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, and Childcare
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.