Phoenix - A Sense of Place - 5:20
with Mayor Greg Stanton
Posted Dec 22, 2017
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.
Hosted by: Robert Traynham Produced by: National Newsmakers Team
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. "

Other videos hosted By Robert Traynham

Overburdened Renters

"Twenty-five million Americans pay more than half of their income to rent. A discussion with Ali Solis of Make Room on efforts to give a voice to America's working poor and work toward a collective solution to help our economy thrive. Interview recorded September 6, 2017.  Hosted by Robert Traynham. Read a partial transcript of this interview below: Traynham:   11.4 million households in America spend more than half of their income on rent and utilities. And as the nation's population continues to grow, so will the number of overburdened renters. Hello, everyone and welcome to ""Comcast Newsmakers."" I'm Robert Traynham. Joining me is Ali Solis, president and CEO of Make Room. Ali, welcome to the program. It's always good to see you. Let me start off by stating the obvious -- More and more Americans feel squeezed. They're working harder for less, in terms of what they bring home. As I mentioned a few moments ago, a lot of people -- too many people -- are spending half -- half of their income on utilities and rent. How can this be Solis: That's right. This is a growing crisis in America, where we have 25 million Americans, eight million children, two million seniors impacted by this crisis. And they are, you know, paying, as you mentioned, more than half of their income to rent. And this is a problem that's growing. By 2025, we expect that we'll have 15 million households. Traynham: 15 million Solis: 15 million households, and that's assuming that we can keep pace with rising rents and address -- Traynham: Utilities. Solis: Exactly -- rising rents and utilities. Traynham: So, here is the magic question. How can we -- How do we address this So we know what the problem is. And what's interesting about this dilemma, I find, is that it's not that people are not working. They're working. They're contributing to society. But if they can't keep ends -- They can't make ends meet, what's the solution Solis: Yeah. Most of these families are working, often, two and three jobs just to make rent affordable. And the problem is not just one that we're seeing in big urban centers, like San Francisco or New York, but it's affecting small towns, small communities. I was just in Erie, Pennsylvania, a place where people wouldn't think that there was an affordable rental crisis, or Detroit, Michigan. So this is a challenge that's impacting communities big and small. Traynham: You know, Ali, I want to hit pause there for a second, 'cause I think this is really important to stress what you just said. This is not just a New York, San Francisco, Miami, you know, major metropolitan city issue. To your point, Erie, Pennsylvania, some of the rural areas in this country are also being affected by this. Solis: That's correct. Traynham: So let's talk a little bit about Make Room, specifically what do you do, and how can you help address this problem Solis: So, Make Room is a national organization whose purpose is to un-hide this human suffering that's happening behind closed doors for all of these millions of Americans. We're trying to give voice to a population that isn't necessarily well represented. They are the working poor in America. And so we are sharing their stories, and we are asking overburdened renters all across the country to join us through our digital platform to be able to have regular conversations with their policymakers at the local and federal levels. Traynham: So, you mentioned sharing stories, and for the folks that are watching this at home, or, perhaps, maybe, on their smart device, if you have a story that you would like to share, Ali, how can they do that Solis: Well, we'd encourage you to go to and share your story. We provide incentives. We also provide information so that you can meet neighbors in other communities that are struggling with similar stories. And we also have policymakers engaged through the platform, as well, because it's important for them to understand what's happening in these communities.  "
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