“Bend is a very special place to live,” Abernethy said, “but it faces many challenges that will require thoughtful deliberation, creative partnerships, and the leadership to make some hard choices. From building more affordable housing to maintaining neighborhood livability, ensuring public safety and health, creating a robust business environment, maximizing the benefits of our 4-year university and community college, and helping to bridge the east-west divide (both real and perceived), these are all things that are important to Bend’s future – and they are all issues that are important to me.”
“My approach has always been to listen and to learn, and to recognize there are tradeoffs in any policy decision. I believe that difficult decisions often require compromise and may result in some level of disappointment on both sides of an issue. That is a tension with which I am comfortable as I firmly believe there is a middle ground here in Bend that is not being represented by the voices of the far right and the far left.”
Abernethy’s past civic experience includes serving on the Bend Park and Recreation District Board, the Bend-La Pine School Board, the Bend City Council for 8 years (Mayor 2007-2008) and currently on the Board of Central Oregon Community College. He also serves on a number of other boards/committees including Bend’s Community Center, Rotary Club of Greater Bend, and Deschutes Safe.
Professionally, Abernethy works for the Bend La Pine School District as its Grant Writer, a position he has held for 12 years. Abernethy earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Political Science from Swarthmore College (1985) and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University (1989).