BEND, OR -- Bend's race for Mayor has a late entry. Joshua Langlais says he wants to make sure the average citizen is heard. He launched his campaign just before the filing deadline in part, he says, because of last month's first Mayoral candidate debate. Langlais didn't like that people had to pay to attend, "I guess my heart just sank a little bit because, I think, that historic moment is something that all of the community voted on, and all of the community is going to be impacted by."
He believes people aren't engaged in local politics because no one hears their concerns, "I don’t really feel like the average person in Bend really gets much of a weigh-in. We are at the point where the individual voice matters and we are getting to the point where we could all actually have a say on all the things." He likens the current system of government to a runaway train, "I guess, right now, it seems like it’s become easier to just link up another car, or add a little bit more fuel, or extend the length of the track, but really it’s like the train itself is the issue."
Langlais tells KBND News he wants to be engaged with the community, "The mayor is meant to be kissing babies, right, shaking hands, making connections, and essentially, being the face of a town. Well, then, let’s do it. Let’s get out there and hear the people. Let’s listen to what they have to say and let’s try very hard to find out ways that work for everyone, not just for the people that talk the loudest." He adds, "What I care about is the better way for everybody to co-habitate. There’s definitely steps that can be taken towards bringing people closer together or towards building, maybe, some tolerance. What do we have in common?"
Langlais is a photojournalist
. He created a project called "A Community Thread," which explores what it means to interact as a community, especially in regard to human rights and social injustice.