Abbarno said he is not afraid to reach across the political aisle or city border to work on solutions to our community issues. “I think we need to take a regional approach to how we solve problems,” Abbarno said. “I don’t just want our city to get better. I want our whole region to get better.”
When Peter Abbarno was a new college graduate, his father asked him to move home to Buffalo, New York, to begin his career.
He recalls he said no because he didn’t feel there were any opportunities for him there.
It’s not a conversation Abbarno wants repeated by the next generation of his family. “I don’t want my daughter or son to look me in the eye and say ‘there’s nothing here for me,’” Abbarno said. “That’s what drives me every day. You’re either part of the solution or part of the problem, and I choose to be part of the solution.”
Attorney, Centralia city councilor, current radio host and community activist, Abbarno’s path to where he is today started in his hometown of Buffalo, New York. His sister and parents still live in Buffalo, where Abbarno recalls a youth filled with blue collar jobs, such as delivering newspapers and working for the local butcher shop. . .
He said he is not afraid to reach across the city border to Chehalis and feels more could be accomplished if rivalries were dropped. For instance, he suggested Centralia and Chehalis could purchase a road paver together and share the piece of equipment, as well as the expense of buying it.
“I think we need to take a regional approach to how we solve problems,” Abbarno said. “I don’t just want our city to get better. I want our whole region to get better.”
Among the issues that interest Abbarno most are homelessness (and the greater issues surrounding that such as addiction and mental health), education and flooding. These and many other issues all fit together into the larger subject of creating a community that is able to attract and keep businesses, Abbarno noted.
“I believe government does not create jobs. Government creates an environment where jobs can grow and flourish,” Abbarno said. “If we start looking at budgets as investments, what are we investing in and what do we expect as a return?”
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