One of Tempe’s greatest strengths lies in the resilience of the diverse people that call Tempe home. While we come from different backgrounds, income levels, and unique communities, our striving together for economic justice is at the foundation of what makes our city a home for progress and opportunity unlike any other in Arizona. We enjoy an accessible city with economic and cultural diversity that enriches our neighborhoods and makes Tempe a place that innovative businesses see as a home for all of their employees.
We have a lot to be proud of, but we face imminent risk of losing much of what makes our city great when our elected officials are not vigilant and when we fail to act to preserve and advance the hard-won progress at the core of our city’s character. We must demand more of our city council than belief in economic justice. Our elected officials must demonstrate that commitment though direct action.
When the state legislature interferes in our efforts to protect affordable housing in our city, passive acceptance is not an option. When cost of living demands higher wages, our city must protect the interests of workers by taking action to promote a living wage. When our state fails to protect the most vulnerable from bullying in our schools and discrimination in the workplace, Tempe must lead and become an example for Arizona to follow.
This is our opportunity. Resilient communities made our city what it is today. It’s this drive to innovate, build empowered communities, stand with our most vulnerable neighbors, and fight for justice that defines Tempe and my campaign for city council. While the multigenerational families that built this city are being displaced and small business owners and renters are being threatened by skyrocketing rents, we are investing in misguided tax-breaks for developments that do not serve the people who live here today. Residents in Don Carlos and Maple-Ash-Farmer-Wilson, our neighbors fighting for a better life, our LGBTQ neighbors, and aspiring citizens all have an inherent right to the city. While change and development are realities that any land-locked city faces, that change must be guided by justice oriented policy. Our city council can not simply say it is dedicated to progress and economic justice, it must live by those values and act to guarantee that growth benefits all of us, not just a privileged few. This is an opportunity we must fight for together.