Meet Rita

The humans educating me in my anti-racism work include and are not limited to:

Rachel Cargle

Layla Saad

Ericka Hart 

Ijeoma Oluo

Jessamyn Stanley 

Michelle Cassandra Johnson 

JL Umipig 

Vanessa Daniel

Ruby Ibarra

Where I Come From:

I was born and raised in Colorado. I spent my time outside soaking in the rocky mountain sunshine and cooking with my mom. My mother moved to the United States when she was 18 to go to college at the University of Utah. She was born in Manila, Philippines, and lived the majority of her childhood in Rome, Italy. My father was born and raised in Denver, Colorado. My dad loves to tell me stories about when Denver still had dirt roads. After living in Denver for my childhood I moved to Grand Junction to attend Colorado Mesa University. 


Grand Junction is the big city on the western slope of Colorado. A big change from Denver. The western slope has a largely rural community. I received my bachelor's degree in Counseling Psychology. During my time in college, I began working with youth in the department of corrections and the department of human services. 

Who I Am Today:

My pronouns are she/her/They/Them. I am a Mental Health Counselor, passionate about supporting clients while they evolve and liberate themselves. I primarily work with youth on probation and parole, who are residing in a non-profit residential program, Northwest Youth Discovery. I moved to Bend in 2015 to get my master's in counseling at OSU-Cascades, Go Beavs! Over the past four years, I have volunteered with the LGBTQ+ community by supporting events, board membership, and free education programs. 


As a person of color, I still have privilege. I use this privilege to learn about my ancestors. This process has been a vulnerable and humbling practice. I am learning and listening from Black womxn and Black trans womxn. As an able-bodied, formally educated, US citizen, I recognize the privileges I was born into and want to use them to liberate my community. I am learning the importance of opening this conversation up to more people in order to create a more equitable and just place to work and live. I am here for further conversation, to gather input and feedback.

Representation Matters

After having many conversations and doing a lot of research. I have decided to run for Bend City Council. I did not come to this decision lightly, I spoke to individuals who are currently on the council and past councilors. I spoke to community members, friends, and family members. Bend is growing and there is diversity. I am here to be a diverse, informed voice on the council. I am here to listen to the community and make sure your voices are heard. ​​


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