“Progressive” is a word that gets thrown around a lot with very little explanation of what the word means. Presidents Teddy and an Franklin Roosevelt were both progressives, but you’d be unlikely to glean that from how Republicans and Democrats each talk about their favorite Roosevelt. Progressivism, put simply, is the idea that advancing science, technology, economic development, and social development are fundamental to improving the human condition. Progressives, like Republican Teddy Roosevelt and Democrat Franklin Roosevelt, believed that progress was not only achievable, but that government could be a vehicle through which the social change needed for progress could be cultivated. My campaign’s core value of progress takes that one step further: Progress is not only achievable, but the act of advancing the human condition is worthy of pursuing for its own sake. Progress is morally justified because a society that dedicates itself to progress is committed to the wellbeing of all, not only a privileged few.
“A great democracy must be progressive or it will soon cease to be a great democracy.”
– President Theodore Roosevelt
Progress today means we believe that the social ills of poverty, greed, racism, classism, and violence, can be addressed through access to a good education, safe communities, fair labor practices, and protection of the most vulnerable from uncertainty and financial insecurity. Progress means we are not afraid to innovate, that innovative ideas are worth our consideration and are a necessary part our mission to guarantee that our least privileged neighbors have the tools they need to find their own opportunity. Progress means that we recognize the social and economic benefits of placing our common humanity at the forefront of our political priorities.
Tempe is, and has long been, a leader for progress in Arizona. As an early adopter of public transit, an advocate for sustainability, and an exemplar of the benefits of economic and cultural diversity, it’s clear that our neighbors and fellow residents are not shy about being different and acting to ensure Tempe promotes a high standard of living for all. It should come as no surprise that Tempe is one of only three cities in Arizona to receive a perfect score for LGBTQ equality from the Human Rights Campaign.
Being dedicated to progress means defending the accomplishments of the past, but it also requires build upon that success. Our housing crisis, transit accessibility, rising cost of living, the displacement of multigenerational communities of color, and uncontrolled gentrification threaten all we have achieved. I am dedicated to progress and that means I am dedicated to direct action. Our city council must be a vehicle for positive change, and as a city council member, the progress our city demands will be at the center of the policy change our campaign is fighting for.