Tucson is a city full of people with ideas. Big ideas. Small ideas. New ideas. Old ideas re-imagined. Tucson is a great place to live, and by unleashing the power of our ideas, we can make it even better. We can break out of old debates between business and neighborhoods or between left and right by listening to each other, working together, and applying creative problem-solving to our challenges.
There are 25 weeks left before the August Primary election. Every Wednesday I will share an idea for how to make government work better. Twenty-five weeks. Twenty-five ideas.
I believe that we all rise together. We can help Tucson prosper and we can make sure that all members of our community share in our prosperity, whether they have been here for generations or just arrived yesterday.
I am running for Mayor to continue the successes we have seen under Mayor Rothschild, and to grow our economy even further. If we do it right, we can end cycles of homelessness, poverty, illiteracy, illness and prejudice. The strength of our community depends on the strength of our individual residents and our willingness to use our diversity to cement our unity as we create a greater Tucson together.
Idea Number One:
Renovate Aging Houses Through Job TrainingBenefits:
- Lower utility bills for seniors
- Help seniors stay in their homes
- Save energy and mitigate climate change
- Provide paths out of poverty
- Train new workers
As Mayor I will be convener-in-chief — bringing people and organizations and resources together to solve community problems. In large swaths of the central city, eastside, and southside, Tucson has aging homes that are reaching the end of their lifespan and in need of repair. Construction workers are in short supply. I propose working with Pima Community College, building trades unions, builders, and JTED programs to create a new job-training program. Apprentices will learn their skills by fixing up the homes of people who can’t afford the repairs otherwise, especially seniors living on their own. As part of this program, solar hot water heaters and increased insulation can reduce utility bills and usage of fossil fuels that emit carbons. We can help alleviate poverty, keep seniors independently living in their own homes, give young people training for a great high-paying career, mitigate climate change, and solve a job shortage in a vital industry.
Idea Number Two:
power sun tran with the sunBenefits:
- Reduce fossil fuel use and mitigate climate change
- Reduce maintenance & fuel costs
- Quieter, cleaner buses
- Demonstrate our commitment to clean energy
- Create new high-wage jobs
Electric buses are now able to run for more than a thousand miles on one battery charge, and their cost is now not much more than a CNG or diesel bus. Electric engines have fewer moving parts and cost much less to maintain, meaning those small upfront costs turn into significant savings over time. The buses are quieter and cleaner for riders and the neighborhoods through which they pass. Since transportation is the largest emitter of carbons, we can make an outsized impact on mitigating climate change by powering Sun Tran with the sun: Contract for enough solar power to run the entire system, once we have swapped out for electric buses. And this sends a clear message to the growing number of forward-thinking employers who demand a community commitment to fighting climate change from cities where they will move and expand, creating new high-wage jobs. There are so many wins here, it’s hard to keep track of them all.