Not just the first female majority on the council -- but six women, one man
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend is going to have four new faces on the seven-member city council, as voters tossed out two incumbents and filled two open seats on Tuesday.
Councilor-Elect Rita Schenkelberg said Wednesday, "The voters are saying there are a lot of needs that aren't being met here."
Fellow Councilor-Elect Melanie Kebler added, "I think Bend is really ready for some change in the local leadership here."
Kebler is one of the new councilors who hopes to bring about that change.
"I'd like people to know I'm a mom, I'm an attorney,” Kebler told NewsChannel 21. “I'm ready to work really hard for our city."
She said she wants to focus on affordable housing and climate change as priorities.
Megan Perkins, co-founder of Embrace Bend, will join Kebler as one of the two newcomers who defeated an incumbent.
"I think it's because I ran a very people centered campaign,” she said of her win over Chris Piper for Position 2. “I think I really talked about my ideas and my vision for the city."
Along with the pandemic, she agrees one of the biggest issues facing Bend is housing.
"One of the things that I've learned on this campaign is how many people don't have homes, or access to homes in our community," she said.
Housing was also a key issue for Schenkelberg, who's a mental health counselor.
She will make history, as she's believed to be both the first person of color and openly queer person to be elected to the Bend City Council.
"There are really exciting things about being the first, and there are really scary and intense part about being the first,” Schenkelberg said. “I'm excited to move, even it's just one, rock out of the way for something else."
It's also first female majority council in city history -- in fact, six women and just one man.
"I think it will just bring a different perspective and a different energy. And Melanie, Megan, Barb, Jenna, -- you know we are all widely intelligent, brilliant, strong humans," Schenkelberg said.
The fourth newcomer and only male on the council will be Anthony Broadman, another lawyer.
"I'm inspired by the people who were just elected along with me,” he said. “I'm also inspired by the three people on council that we're joining."
Broadman said his campaign focused on issues relevant to all Bendites.
"These aren't Republican issues,” he said. “These aren't Democrat issues. These are Bend issues. And I was thrilled to receive the most votes that anyone in the history of Bend has ever received."