Meet Ariel

My name is Ariel Méndez and I’m running for Bend City Council Position #5. The election is November 8, 2022. Check your voter registration here.
I was elected to the Bend Park and Recreation District board in 2019 with the endorsement of the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. While on the Parks board, I have prioritized expanding Bend’s urban trails and ensuring that our parks and facilities are kept in good condition and are accessible to all.
My wife Suzanne and I enjoy riding bikes, hiking, and floating the river with our three growing children. I have served as board president of Bend Bikes, as a member of Bend’s Citywide Transportation Advisory Committee, and I regularly volunteer as a youth sports coach. I have a PhD in political science from Stanford University and teach at OSU-Cascades.

Affordable Housing

Many people are struggling to afford a home in Bend and it’s affecting all of us. Employers struggle to recruit and keep talent because people can’t afford to live here. If you have a job in Bend, you should be able to live in Bend. Building a variety of housing types at different price points is the best way to address Bend’s affordability problem.

Safe Transportation

Bend’s biggest potential lies in transportation. We are building a lot of housing, but it’s not going to do much good if people can’t afford to get around. Let’s make Bend more walkable and bikeable! We should continue to expand the urban trail system, build safe crossings, and build the Bend Bikeway, Bend’s first separated and protected citywide bike network.

Land Use

Everyone deserves to live within an easy walk of a park or a trailhead. I support this goal as a board member of the Bend Park and Recreation District and I want to expand on it as a city councilor. Let’s keep our short commutes to things like schools, jobs, and shopping close by.


Camping in the street, in parks, or near schools is not a solution to homelessness. We should follow the research that says homelessness is a housing problem. Building more homes will help with that in the longer term. In the short term, we should keep building shelter space.

Quality of Life

We need to preserve Bend’s best as we grow, including access to nature, trees, and other amenities. If a city works for kids, chances are it’s going to work for everyone, including older adults, people with disabilities (I myself am hearing impaired), and communities that have been historically left out.

Contact me