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 the Special Olympics celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018, we take a look back at the early days, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver created a backyard summer camp for people with intellectual disabilities. Today, there are 4.9 million Special Olympics athletes from more than 172 countries.
The LGBTQ fight for equal rights became organized in 1969, after the riots at New York City's Stonewall Inn. LGBTQ civil rights activist and author Mark Segal has been involved in the movement from its beginning. Mark joins Robert Traynham for a candid and intimate discussion about his life, his role in the fight for equality, and the state of LGBTQ rights across America and around the globe. Mark is the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News. Interview recorded on May 17, 2017.
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.
Indian Americans, long underrepresented in elected office, hit a key milestone in the 2016 Congressional election, gaining three seats in the House of Representatives and one in the Senate. With a total of five Indian Americans elected to Congress, parity has been achieved between the Indian American population and Congressional representation. Progress continued in the 2017 elections, with twenty-five Indian American candidates who were elected to various political offices across the country. Gautam Raghavan, Executive Director of the Indian American Impact Project joins Comcast Newsmakers to discuss the increase in ranks of Indian American representation.
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.
In 2016, there were approximately 27.3 million eligible Latino voters. However, less than half exercised their right to vote in the 2016 Presidential election.
Abigail Golden-Vazquez, Executive Director of the Latinos and Society Program at the Aspen Institute discusses the issues and efforts to boost Latino civic participation. This discussion continues in part 2 of Latinos and Civic Participation.
Interview recorded Sept 6, 2017.
Kansas state legislators put their ideologies to the side and worked together to stabilize the Kansas Budget. Kansas State Senator Jim Denning, Majority Leader of the Kansas State Senate discusses the successful bipartisan effort.
Interview recorded November 30, 2017.