We hear a lot about borders. Or the economy. But something that’s forgotten in the conversations for these elections is that Arizona is largely urban. (OK, suburban.) 2/3 of Arizona’s population lives in the Phoenix metropolitan area. If you include Tucson, that’s 4/5 of the statewide population. We are a state of cities. What is the role of state government in advancing Arizona’s cities?
Eleven candidates are seeking to succeed Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. The list, along with campaign websites and Twitter names, is at the bottom of this post.
I invite readers to submit their own questions in the comments and I also invite the gubernatorial candidates to reply with their answers.
What is the role of the Governor’s Office and state government in making Arizona’s cities competitive in the 21st century global marketplace?
What is the role of the Governor’s Office and state government in making vibrant, diverse, and strong urban environments?
How will you help strengthen Arizona’s state universities and community colleges to help educate the next generation of citizens, workers, and leaders?
We are all too quick to criticize our public schools. What is working in our public schools? How will you build on these successes to improve our schools, especially in our central cities?
The Phoenix metropolitan area is plagued by frequent air quality problems. What are your plans to help Phoenix improve its air quality?
How will you work with Arizona’s congressional delegation to continue to bring back Arizona’s share of Federal funds for infrastructure improvements and other projects?
Arizona has been in the harsh national and international spotlight in the past few years for passing divisive and discriminatory legislation, like SB 1070 in 2010 and, most recently, SB 1062. How will you work with your legislative colleagues to ensure that damaging and divisive legislation is not passed?
Formed in 2010, the Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) consolidated statewide economic development mechanisms into a public-private body. Evaluate the ACA. If its mission or work should be changed, what changes would you make?
The State of Arizona has two metropolitan areas with emerging urban areas: Phoenix and Tucson. Urban areas thrive on continuous creation, diversity, density, and governments that understand the uniqueness of the urban condition. In the past four years, Arizona’s cities have been under attack from state-level legislation that undid the energy of those cities: starting with 2010’s SB 1070 and, most recently, 2014’s SB 1062.
In Phoenix, these questions apply for candidates running for Legislative Districts 24, 26, and 27; in Tucson, this applies to Legislative District 3.
In your opinion, what is the role of the state government in creating vibrant, strong, and diverse urban spaces, like downtown Phoenix or downtown Tucson? How will you work with cities, the State of Arizona, and your partners in the Federal government to achieve your vision?
One of the statewide offices up for grabs is the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. The office is filled by John Huppenthal, whose recent online activities have landed him in a bit of hot water.
Schools in central cities are a big deal. Many parents feel they have to make a decision between living in an urban environment and all of its inherent conveniences or live in the suburbs with good schools for their children. This isn’t a uniquely Phoenix or Arizona thing; this is a nationwide story. If we want Phoenix to have a vibrant, dense, and family-friendly urban core, it will need to have quality public education opportunities.
Here are my questions:
Many parents have to make the choice between living in urban cores with inner-city schools or in the suburbs with high quality schools. Do you (a) agree with their premise and (b) if so, how will you work to achieve parity so these central-city schools are of the same high quality as their suburban counterparts?
In his book Triumph of the City (the book club selection for The Downtown Phoenix Podcast‘s THE URBAN BOOK CLUB…but I digress), the urban economist Dr Edward Glaeser comments: “If America imitated the best aspect of European socialism and invested enough in public schools so that they were all good, then there would be little reason for the rich to leave cities to get better schooling. If America allowed vouchers or charter schools that would foster more competition in urban school districts, then their quality would rise and might even become a draw for prosperous parents.” In other words, Dr. Glaeser posits that urban schools should be fully funded and completely public (the “socialist left,” as he says) or completely private (“free-market right”). Which solution agrees with your policy proposals and how will you work with the State Legislature, school districts, teachers’ groups, parents, and all stakeholders to realize your proposals?
Here are the candidates running and their website information:
Some questions for candidates running for Arizona’s Congressional District 7 seat.
[editor’s note: All this week on edwardjensen.net, we are bringing you some questions for the various candidates for statewide office that aren’t necessarily being offered by the candidates themselves nor are they being asked. This is the first post in the series. As of Sunday evening, August 3, none of the candidates had responded to the questions. In addition, this post has been updated with a new graphic and a list of the candidates running for the Arizona Congressional District 7 seat.]
We’ve all seen the mailers, received telephone calls, and heard the campaign commercials: it’s political campaign season once again. But something’s missing from the discussion: policy proposals for the geographic area that is Congressional District 7 in the great State of Arizona. It’s easily forgotten by candidates and their cheerleaders that the representative does just that: represent the entire constituency, not just those who supported them.
Congressional District 7 includes central Phoenix, downtown Glendale, the city of Tolleson and the town of Guadalupe in toto, and (most importantly) downtown Phoenix. With that, here are some questions I’d like to ask the candidates:
In your opinion, what is the role of the Federal government in creating vibrant, strong, and diverse urban spaces, like downtown Phoenix? How will you work with cities to achieve your vision?
How will you help cities humanely address immigration?
A study came out in the past couple months saying that at the end of this century, the average summer temperature will rise 10º F (5.6º C). What are your policy proposals and how will you work past those who incorrectly deny climate change to address the climate crisis?