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I’m excited to see so much conversation about the urban renewal district and what it means for each of us - individually and as a community. Folks are asking some important questions about how we remain accountable to our vision, to ourselves, and to one another. Affordable housing is a key component of the district, but let’s also talk about community well-being. What health outcomes can we expect if Measure 2-121 does not pass and no improvements are made to South Corvallis neighborhoods?

It’s no surprise that neighborhoods considered as “undesirable” or “lacking services” are the very same neighborhoods with higher mortality rates and higher rates of diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and other chronic illnesses. Like many of you, I have lived in cities where inequitable neighborhood investment is standard practice, which predominantly affects communities of color and families with low income. The argument then becomes, “let’s not make the neighborhood upgrades so that people with low income can still afford to live there.” But what about their health outcomes? Aren’t there significant costs associated with higher mortality rates and chronic disease?

By not making improvements to our South Corvallis neighborhoods, we are accepting lower health outcomes for this generation and generations to come. And lower health outcomes translate into decreased community well-being and higher health costs for us all.

Join me in voting "Yes" on Measure 2-121. We want affordable housing and improved well-being for all Corvallis residents.

Laureen Hodges Urey

Corvallis (March 4)

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