My personal goals, after being elected to Tempe City Council, include three programs that will enhance the quality of life and economic prosperity of the City of Tempe and her citizens:
The Tempe Solar Project
I plan to encourage a solar initiative, involving both residential and commercial properties throughout the city. In my vision, all new residential and commercial structures erected within the city of Tempe’s boundaries will be required to be energy independent using renewable power sources. This requirement would be instituted as quickly as practicable.
My vision is to retrofit all existing structures with renewable energy sources so that all existing structures will, by 2030, be off the grid.
Non-solar renewable energy sources will be part of this plan to provide energy during the times when solar energy is not feasible. Hydrogen fuel cells, batteries, and other means will be explored. These goals will be accomplished by a variety of means; to include public/private partnerships, cooperation with our institutes of higher learning, and incentivizing local businesses to be a part of the solution.
This will create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs in the city. Any public/private partnership or cooperative venture with a local university or college will be required to hire qualified Tempe residents ahead of other applicants. Training will be part of the Tempe Solar Project.
Free Access to High-Speed Internet
I believe that free access to the internet, via high-speed, city-wide WIFI is as much a right as it is a privilege. WIFI needs to be treated as critical infrastructure for our citizens; no different than roads, bridges, or utilities. Countries and municipalities around the world have demonstrated a correlated increase in productivity and public well-being when providing free public WIFI. For a relatively low cost, the citizens of Tempe could have access to free high-speed WIFI service at their home, place of business, commercials areas, public spaces, and even on public transportation. This addition to the quality of our lives would increase our ability to educate our children, conduct business more efficiently, and generally improve the condition and the efficiency of our lives.
Homelessness and Homeless Veterans
Homelessness must be an issue that we do not turn away from because it is uncomfortable to think about. This is a problem that needs to be solved. We must make every effort to get as many of our 10,000 homeless people off the streets of Tempe as possible, and into programs that train them for jobs so they may become tax-paying, self-respecting citizens in their own right. This is especially important for our homeless veterans.
My own experiences during the time I lived in Seattle exposed me to a program that gave hope and opportunity to thousands of struggling homeless people. To find out more about this successful model, please visit this site: farestart.org. Training would also be available to our homeless residents to take part in the Tempe Solar Project.
Critical to the success of this idea, would be reaching out to, and forming partnerships with, mental health networks, housing agencies, mobile phone providers, veterans groups, and mentorship from private and public sources. Reducing the homeless population through sustainable means is not only the morally correct thing to do, but it is also the fiscally responsible thing to do.
Tempe spends approx 18 million annually on human services. This includes homeless services.
These three issues have something in common: each one will improve the life of every single Tempe citizen. In keeping with our progressive traditions, we must always keep moving forward with ideas that are not always easy to do but are the right things to do; and I pledge to work hard to accomplish each of these goals.