April 13 General Meeting and JWN Board Elections and 4J Candidate Information

April General Meeting and Executive Board Elections

Tuesday, April 13, 6:30-8:30pm


  • Executive Board Elections (see candidate statements below)
  • 4J School Board Candidate Q&A (see candidate information and links below)

Executive Board Elections

Due to COVID, we were unable to hold Board elections last April and eventually give up on a physical meeting figured out how to conduct elections on Zoom last October. This month is the regularly scheduled election.

Notification: Election notification and invitations to run for the Board was sent in our winter newsletter and a special bi-fold mailer as well as in our monthly eNews, and on our social media.

Who can vote? Anyone who lives in (rents, owns property), owns or manages a business, or manages a non-profit (Pastors, Directors, etc.) in the the JWN can vote or run for the board. Normally, in a physical meeting, people would sign-in with their address and get ballots. Since this is on Zoom, we are requesting that people who did not vote in the October 2020 Board election “pre-register” by emailing their names and address to jwneugene@gmail.com ahead of time or provide that information in the Chat at the onset of the meeting. NOTE:

Who is on ballot? So far, the Board members who were elected last October have decided to stand for re-election. While anyone can run, we recommend you contact us to find out what is involved and so we can put you on the ballot.

How does the election work? Our bylaws require that we vote for each position separately and in line (Chair, Vice-Chair, each at-large position (1-5). There will be on opportunity to ask Board members questions, but to expedite the process, candidates have provided statements and answered questions ahead of time.

Candidate Statements


Ted M. Coopman

Why are you interested in serving on your neighborhood board?

I have been a Board member since 2016 and Chair since 2018. It is important that people have a voice in neighborhoods they inhabit and a way to stay informed and successfully engage with city government. I have a lot of experience in community organizing and having an organization is key to clean, green, safe, and equitable communities.

What does it mean to “represent” your neighbors?

While board members have agendas and desires, representing your neighbors means taking the time to get to know their needs and desires, understanding that everyone’s perspective is valid and their own, listening to people, and trying to act in the best interests of all neighbors. It means following and supporting policies endorsed via member votes and putting collective interests above personal ones.

What specific topics or issues in the neighborhood interest you (projects, initiatives).

I am very invested in the protection and enhancement of Monroe Park. My main joy is in the editing the monthly eNews and maintaining the JWN website. I am trying to better engage businesses and renters. To preserve what is best about the JWN, while working on areas we can improve. Finally, working with other neighborhood leaders on the big issues facing Eugene, primarily land use and homelessness issues. I have been working hard to get the city to provide sanctioned safe, and sanitary camping locations and then enforce a camping ban in public spaces and streets.

How will you go about addressing those topics or issues?

Managing and encouraging volunteers to get things done. Creating information networks that keep me informed and updated and fostering professional networks to build productive relations with city and county political leaders, staff, management, and local non-profits.

How will you engage your neighbors about them?

I will inform neighbors by improving and expanding coverage via mailings, the eNews, social media, and our website. Creating forums for community input at meetings and via surveys.

How might you address differences of experience or perspective?

All experiences and perspectives are valid, but you need to put those in context with the constraints of what can be reasonably done and what is best for the larger neighborhood. Ideally, policy and initiatives should be driven by those willing to put the effort into making them happen. The goal is to find where different needs and desire meet and overlap and focus on these areas of agreement or how you can meet the needs and desire of different people.

What does success in addressing those issues/topics look like to you? 

Action and implementation. Whatever the goal is, to see concrete results. Creating infrastructures for action and coordination, and building positive relationships, with government, non-profits, and businesses; to extend the scope of outreach and engage diverse neighbors; to enhance public safety without sacrificing liberty.

