The new Bend City Council faces major challenges in water, sewer and other aspects of Bend’s infrastructure in the year ahead.

Meanwhile, another serious challenge faces each of us in Bend — and beyond. This one is the threat to our democracy resulting from the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision in the Citizens United vs. Federal Election Commission in 2010.

In effect the court ruled that big entities such as corporations, unions and super-PACs (many of them funded by billionaires) can contribute unlimited funds to the politicians who will do their bidding.

They can spend unlimited millions of dollars to pass or defeat issues as it suits their selfish interests. Cost of the 2012 elections? — a record-setting $6 billion.

Overturning a Supreme Court decision requires amending the U.S. Constitution.

Last fall, concerned members of Central Oregon Move to Amend gathered 1,266 signatures on a petition. It asked the Bend City Council to adopt a resolution favoring an amendment to overturn the court’s ruling on Citizens United. The old City Council declined.

So, at the Feb. 6 meeting of our new City Council we will propose another option. We’ll ask that they let the citizens of Bend express their wishes via the November ballot.

There were 150 such non-partisan ballot issues voted on in last year’s election. How many of them passed? 150 — all by substantial margins.

Come join us — 7 p.m. at City Hall on Feb. 6.

Dave Goodwin