In 1958, I was born at Good Samaritan Hospital in Phoenix. Growing up here in Arizona, we had a government that understood how responsible investment could help our communities thrive. We had schools that were connected to the community and teachers who were always able to give individualized attention. We were building roads to connect us and canals flowing with water to sustain us. We were building a community and opportunity, and it made Arizona a place people wanted to come to start a new life.
It’s why I chose to stay in Arizona to finish my education and start my career. The price of college back then meant I didn’t have to take on a lifetime worth of loans before I even got the chance to start living it. My tuition was $500 a semester to earn both an M.B.A and a law degree from ASU. Today, a student now has to pay over $30,000 per semester for the same education.
Why? Because there’s a difference in the commitment politicians have to our students and teachers from then to now. I see it now with #RedForEd, and I saw it then when my two children, Amy and Wyatt, went through elementary school, high school, and college.
We bought our first home in 1983 for under $50,000 and our first child arrived while I was in law school. Eventually, we enrolled our kids in our local public school. They both went on to attend Arizona universities, one after attending community college. You can imagine our surprise the first time we saw how much today’s university education costs. We stressed at the increases in our bills each year, especially utilities. But I worked hard to build up my small private practice, and we were comfortable.
All of the saving and financial planning wasn’t enough for our family when the recession hit and financial markets froze. Our home was foreclosed on and our car was repossessed. We struggled to get our feet back beneath us. Looking back, we weathered the storm, learned what to prioritize and we recovered. Unfortunately, the same is not true of our government. Politicians gave massive bailouts to the big banks that created the crisis, stood by, and watched as investment and prosperity left our communities.
I took a hit, but I also took responsibility and learned from it.
That’s why I’m running. Because if you want to go to school, start a business or start a family, you shouldn’t have to face enormous debt or flirt with poverty. We need to get focused on restoring opportunity and restoring integrity. That means investing in the human capital we already have here in the state. To do that, we’ll need perspective, and an independent voice in the Treasurer’s Office as our state constitution intended.