Vice Chair

Vanessa Wheeler

  • Why are you interested in serving on your neighborhood board?To truly be a member of a community, I believe it is important to contribute in some way to benefit the collective whole. After much consideration, I’ve concluded that one of the best ways I can serve the JWN community is to be a working board member of its neighborhood association. I am service-oriented and have routinely “rolled up my sleeves” in the service of previous neighborhoods I’ve lived in. As a citizen volunteer, I’ve taken on issues and faced challenges, great and small, with the goal of making my community a little better for everyone who lives within it and would be honored to continue this tradition of service for my community here and now.
  • What does it mean to “represent” your neighbors? While I might not always agree with the perspectives of everyone I meet, I believe strongly in the process of respectful discourse and, when reviewing my decision track record, find that I align myself with the conclusions likely to provide the greatest good to all, even if I might personally prefer another outcome. I believe listening to and considering the views of our residents will be a notable component in serving the greater good of JWN’s diverse inhabitants.
  • What specific topics or issues in the neighborhood interest you (projects, initiatives).Living adjacent to Monroe Park for the past year has offered additional perspective on the needs of our neighborhood and its citizens. While homelessness, mental health issues, and drug addiction are all much larger issues than a neighborhood association is alone going to solve, I see JWN as well-positioned to impact how the Eugene community at large approaches these issues. As a neighborhood association, we have the potential to help drive policy, rally neighboring associations, and bring people together to find lasting solutions that serve the greater good of everyone in JWN, including those officially and unofficially residing here.My professional background is in education and communications, specifically relating to bicycle and pedestrian advocacy and transportation demand management. I’ve conducted walkability assessments and performed numerous bike/ped counts, coordinated volunteer projects, led group bike rides and walking tours, and have served as a bike commuter coach. I successfully co-founded a nonprofit organization promoting active transportation which served as  a bridge between citizens and city transportation professionals. I am well equipped to step in and assist with any transportation-related projects and I’ve had significant experience liaising with city professionals to mend the gap between citizen needs/desires and municipal constraints, like limited budgeting. I am also a professional illustrator and have significant experience with creating mission-oriented artwork representing countless public awareness campaigns.
  • How will you go about addressing those topics or issues?For societal matters relating to homelessness, addiction, and mental health:I’ve added my name to the recent proposal presented to the city by JWN and other neighborhood associations asking leaders to evaluate how to better address issues of houselessness and consider further supporting White Bird and its CAHOOTS program (or a similar program). Larger political discussions aside, I do think this organization is a critical part in responding to people in crisis. While I do not yet know what impact JWN can ultimately have in motivating the city to further support White Bird, I do believe that bringing residents together to back this mission might encourage more successful outcomes for this crucial organization and the citizens it serves.I also stand behind the city’s proposal to adopt and implement a parking permit system in the area around Monroe Park (and in potential future areas in JWN if it’s deemed necessary and appropriate). In doing so, I believe there is a responsibility to help implement a sponsorship system to assist neighbors who are financially struggling so that the annual permit expense isn’t a burden. I also believe that, by implementing this system, we owe it to our houseless neighbors to push the city for systemic solutions that provide better alternatives to camping in parks and sleeping in vehicles in front of homes. Effort will be required to avoid perpetuating [to quote a neighbor at our recent neighborhood association meeting] the “whack-a-mole” approach to keeping our streets safe.For transportation and communications matters: I stand ready to serve in whatever capacity needed.
  • How will you engage your neighbors about them?As a communications professional, I know how important accurate and clear information is to making a mission enactable. Personally, I’ve found community engagement is most successful when the one thing most beneficial that a citizen can do to help achieve a common goal can be identified. I’ve led many public listening sessions; listening is a key step before one can even begin identifying what that “one thing” is.
  • How might you address differences of experience or perspective?Speaking civilly and respectfully is the foundation on which all productive conversations are built and how the most effective solutions are discovered. As a community leader, I would share in the collective responsibility to help maintain order and facilitate healthy dialogue in neighborhood meetings — part of doing so is by demonstrating civility and diplomacy, even when opinions are incongruent with my own.

At-Large Positions

Stephanie Coopman

Ted and I moved to Eugene and the JWN at the start of 2016 after visiting for many years. When we bought our house here in 2012 we’d planned on splitting our time between Eugene and Santa Cruz, CA. Then in 2015, with the Bay Area and Santa Cruz getting more crowded and more expensive, we decided to leave our townhouse near the beach for a saner and mellower life in Eugene.  Happily, we’ve found a home in the JWN.

I’m a professor at San Jose State University where I teach online courses in communication, primarily in the areas of applied communication and game studies. I started teaching online in 1999. For a few years, I taught a mix of in person and online classes. Then I moved to all online about 16 years ago. In addition to teaching, I served as chair of my department for five years. I’ve also chaired and served on numerous committees and task forces for SJSU and a number of professional organizations.

I attended my first JWN general meeting in February 2016 and soon joined the JWN Outreach Committee. I designed and launched the most recent version of the JWN website that year as well. I’ve written articles for the JWN newsletter and for the past three years edited the newsletter’s paper version. I was elected to the JWN Executive Board in September 2020.

I’m especially interested in getting neighbors involved in the neighborhood and matching up neighbors’ interests and passions with work that needs to be done. I’m here to listen to my neighbors and look forward to hearing from you.

Susan Connolly

I have lived in JWN for 12 years, owned property here for 25 years and been a Proud Eugenean since 1979 when I came to UO for grad school.

