Too often, political commentators try and separate social issues from economic issues, as if taxes, property values, and wages do not impact an individual’s life and livelihood. For the thousands of Tempeans who call this city home, social and economic issues are one and the same:
- Access to affordable birth control has a drastic effect on a woman’s personal finances;
- The benefits from marriage and equality under the law impact a couple’s ability to afford a home, raise a child, and guarantee end-of-life financial security for their partners;
- The gentrification of low-income neighborhoods, which cities like Tempe are fighting, is without a doubt tied to question of property values and wages,
Among the powers the Tempe City Council possesses is the levying taxes, regulation of the rates of public utilities, and leasing property within the city. This provides a number of opportunities for myself as a future city councilman to have an eye to economic justice for the people of Tempe. For example, fines are no small issue in Tempe, and they way we levy and collect them affects our community in unexpected ways. Issues like these make up the day-to-day administrative duties of the city council, and as an elected official it will be my duty to propose, pass, and adjust policies that protect those of us who are most disadvantaged while creating opportunity for those who need it most. My time on the Tempe Elementary School District Board has more than prepared me to make these decisions.