In less than a month, voters will get to choose the next Colorado Springs City Council members.
A former child TV star known for her role on “Different Strokes,” Melanie Bernhardt is seeking a seat in City Council District 6 because she wants to be a voice for those who feel voiceless.
“I want to hear,” she said. “I want to hear those votes. I want to hear from that person that says I don’t count. Well yeah you do. I’ll be at the local coffee shop and you can come tell me what you want.”
At the top of her list is resolving the city’s stormwater issue. Bernhardt said if elected, she’d like to find a way to get the project done without costing taxpayers.
“I’m going to work out of the box to try and find a way not to gouge the taxpayers for all this and try to find ways to subsidize the paying for this project, but either way it’s got to get done,” she said.
Bernhardt was forced to retire early due to her disability. She has osteogenesis imperfecta, often referred to as brittle bone disease, but she believes that gives her an edge.
“Because everything I do has to be adapted, then I think that anytime I’m given any kind of a challenge, I’m going to make an attempt to adapt it, to make it work,” Bernhardt said.
With no political experience and as the only woman running in her district, Bernhardt acknowledges the odds aren’t stacked in her favor, but she’s hoping the voters will at least give her a chance.
“I want to make the city a better place, so I believe in this, and if I didn’t I wouldn’t be talking to you right now,” she said.