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. "
The Asian American Pacific Islander community makes up six percent of the U.S. population, but is growing more than four times as rapidly as the total U.S. population. Asians are the largest group of immigrants to enter the U.S. as immigrants. A conversation with Janelle Wong, Senior Researcher at AAPI Data about the fastest-growing but one of the understudied racial groups in the United States.
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted this summer in Seattle, with more than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing 50 states and the District of Columbia. Jason Schriml of the Special Olympics USA Games discussed the impact the games and this organization that highlights athletes with intellectual disabilities through highly competitive sports, uplifting experiences, and demonstrating inclusion for all.
Preparations are underway for the 2020 United States Census. A fair and accurate count of all communities is of major importance, as data gathered is used to determine federal funding, congressional representation and more. For some populations, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the process can be of concern due to immigration status, language barriers and fear of providing personal information. John Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC joins Robert Traynham to discuss the importance of an accurate count, especially for the AAPI population in America.
Filipino Americans make up the third largest subgroup of Asian Americans today, with millennials comprising nearly a quarter of this population. And while there about 4 million Filipino and Filipino Americans living in the U.S today, this population is underrepresented in political and leadership roles. Brendan Flores, National Chairman of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations joins Robert Traynam to discuss the welfare and well-being of Filipino Americans and efforts to strengthen the personal and professional development of young Filipino Americans.
According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. Asian population increased 72 percent between 2000 and 2015, resulting in the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group. And as this population continues to grow, there remains a lack of involvement in politics and corporate leadership positions. Kendall Kosai, Deputy Director at OCA National discussed programs designed to help high school students explore their identity, and encourage them to become future community leaders.
Korean Americans, like many other Asian Americans, are recent immigrants to the United States, emigrating in large numbers after 1965. As first and second generation Americans, many still have close ties with their homeland, where family and friends still reside. A discussion with Sam Yoon, Executive Director of the Council of Korean Americans on the Korean American community, including their ties to both North and South Korea.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, nearly 90 Americans die each day after overdosing on opioids. Addiction to opioids has become a serious public health issue in the U.S., creating an economic burden of more than $75.8 billion each year. Rep. Alex Mooney (R-West Virginia) joins Robert Traynham to discuss the PROP Act (Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing Act). The discussion continues in part 2 of Combatting Opioid Abuse.
Interview recorded September 6, 2017.
Young people reap many benefits from mentoring, including higher graduation rates, improved self-esteem and improved interpersonal skills. A discussion with Elizabeth Santiago, Chief Program Officer of Mentor The National Mentoring Partnership, about how traditional and more informal types of mentoring can help youth thrive.
The population of young, eligible voters outnumbers the population of senior voters, according to US News and World Report. And while young people have the power to shape election, first-time voters have a notoriously low turnout on Election Day. The discussion continues in part 2 of Civic Engagement and the First-time Voter.
A discussion with David Thornburgh, President and CEO of the Committee of Seventy.
Interview recorded June 14, 2017.
Twenty percent of young people ages thirteen to eighteen have a mental health condition. And while mental illness is pervasive in our society, the stigma that surrounds it discourages people from seeking help.
Karen Gerndt of the National Alliance on Mental Illness discusses initiatives intended to educate and start conversations between students, within families, with teachers and others. See more in part 2 of Ending the Silence About Mental Illness.
Interview recorded June 14, 2017.