Questions for Congressional District 7 candidates

Some questions for candidates running for Arizona’s Congressional District 7 seat.

[editor’s note: All this week on, 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.]

elex2014questionsWe’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:

  1. 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?
  2. How will you help cities humanely address immigration?
  3. 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?
  4. The Arizona Department of Transportation is in discussion to build intercity passenger rail between Phoenix and Tucson.  What is your view on this project and does your support include making Federal financial support happen?
  5. What is your view on expansions to the Phoenix metropolitan area’s transit system, including METRO light rail?
  6. How will you work with your fellow Arizona congressional colleagues to continue to bring Federal financial support for large-scale infrastructure improvements to our constituency?
  7. What is your approach to governance?  Do you intend to remain ideologically rigid or will you seek compromise and consensus?
  8. What is the last book you have read on cities or urban issues?

I invite you to ask your own questions below and I invite the candidates to respond to these questions.

Here are all of the candidates running per the Arizona Secretary of State’s candidates list:

In Conversation with Phoenix City Council Candidates

Downtown Voices Coalition is hosting a series of one-on-one online conversations with the four remaining candidates for Phoenix City Council.

Downtown Voices Coalition, downtown Phoenix’s only grassroots stakeholder group that champions issues of urban excellence, like small and locally owned business, historic preservation, sustainability in a broader perspective, and good government, is hosting a series of one-on-one online conversations with the four remaining candidates for Phoenix City Council. The four candidates will be in conversation with our Edward Jensen, our group’s Secretary as well as an ardent observer in Phoenix politics and governance.

Leading off the conversations will be Laura Pastor, a program director at South Mountain Community College and the daughter of U.S. Congressman Ed Pastor, on Friday, October 4, from 7:00-8:00pm. Justin Johnson, running against Pastor for the District 4 seat, will be in conversation with Jensen on Monday, October 7, also from 7:00-8:00pm. Johnson is a real estate developer and the son of former Phoenix mayor Paul Johnson. Conversations with Kate Gallego and Warren Stewart are being scheduled for the week of October 7.

The conversations will be hosted on DVC’s Google+ page  as a Google+ Hangout On Air, an innovative platform to allow many observers from Phoenix to watch and participate in the conversation. Twitter users can send in their questions and comments using the hashtag #DVC4 and #DVC8 (depending on the district represented). Participants who do not have Google+ can watch on DVC’s YouTube channel, The conversation will then be available on the DVC YouTube channel for watching after the live event has concluded.

“I am pleased to be hosting these one-on-one conversations,” said Jensen. “This is a unique, first-of-its-kind way to engage with the candidates and the questions that will be asked are not the conventional questions asked in debates and fora. It gives the candidates an opportunity to envision that they are in their respective City Council seat and working to accomplish their agenda.”

The questions are focused around the central theme of governance and how the candidates plan to accomplish their policy proposals while they are in office.  The four subthemes are “City Hall and the Next City Manager,” “Governance and Intergovernmental Relations,” “Downtown / Urban Phoenix and Urban Living Infrastructure,” and “Sustainability and the Environment in a Broader Context.” The one-on-one conversation format will allow Jensen to pursue different lines of questioning based on the answers given, allowing for tremendous flexibility. About 15-20 minutes at the end will be reserved for audience questions.

Downtown Voices Coalition is a coalition of stakeholder organizations that embrace growth in downtown Phoenix, but is mindful that healthy growth should be based upon existing downtown resources — the vibrancy of neighborhoods, the strength of the arts community, the uniqueness of historic properties, and the wonderful small businesses that dot downtown. For more information, visit