My husband and I have three daughters, five grandchildren and most recently, one fine great grand boy.  Luckily for us, all reside in Oregon.

My careers included legal investigator, attorney and social work.  My volunteer work includes Common Cause, Women’s Space, Habitat for Humanity,  Willamette Towers HOA, City Club and  The Jefferson-Westside Neighborhood.

As a new board member, I have worked on our recent Food for Lane County food drive, organize, renewed park maintenance at Charnel-Muligan Park, helped a little at our Wayside Park, written articles & taken photos for our JWS Newsletter and attended many, many zoom meetings.

I adore our neighborhood and look forward to working with our tireless board and neighbors in the future.


Sue Cummings, (Current Treasurer)

How long you have served and doing what?

I have been on the board since 2009. I am currently serving as Treasurer and ENI Representative. I have also held the positions of Vice Chair, Secretary and NLC Representative. I have been one of the chairs of the Events Committee for several years. During normal years the Events Committee has coordinated the Summer Picnic. Hope we can do something in 2021.

In February 2021 I organized our Neighborhood’s participation in the Neighbors Helping Neighbors – Food for Lane County Food Drive. Currently, I’ve worked with others on the first steps in developing the Draft Charter for the Family-Friendly Housing Refinement Plan Amendment Project – Project Team, to start the process for implementing the resolution adopted at the February JWN General Meeting regarding the Old Naval Reserve Site. I am also working with Susan Connolly to coordinate some activities for the Friends of Charnel Mulligan Park.

Why are you interested in serving on your neighborhood board?

In order to have a welcoming, healthy and livable neighborhood I feel it is important to have a vibrant and active neighborhood association. An important and part of that is to have a full and active executive board. The neighborhood association and the board help our neighbors stay informed about government and other organization’s plans and programs which may affect their lives. JWN is a valuable and open venue for gauging the opinion of everyone who qualifies as a member of the neighborhood association. The JWN is also a very effective way to communicate neighborhood positions and concerns to the City. I have enjoyed my time on the board and would like to continue contribute to the neighborhood association’s successes. Having at least a few people on the board who have been around a while is helpful for continuity.

What does it mean to “represent” your neighbors?

Since our neighborhood has a diversity of opinions on many topics, I think it is important to give everyone a chance to voice their opinions and vote on important decisions. As a board member I try to ”represent’ my neighbors by listening to their opinions and then being willing to stand behind the decisions made during votes by the JWN neighborhood association.

What specific topics or issues in the neighborhood interest you (projects, initiatives).

  • Homelessness and Unsheltered
  • Affordable Housing
  • Land Use/Planning
  • Covid-19 Relief and Recovery
  • Climate Action/Environmental Protection
  • Safe routes for walking, biking and other forms of alternative transportation.
  • Parks, green spaces and Trees of all kinds..
  • Public Safety
  • Local, State and Federal Elections

How will you go about addressing those topics or issues?

  • Participate in as many meetings (JWN and others) as I can and help to organize and/or run meeting about relevant current topics when needed.
  • Stay educated about local government actions and current issues.
  • Vote
  • Participate in surveys and letter writing.

How will you engage your neighbors about them?

  • Discussions with my neighbors
  • Surveys
  • Provide ways for them to stay educated about local government actions and current issues.
  • Contribute to the JWN News and Outreach initiatives.
  • Collaborate with other Neighborhoods facing similar issues.
  • Invite representatives of organizations to discuss their programs at events and meetings.

How might you address differences of experience or perspective?

  • Listening to others opinions and experiences with an open mind.
  • Search for more ways to make everyone feel that they are being heard.
  • Share what I have learned.
  • Look for common ground.

What does success in addressing those issues/topics look like to you?

Having a welcoming, healthy and livable neighborhood with a vibrant and active neighborhood association. A neighborhood that has a diverse population, green space, a balance of old and new owner occupied homes as well as comfortable dwellings for renters with a mix of age groups and incomes throughout. A large selection of housing that is affordable enough to allow people to stay in the heart of the City while saving some of their income for life’s other pleasures. Encourage everyone to support our many neighborhood businesses.

Ideally having no one who is considered homeless or unsheltered because we have found a way to provide the services they need to stabilize their lives. A neighborhood that can still grow in density without losing the charm that makes it a place where so many want to live.

Eric dil (Current Secretary)

Why are you interested in serving on your neighborhood board?

I came to Eugene in November 2016. In Amsterdam I contributed for 20 years to the small community of the apartment complex with 95 households that I was living in. I chaired a garden committee, took care for the maintenance of the huge roof garden and helped organizing our yearly garden party. Besides that I was member of the board of two art organizations. When I moved to Eugene I felt the need to contribute to my new neighborhood. Since 2017 I am member of our neighborhood board.

