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Low-income and historically marginalized communities bear the brunt of climate impacts

As temperatures regularly soared above 100 degrees this past summer, renters across Eugene struggled to stay cool in their homes. Without air conditioning in much of the city’s building stock, the heat made it virtually impossible for many of us to do anything but sit in front of a fan. 

The thousands of unhoused community members in Eugene had it even worse. Last summer’s heatwave wasn’t just an inconvenience, it was a matter of life or death. As is the case with all climate impacts, low-income and historically marginalized communities bore the brunt of the heat dome that loomed over the Pacific Northwest, while those with access to greater resources escaped relatively unharmed, if mildly inconvenienced.