Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor.

Filling the Bend City Council vacancy

I’d like to thank the City Council and Mayor Sally Russell for the opportunity to interview for the replacement position on the City Council that took place earlier this month.

I truly appreciate the kind words some of the councilors spoke on my behalf. I’d like to congratulate Mr. Chris Piper on his appointment and wish him and the council well. I’d also like to congratulate Ms. Kerani Mitchell for her contribution to the discussion and her gracious manner in congratulating Mr. Piper as well.

While I admit to having mixed feelings about an appointment versus an election, I trust the council made the right decision and I hope that the next two years will be productive. I would like to thank all the applicants for showing their civic duty in applying for the position. I urge those considering running in 2020 to consider volunteering for the open position on the planning commission to help them gain an understanding of how the city works.

It is an excellent education opportunity. I look forward to continuing to serve the city in my role on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee.

Katherine Austin


Sally Russell turned her back

Concerning, the politician that can throw under the bus the values and people that got her elected.

Terrifying, the speed in which she did it.

Sally Russell courted progressives with the platform of creating a welcoming and inclusive Bend for all.

At the first chance she had to cement values of inclusion and diversity within the city’s government by supporting a woman of color to represent marginalize communities in Bend’s council, Russell showed us with her actions that people of color (POC) are to be consulted (so that she can be seem as nonracist) but not to be trusted with shared power.

This prejudice is reflected in the race leadership gap, which is pervasive in the social sector.

Even though the pipeline is healthy at the front door with educated and skilled POC coming into the workplace, there are enduring structural problem that maintain a leadership gap where POC are 40 percent of the workforce but only 10 percent of CEOs or board chairs.

Bias attitudes like Russell’s where women of color are seen as difficult or just less for not having the financial acumen of a white male not only perpetuates inequities for minorities but Sally’s choices create and maintain a culture of white male dominance.

It’s clear that an equity, diversity and inclusion training is imperative for Bend’s City Council and we must hold them accountable for equitable outcomes for our community.

Joanne Mina


Don’t pay Congress during shutdowns

Recently I wrote Sens. Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley and Congressman Greg Walden, asking them to introduce legislation that provides that whenever there is a government shutdown or partial government shutdown and any active or military active or retired member, current federal employee or retiree, or Social Security recipient is not being paid, then no member of Congress or congressional staffer may be paid until such time as the federal government is reopened.

When and if Congress passes legislation that provides retroactive pay and benefits to military members, federal employees and Social Security recipients, Congress then may also provide retroactive pay and benefits to congressional members and staffers.

My proposed language almost certainly will need to be tweaked, but the intent is clear.

If military members, federal employees and/or Social Security recipients are being held hostage to the political process, then so should congressional members and staffers. I urge everyone to send similar letters to their congressional representatives.

Richard R. Kelly