What does it mean to “represent” your neighbors?

For me ‘representing’ my neighborhoods means that I stimulate and support the board to pay attention too, and put our efforts in issues that are of particular importance for our neighborhood. In general I know what those issues are thanks to input of neighbors or I sense that they have that importance. I contribute to the board to serve my community and not a personal goal; for instance a step in my career.

What specific topics or issues in the neighborhood interest you (projects, initiatives)?

Given the fact that I am a biologist and a passionate gardener issues that concern our parks, our trees and climate change are for me personally extra interesting. Coming from the Netherlands I am very concerned by the social inequality that I see in my new homeland. That is why I am extra interested in creating more affordable housing, (micro) sites for our unhoused neighbors and projects that offer our unhoused neighbors the opportunity to have their own house. I am interested to help realize affordable housing on the Naval Reserve Site.

How will you go about addressing those topics or issues?

Until now I see my role in the board as supportive. I will address topics that I think that we should discuss in our board, and will support initiatives from other board members. Given the fact that I am longer in the board I can contribute based on my earlier experience in the board and knowledge of earlier board initiatives. Specifically, I think to be active in the process to come to affordable housing on the Naval Reserve Site.

How will you engage your neighbors about them?

I see our General Meeting and our e-news letter as important platforms to inform and engage my neighbors. When I meet neighbors I actively promote new initiatives in our neighborhood.

How might you address differences of experience or perspective?

I think that differences of experience or perspective can contribute to our board. I would address them in showing interest in the experience or perspective of the other. But I will be critical if those perspectives are driven by a passion for the well being of our neighbors and neighborhood or are more driven by a personal goal that has no relevance for our neighborhood.

What does success in addressing those issues/topics look like to you?

Success in issues/ topics like I named earlier means for me concrete steps forward to neighborhood specifc solutions, the realization of concrete projects that set an example for what is possible in our neighborhood and other neighborhoods (for example the frst microsite in our neighborhood and / or an affordable housing project on a now still empty lot).

Duncan Rhodes

I joined the JWN Board in order to learn about my new community in April 2019.  I had moved here from Southeast Eugene a month ago before that to be closer to my grandson, who lives a block west of my apartment.  I am 76, retired for over a dozen years from a sales, marketing, & engineering career with Reliance Electric/Rockwell Automation & then Siemens.

I lived in the Whit for about 5 years, until I moved to Southeast Eugene about 5 years ago to be closer to my grandson’s school.  In the Whit, I served on the Whiteaker Community Council as a Board member & then as Secretary, and was on the NLC CoS.  In Southeast, I served on the board & then as Secretary.

I am interested in how development progresses in Eugene, and follow a few projects, especially the South Willamette Street redevelopment & road diet.  I follow some of the development plans in Eugene, and am interested in increasing the supply of affordable housing.

I like to bike, and have been a board member, secretary, & treasurer for GEARs, a Eugene bicycle group.  I remain interested in biking/street rideability issues, & attend most City webinars on these topics.

4J School Board Candidates

03/18/2021 Filing Deadline for measures and district candidates

04/29/2021 Ballots mailed; official drop sites open

05/18/2021 Election Day


Position/Zone Candidate Email
LANE ESD Zone/Pos. 1: No. of 126 E&W of I-5 Sydney Shenk Kissinger, incumbent lovingresources@yahoo.com
LANE ESD Zone/Pos 3: Springfield area Vanessa Truett, incumbent vtruett@lesd.k12.or.us
LANE ESD At-large/Pos. 6 Rose Wilde, incumbent Rose.i.wilde@gmail.com
Rich Cunningham Richc414@aol.com
Eugene 4J Position 2 Laural O’Rourke lauramorourke@gmail.com
Harry Sanger harry.canger@ltd.com
Eugene 4J Position 3 Tom Di Liberto tcdiliberto@icloud.com
Judy Newman judynewman1950@gmail.com
Eugene 4J Position 6 Maya Rabasa maharabasa@gmail.com
Dakota Jams Boulette dakotaboulette1@gmail.com
LCC Director Zone 1 Western Lane County Mark Boren basketblallfan1103@gmail.com
Holi Johnson hollij2003@yahoo.com
Thomas Jennigns jenningsthomas54@gmail.com
LCC Director Zone 3 Springfield Marcola Mike Eyster Salsamike@comcast.net
LCC Director Zone 4 Austin Folnagy Austin4lcc@gmail.com
LCC Director Zone 5 South Eugene and Downtown Al King Al.King@comcast.net
Steve Mital stevemital@gmail.com