BEND, OR -- Mo Mitchell and Stephen Sehgal were sworn in as Bend’s two new City Councilors during a special meeting Monday afternoon. Mitchell was sworn in virtually (below) while Sehgal took the oath of office in person (above).
Mitchell tells KBND News she wants to provide a fresh perspective, "My hope is to really keep steering Council toward those goals that they’ve lined out, with equity at the center of those goals. Really trying to be a voice to make sure that Bend, and as we continue to grow as a city and community, becomes a place of belonging for all people here."
Councilor Mitchell considers herself a strong communicator and says she’s ready for tough conversations, "I’m definitely someone who’s comfortable saying the uncomfortable - or, the phrase that’s sort of talking about ‘the elephant in the room,’ sometimes. My training in mental health I consider so valuable. Because when you learn and you study in the field of mental health, and you learn about people and their experiences, you just learn about how many ways life can kind of shake out for people, and what can happen for people. And, it really helps you, in my experience, have a greater respect for the diversity of human experience."
Mitchell says she shares some of the identity and cultures that made former Councilor Rita Schenkelberg a target of some. But she believes her support system will help her through stressful times. "I think Council is aware of some of the changes that need to be made, as to why Councilor Schenkelberg left, as well." Mitchell adds, "My hope is that it can be a moment of change. That’s my hope, at least."
She says she hasn’t yet decided whether she will run to keep her seat in November. With a toddler at home, Mitchell says she needs to wait and see what’s best for her family.
KBND News reached out to Councilor Sehgal but he has not yet scheduled an interview.