Since the recession, there was a shift in Phoenix, Arizona's economy. What was once an economy that was reliant on real estate development, is now one that is innovation-based. Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix, Arizona discusses how the city's successful investments have led to an even better economy and community.
Interview recorded November 30, 2017.
Traynham: Creating a true sense of place, a destination to live, work, and learn. A goal of many of our nation's cities, and the city of Phoenix is no exception. Hello and welcome to "Comcast Newsmakers." I'm Robert Traynham. Joining me is Mayor Greg Stanton of Phoenix, Arizona. Mayor Stanton is one of the 2017 Governing magazine Public Official of the Year honorees. Mayor Stanton, welcome to the program. Stanton: Thank you so much.
Traynham: And congratulations for your nomination there. Really appreciate that.
Stanton: Thank you so much.
Traynham: So let's talk about Phoenix, Arizona. I have a stereotype, and that is of beautiful, beautiful landscape, pretty warm, but a one-company town in the context of older citizens, perhaps maybe real estate drives the economy there. Why am I wrong
Stanton: That's the old model of Phoenix. You were probably right as a stereotype for 15, 20 years ago, but now it's very different. When I became mayor, we knew we had to change that perception, change the reality, build an economy, not one based on real estate, but rooted in innovation and building an export-based economy. Let's grow up as a city. We are the fastest-growing big city in the United States of America, and yet we had the highest wage growth of any big city in America. That's a rare combination. We did it by investing in higher education as a city, investing in biosciences, investing in healthcare and medical education. We had to reinvent a relation with Mexico, because trade with Mexico supports hundreds of thousands of jobs in Arizona. We had harmed that relationship. Now we're going in the right direction, investing in transportation, and saying that people matter and making pro-people policies, like supporting our LGBT community or supporting our refugee community or passing an ordinance that requires equal pay for equal work, because I'm a big believer that being pro-people is pro-business. You put it all in a package, Phoenix has a very positive trajectory.
Traynham: Mayor Stanton, it sounds like you're describing a Phoenix renaissance -- my words, not yours. Let's drill down for a few moments about infrastructure. What have you done specifically, in terms of the roads and bridges and so forth, that perhaps maybe creates this type of a renaissance that you're referring to
Stanton: No city in the country has transformed itself more in a positive way than Phoenix over the last decade. And in 2015, we took it big time. We put a major transportation infrastructure investment plan on the ballot, a $32 billion plan, and the citizens of Phoenix overwhelmingly said yes. By the way, I put it on the same ballot as my own reelection, so I put my own name and reputation on the line. We're tripling the amount of light rail -- 60 miles of light rail, a massive increase in bus service. We're having 1,000 miles of bike lanes. Phoenix, Arizona, is gonna become a great, bikeable city, if you can believe that, be a more walkable city, improved dial-a-ride services, so people who need mobility independence can have more independence. And we're doing road infrastructure, billions of dollars of road infrastructure. Transportation, education, good economic development, good urban development all go hand in hand, and Phoenix, Arizona, is Exhibit "A" on a successful investment in transportation. "
As part of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act, the Small Business Administration is studying how the practice of Multiple Award Contracts impacts the ability of women-owned and other socio-economic categories of small businesses to compete for government work. Jane Campbell, President of Women Impacting Public Policy discusses the SBA study, which is in response to a WIPP report regarding women owned businesses and government contracts.
The United States Census Bureau provides data about the nation’s people and economy. While that data is used by our government for planning and redistricting purposes, there are private sector applications as well – especially for businesses. DeVere Kutscher, Principal with Public Private Strategies discusses the importance of census accuracy and its effect on businesses making informed decisions.
In September 2017, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos rolled back guidance under Title IX regarding standards for colleges to prevent, respond to and investigate incidents of sexual assault on campus. The Department of Education has issued interim guidance, pending a public notice and comment period. Jenn Brown, of The United State of Women, discusses the roll back and encourages public awareness of the upcoming notice and comment period to assure that all voices are heard.
Latino youth lag behind in STEM education, while Hispanics are at the fastest rate growing mobile technology users. A discussion with Amy Hinojosa, President and CEO of MANA, a national Latino Organization on efforts to bridge the STEM gap with young Latinas through programs that teach web design and coding using the tools that students are familiar with - mobile phones.
On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – the first comprehensive tax reform passed since 1986, under President Reagan. While charitable deductions have been preserved, some non-profit organizations are concerned about a potential drop-off in donations next year. An interview with Steve Taylor, Senior Vice President for Policy at United Way Worldwide.
There is a current trend toward incivility dominating public discourse in the United States. A grassroots campaign is working to reverse that trend, encouraging civility to improve collaboration, compromise and productivity in legislative bodies. Jody Thomas, Executive Director of the National Foundation for Women Legislators discusses efforts by NFWL and partnering organizations to encourage civil discourse for elected officials.
The 2015 National Urban League Equality Index highlights milestones in many areas including employment and education. But the report also shows that despite those gains, racial disparities still remain a part of everyday life in America. A discussion with Marc Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League.
Morial stated, "Black America remains in a recession and remains in crisis when it comes to jobs and the economy."
Visit the National Urban League on the web at www.NUL.IAmEmpowered.org or www.Facebook.com/National.Urban.League or follow at www.Twitter.com/NatUrbanLeague. Follow Marc Morial at www.Twitter.com/MarcMorial.
America's political landscape continues to change. With the Asian American and Pacific Islander community expected to reach more than 20 million people by the end of this year, overcoming voting barriers is critical for this population. With Christine Chen, Executive Director of the Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) Vote.
In discussing voting barriers, Chen stated, "As we're celebrating the 50th Anniversary... of the Voting Rights Act, we understand that piece of legislation also eventually allowed language assistance."
Visit Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote on the web at www.APIAVote.org or www.Facebook.com/APIAVote or follow at www.Twitter.com/APIAVote.
It's been 50 years since the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Spencer Overton, President of The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies discusses the state of the minority vote a half century later, and its impact on the future of race, politics and voting rights.
Overton commented, "Voting is more racially polarized now than it was back in the 1960's... in terms of party voting and then also if you look into local elections... race is the most significant factor."
Visit the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies at www.JointCenter.org or on Facebook or follow Spencer Overton on twitter www.twitter.com/SpencerOverton.
The United States is home to 5-percent of the world's population but makes up 25 percent of the world's prison population, and 60 percent of those prisoners are racial and ethnic minorities. Wade Henderson, President and C.E.O. of The Leadership Conference Education Fund discusses a joint effort to bring about Comprehensive Criminal Justice Reform.
According to Henderson, "The American Criminal Justice System is bloated, ineffective and badly in need of reform."
Visit the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights on the web at www.CivilRights.org or www.Facebook.com/CivilAndHumanRights or follow on twitter at www.Twitter.com/CivilRightsOrg.