As a fourth generation Tucsonan, owner of a family business that was established 104 years ago and a caring citizen, I thought I would take this time to write each of you a personal request for a much-needed cause for action.
First, to be transparent, I am a registered Republican. I don’t live in the City, but I did for almost half my life. I have three businesses that are in the City and partners in a fourth. I’m not addressing this letter to advocate for my party’s candidates, as I have voted in the past for Democrats. It is my position to vote for the best qualified candidate for the job. Thus, the reach out to express my concern and importance of tomorrow’s election and a change in leadership…. not based on party, but on results.
I think that most of you would agree that Tucson is facing difficult challenges and that the City is simply not living up to the expectations that one would expect or what we were once accustomed to. We have a very important election coming up tomorrow, yet this election seems to not acquire a lot of candidate interest either by design or simple lack of attention. That should not be the case, however, as I feel this election may be one of the most important City elections in generations. This is so, since our City can either continue to be managed by the same poor leadership that has continually produced disastrous results or we can elect new leadership with a different mindset and change of direction….all for the better.
Consider the following regarding Tucson under the current administration of our City Council members:
- The City of Tucson is the 5th poorest City in the US and has a poverty rate of 74% higher than the national average.
- Ranks 92 out of 100 cities as the worst City in the US for small business.
- Ranked the 2nd least recession-recovered City in the country to recover from the recent recession.
- #1 City in Arizona for violent crimes as reported by the FBI.
- Employment and Earnings ranks 145 out of 150 in the US and 147 for economic environment.
- #1 worst City to find a job according to Forbes magazine.
- Ranks 131 out of 150 in the US as “neediest.”
- Ranked 5th for worst roads in the US.
- Ranked 62 out of 64 large Cities for “growth” (population, income, small business, etc..).
In addition, no one still knows where the $230 million went for Rio Nuevo, but the Arizona State Legislature had enough in 2010 and took control away from the Tucson City Council. They botched the Grand Canyon University move. They mishandled the Downtown homeless situation for months even during the City’s biggest convention, the Gem and Mineral Show, in which we are supposedly “showcasing” our downtown. The slow response to the support of the F-35 for Davis Monthan, in which our base is in jeopardy of a BRAC cut was baffling. This possible base closure would deliver devastating consequences to our economy that would affect each and every one of us. The City’s pension plan problems, which could bankrupt the City, may arguably be the biggest issue they are facing, yet it appears they are basically doing nothing to deal with it. I could go on, like the Broadway widening debacle, but you get my point. As citizens for our community we should be appalled and outraged.
Contrast this to where we were in the mid 80’s when Tucson was on everyone’s top ten list. Top 10 for fastest growing cities in the US, top 10 best place to do business, top 10 best tech city, top 10 best place to live. Our roads were better, less weeds on our streets and our community didn’t look as worn down. We had a feeling in the air that we were really up and coming and that all was good. We were competitive with Austin and top-tier companies were relocating here…now we aren’t even on the radar screen. We were the headquarters to all of the Arts. We had all the top current major music concerts coming to town, spring baseball training, AAA baseball, women and men’s pro golf tournaments, professional tennis (including Davis Cup), pro bowling and more 5-star restaurants than any city in the Southwest. However, that changed with the real estate downturn in 1987 and a pivotal election of a new Mayor and City Council together with their view of how Tucson should look going forward. I would say that has not panned out so well for us and, sadly, all of the above has faded away except for a new senior pro golf tournament and the rodeo. Yet, it demonstrates how City governance can affect a community for better or worse and why we need a change NOW. If any one of us employed managers that produced results like this, we would fire them. It is simply mind numbing how our community has degraded in so many ways.
Thus, I’m reaching out asking for your vote. You, your friends and family can make a difference in this year’s City election. We can turn our economy around so everyone can earn more, have jobs for their children here in Tucson when they graduate and travel better/safer roads. This race is not about Democrats and Republicans, but about a change of leadership and direction for our community for the better.
This election is expected to have a low voter turnout. We can make a difference! It is time that we demonstrate and exercise our VOICE for the betterment of our community and workforce. I urge you to please vote supporting the Republican candidates for City Council and the current Democrat Mayor Jonathan Rothschild and a Yes vote for propositions 403 and 404. Let’s change the direction of our beloved City and VOTE for change tomorrow!
Thank you for your consideration.