Steve is a 56-year-old small-business owner who has lived in Tucson since 1995. He is father to Amelia, 24, and Genevieve, 19, and he’s engaged to Kitt Leonard, an Arizona native who works in IT at Tucson Medical Center and has five children and four grandchildren.
Steve got involved in public service because he loves Tucson and is concerned about the challenges facing our families and communities. The child of public school teachers, he is a big believer in public education. Representing Tucson in Arizona’s legislature, Steve fought to increase teacher pay and reduce class sizes. He’s focused on growing good-paying jobs, spurring economic development, improving public safety, and bringing world-class transportation choices to Arizona.
Steve is one of Arizona’s most successful leaders in pushing to improve public transportation. He was instrumental in gaining approval for the comprehensive regional transportation system (RTA), which has created thousands of jobs, made widespread improvements to our roads, buses, bikeways and sidewalks, and installed Tucson’s Modern Streetcar rail line— all in the middle of the worst recession Arizona has seen. The Streetcar alone has spurred more than a billion dollars in private construction projects within three blocks of its route, and is a big piece of the rebirth of Tucson’s downtown.
Steve graduated from Williams College in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He has worked to protect Tucson in the Arizona Legislature for 12 years – elected by voters for three terms in the House and three in the Senate, and elected Assistant Minority Leader by Democrats in both House and Senate. He has served on the Finance, Joint Legislative Budget, and Appropriations committees where he oversaw the $10 billion state budget.
Steve worked across the aisle to expand Medicaid healthcare to 400,000 Arizonans, and successfully leveraged the power wielded by the RedforEd teachers movement to help approve more than $415 million in new funds for K-12 public education in this year.
Steve is also a well-known artist and graphic designer who invented a new way of converting photographs to glazed ceramic tile to create Tucson’s historic Broadway Underpass murals, those black-and-white larger-than-life street photos just east of Downtown that capture the diversity that gives our community strength. He has since completed numerous mural projects around the U.S. He has run his own public art and graphic design business since 1991.