BEND, OR -- A local musician wants a seat on Bend's City Council because he doesn't believe the city does enough to support local artists. Victor Johnson tells KBND News, "If we're not satisfied or happy with the way things are going in our lives, we can get involved and be proactive."
Johnson moved to Bend in 2014 for a job. He says, as he's gotten immersed in the local art community, he's realized how inadequately represented it is, "During this time, I've really overcome a lot of adversity, and become a real part of the music and arts community here; and I want to support that, and I think it's something we have to nurture, and protect. I want to make a difference, not just in my own life, but in the lives of other local musicians and artists and make sure they have a voice." He points to First Friday art walks as an example of how the city doesn't do enough to support local artists and musicians. Johnson says the backings on street booths are too tall and block galleries, and musicians aren't showcased during the events.
He's also created a plan to reduce bullying in schools. Johnson says, "I decided this year I wanted to focus on building community, and creating unity, and connecting with people in genuine and authentic ways, beyond social media. I think that's really important." He adds, "I'd love to bring more musicians and artists into schools in Bend to connect with students there - and build community, and help provide a creative outlet -by allocating funding, connecting with committees that have already been set up in relation to bullying, and talk to school officials that could make things happen."
Johnson is running against Andrew Davis and Gena Goodman-Campbell
for Bend City Council Position Five, currently held by Nathan Boddie. The candidates are expected to take part in a forum hosted by the Bend Chamber, October ninth.