Things I've Learned | Culture | Bend | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon
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Things I've Learned 

Meet Bend City Councilor, Megan Perkins

Megan ran for City Council during the pandemic with three kids and a husband who works in healthcare. That level of pure ridiculousness should tell you a lot about her. Whether it is starting a nonprofit, fighting for racial justice, speaking up for the houseless or about gun safety, community is everything to Perkins. Perkins' background is in politics, government and community activism. She has worked for a mayoral candidate in Santa Fe, community nonprofits, Senator Kerry in D.C. and on the campaign trail, and for the former Governor of Wisconsin. Megan comes from a long line of Oregonians and was born in Corvallis but grew up in Boston (so if she honks at you on the road, she can't help it)!

COURTESY MEGAN PERKINS
  • Courtesy Megan Perkins

Q

 What did you learn from your parents about parenting?

A



 Not to take everything so seriously! My parents were always laughing at the "ridiculousness" of parenting. The things you find yourself saying as a parent ("don't murder your sister"), the situations you have to navigate or the hilariously bad things you have to watch (third grade talent shows) are all part of this parenting package, so enjoy it!

Q

What do you hope your children learn from you?


A I hope that they realize how lucky we are to have a roof over our heads, plenty of food, good safe schools and our health. It's so important that they know that so many other kids don't have those things and we must do everything we can to help others.

Q

What superhero power do you wish you had as a parent?

A The ability to stop time! Things are moving so fast with the kids­—they are changing every day—and with my busy schedule, I feel like there isn't any time to just stop and absorb it all.


Q

How are kids today different than when you were a kid?

A Electronics would be the main difference I see. I worry that they are so used to constant entertainment that they can't even just look out the window and sit in silence. And maybe it's just me getting old, but their music is horrible.

Q

Do you have a role model?

A My grandpa was my role model. He was a man who fought in a war, supported five kids, was madly in love with my grandmother until death and had the best sense of humor I know. He knew life was a gift.

Q

How is holding office like being a parent?

A So hard. Since I've been sworn in, though, the virtual nature of things has actually helped me. I've done Zoom calls from the preschool parking lot. I've made dinner while listening to a neighborhood association meeting. It is a lot of multitasking and a lot of guilt. But I make sure they know why it's important.

Q

What do you think the next generation has in store for us?

A I'm amazed at how aware kids are of all the things they need to fix! Whether it is racial justice or climate or homelessness, I hear kids not only talking about fixing our mess but doing something about it. I predict great things from this generation (if they can get off TikTok long enough).

Q
 If parents were to, "ask not what the City can do for you but what you can do for the City" what would that be?

AA Stay involved! So often at City Council we hear from a very small number of people over and over. It's so hard to know what the members of our community are thinking without civic engagement. Send an email. Attend a meeting. Read up on an issue. Talk to your neighbors. And most importantly, tell us how we can make it easier for you to participate!

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