any of them [issues] have been addressed to be honest. I think they are dancing circles around each other and telling you what they want to hear.”
Olson felt similarly about voting: “Because of the existence of the Electoral College, I don’t think it really matters. I think really if we want to make our votes count, we need to get rid of the Electoral College. We’re all intelligent enough in today’s day and age that we can make our own decisions.” However, this sense of a lack of power does not deter Olson from voting: he has already cast his ballot.
Jamie Goulding works at Passionflower Design, a boutique in downtown Eugene. She expressed her hopes on the local level and emphasized her desire to see a thriving downtown community. “I think downtown has kind of been plummeting the last few years,” Goulding said. “You know if you could encourage the local economy a little bit.”
Jim Wilson described himself as one of the two percent. He was walking around downtown when Neighborhood News interviewed him.
For Wilson, in the presidential campaign, “the most important issue is consensus. Unless they get it together nothing is going to happen. Unless both sides work together you go down with the ship. It’s not that difficult to come out of this mess, you do X, Y, Z….It takes a big dose of common sense.”
Wilson described two of the vying factions: “You have the religious right that’s insane, you have the sad and mad liberals who are insane. Eugene being the prime example. They’re all sad and mad, they need to get off their ass, get up in the morning and go to work. You can look at the homeless here; they feed them every freaking meal… My advice is get the heck out of the United States.”
Following his own advice, Wilson discussed his plans to head to Mexico for the next six months.