I am proud to do this work alongside our students, families, community members, and organizations.
The Bend Bulletin
The Source Weekly
Bend Education Association
Oregon Education Association, Political Action Committee
Central Oregon Labor Chapter, AFL-CIO
Cascade Uniserv Council
Stand for Children
Mayor Melanie Kebler, City of Bend
Mayor Pro Tem Megan Perkins, City of Bend
Representative Emerson Levy, Oregon House District 53
Representative Jason Kropf, Oregon House District 54
Phil Chang, Deschutes County Commissioner
Debra Schoen, Board Chair, Bend Parks and Recreation District
Deren Ash, Board Member, La Pine Park and Recreation District
During my initial campaign, here is what some organizations had to say.
The Bend Bulletin
"Melissa (Barnes) Dholakia offers qualifications and qualities that cannot be matched by her opponents...It’s Dholakia’s stronger vision for the Bend-La Pine district that makes her the standout candidate...She can help the district transition to one that makes all students feel welcome and well served."
The Vocal Seniority
"We were impressed with Melissa’s credentials and experience. But it was our interview with her that made it abundantly clear: Melissa is rock solid, and will be a stellar addition to the Bend-La Pine School Board."
The Late Steve Barham
"(Melissa's) focus has been on school models that connect the classroom to the world, building career connections for students starting in Kindergarten and continuing through graduation. Notably, she has done this work in some of the most underserved communities in our nation and changed the trajectory for these students and families."
Executive Director, Cascade School of Music
"Melissa joined our Board in 2014, serving as President for four years in which she took the school through significant growth and transition: our school enrollment and revenue over doubled in size, our community outreach and tuition assistance programs significantly expanded, we moved to a new home, and we transitioned leadership when our incredible founder of 15 years stepped down. Melissa brought her deep leadership and board experience to bear for our school through each of these steps and works tirelessly to ensure we meet our mission of enriching our community by providing exceptional music education and experiences for ALL Central Oregonians.