Partnering in Power for All of Bend
I am running for City Council to center issues and people that are normally left out of the process. I love this city, and want its progress and growth to be shared fairly by all. Our community needs and deserves to have new voices in the decision and policy-making progress.
COVID 19 and Bend
Our City Council needs to lead the way in managing an inclusive financial and community recovery for Bend. As we rebuild, we must ensure that we rebuild in a way that provides opportunity for all residents, especially those who are disproportionately affected by this pandemic -our Black and Brown, queer, disabled and lower income neighbors. We need to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to benefit from and contribute to economic prosperity in Bend.
The City of Bend needs to provide easily accessible multimodal ways of communicating with its residents during this time. We should ensure we include communications for the hard of hearing, for our non-English speakers, and for our neighbors who do not have internet or know when a City Council meeting is taking place. If we truly are all in this together, it is more important than ever that our whole city feels supported and acknowledged.
INCLUSIVITY: Bend is a highly desirable city where many come simply for an outstanding lifestyle for themselves and their families. Access to abundant nature, nurturing and high-ranking schools, vast recreation opportunities and a strong economy--enjoyment of these aspects of our city should not depend on one’s race, language, income, mobility or sexuality. The truth is, not all Bendites are having the same experience. I will work toward all of Bend’s residents benefiting from the same opportunities: safe places for kids to walk and bike to school, bringing non-dominant cultures and lower income brackets to the table, equal access no matter what part of the city you live in, and beyond. Our city is not a small logging and skiing town anymore, and it’s time that the City Council leads by example in these critical areas.
Accessibility: The current model of City Council does not represent access for and listening to all community members. This means we must go into the communities and neighborhoods we represent, not expect people to come to us. There are often barriers to civic participation such as childcare, language or discomfort and intimidation that disallow our underrepresented citizens from weighing in on the city’s goals, accomplishments, public updates and forums on large issues like bonds and public works projects. We need to get creative and do a better job of listening to all Bendites.
HOUSING, TRANSPORTATION & CHILDCARE: Bend is an early childcare desert. Housing is shockingly unaffordable. Buses often get people to their shifts but stop running when they need to get home and it is nearly impossible to get across town safely on a bicycle. When one of these three things is missing, it creates an unsustainable living situation for Bend’s population. We simply must be more proactive in providing solutions to make housing more affordable, transportation more equitable and childcare more plentiful so that working families can succeed here. These issues also point to the growing population of homelessness that Bend has experienced: a 12% increase in one year. 35% of this population are children. It is our duty as a community to help and plan rather than ignore the problem.
I am a fifth generation Oregonian on both sides of my family. Born in Corvallis to two OSU grads, my family relocated to Boston when I was a child. Every summer we came to visit our family in Oregon made me dream of living here one day. After marrying my husband in Bend in 2003, we started our family in the Southwest but were able to make the dream of a forever home with our three young children (and a turtle) come true in 2018.
I have a degree in Political Science from The Colorado College and a Masters from George Washington University, which lead to a career in political campaign work, including a congressional race in Boston, John Kerry’s Presidential campaign, and a mayoral campaign for an historic election in Santa Fe (where, in over 400 years of history, only one woman has been mayor).
I’ve also held government positions in Wisconsin for the Office of the Governor and the State Treasurer as well as John Kerry’s Senate office in Washington DC. While in Santa Fe, my primary efforts included leadership for Girls on the Run and community activism for the Santa Fe Public Schools. More recently I chose to focus on raising our children, two of whom have high needs. Moving to Bend and seeing how my children fit into the community here became the perfect launching pad for my co-founding Embrace Bend, an organization that began as a support structure for parents of children of color and has turned into a group with a big community presence advocating for inclusion, promoting allyship and learning opportunities and providing community care for People of Color. Additionally, I have served on the leadership team of Moms Demand Action and as a Be Smart presenter advocating for secure storage of firearms, on the board of the Summit West Neighborhood Association, and am active in my children’s elementary school, serving on the Site Council. I am also a Girl Scout Troop Leader for my daughter’s Brownie Troop.
I enjoy hiking, running and snow shoeing and we head into the mountains or to the river as often as we can! I also love seeing live music and spend my summer happily going from concert to concert. Another favorite thing to do is visit my 102-year-old grandmother in Sunriver and listen to her stories.