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Q: Why are you running?
A: I want to grow our economy and provide a bright future for our children. Our Legislature needs to focus on long-term goals, not just short-term requirements.
I’m running because a strong economy demands a prepared workforce and a reliable infrastructure. For over 25 years, I’ve been in business. I’ve worked for multi-national corporations as a computer systems analyst, and I’ve been an entrepreneur. For 25 years, I’ve been building coalitions of parents and community members for quality public education. With a team, I co-founded the local group, Yes Public Ed, and the statewide group, the APPLE Coalition, to develop continuous dialogue between elected officials and community members — parents, teachers, retirees, and business leaders — for quality public education.
We need leaders who understand technology and collaboration because those are the keys to the innovation economy and the good jobs with great pay and a ladder to advancement. I will work to bring business and education leaders together to focus on preparing our most important resource, our people, for the challenges of global competition. I will always keep a keen eye for innovations that can support Arizona’s businesses, because when our businesses are strong, Arizona is strong.
Q: Arizona is predicted to be among the fastest-growing states in terms of job growth in the coming years. What can Arizona do to accelerate the growth and what industries should it target, especially for residents of your district?
A: There are several opportunities to accelerate job growth in Arizona, and growing jobs is my No 1 priority. We need high-paying jobs that have a ladder for advancement, and create positive economic ripple effects for all of Arizona.
The Research and Development Refundable Tax Credit has been a successful program to help startups in the innovation economy to grow. The return on investment has been beneficial. With a $15 million investment, we can attribute $2.26 billion of growth in our economy. From millions to billions is a good ROI! I have been meeting with innovation entrepreneurs in places like TechShop and Gangplank to learn more about the resources they need to grow manufacturing jobs here.
To encourage more companies to relocate or expand in Arizona, we need a great business environment that includes a full complement of factors: talented workforce, low taxes, reliable infrastructure and quality of life. We need a talented workforce to continue to attract companies, like Intel, Honeywell and Fuji Film, as economic anchors. In conversations with people who work in these large multinational firms, I’ve heard repeatedly that they want more Arizona graduates in STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and math. I’ve attended the Sci-Tech Festivals to learn more about how excellence in these important fields is being encouraged.
By supporting education, and certain capital programs for startups, we can help more and more people to not only get a job, we can help them to make more jobs!
Q: Given the state’s decision to back out of the PARCC test, should Arizona continue to follow Common Core standards? If not, what standards should the state implement for its students?
A: The ACCRS (Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards) are not perfect. We need an Arizona solution to prepare our students to be college and career-ready. We must have high standards in our schools so that we will have high standards in our workforce and quality of life.
Q: The approval of Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid funding was a contentious issue in 2013. Now with a year gone, was the decision by Brewer and the Legislature the correct decision for Arizona?
A: It was the correct decision. With the AHCCCS Restoration, we have a healthier workforce and a healthier budget. Repealing the plan is and extreme reaction. That would leave a huge deficit in the budget and it would mean that our tax dollars — paid by Arizonans — would go to other states instead of helping our state.
With the plan in place, health care providers — that are major economic pillars — are reporting much better financial results. The math continues to work. The health care industry provides not only great jobs with high pay, but also helps to keep more Arizonans healthy and productive at work.
Q: Given recent protestations about “dark money” affecting political campaigns, is there a problem with the campaign finance system in Arizona? Similarly, would you vote to present campaign finance reform legislation to voters in the next two election cycles?
A: “Dark money” is dangerous because it can open the door to corruption. If we don’t know who is donating to a campaign, we cannot know the true intentions of the campaign.
Accountability and transparency have always been important to me. As a school board member, I worked hard with staff members to bring more community members into the district to be included in decisions, and I spoke up repeatedly for clear communications that did not hide the truth behind jargon. I will continue to stand for improving transparency in the state.
Twenty years ago this month, when the first drops of Colorado River water poured into the retention basins at the Granite Reef Underground Storage Basin (GRUSP) near Mesa, it was predicted that storing water underground would be the wave of the future.
A consultant, author, PhD, triathlete, father, and resident of Gilbert, Dr. CK Bray is a career and organizational development expert who has worked with numerous organizations – ranging from Fortune 500 companies to emerging start-ups. He can be reached at ck@DrCKBray.com or find his blog and more at www.DrCKBray.com.
It is very likely that at some point in your career, you are going to have to quit your job. I never believed that I would be writing an article on “How to quit your job,” but over the past decade, I have seen some negative results affect my clients because they left their employer in a negative manner.
The best place in Arizona for a Hispanic business to open its doors is in Gilbert — at least in part because Latinos there, on average, earn more than anywhere else in the country.
Mesa’s “LaunchPoint: Mesa Accelerator” program is teaming up with Arizona State University in October for a new, eight-month business academy, which will help entrepreneurs build their ideas and find funding for their ventures.
A large factory in the Phoenix metro area is reportedly close to starting production of scratch-resistant sapphire glass for Apple cameras and other devices.
SAN FRANCISCO — Dustin Moskovitz is plotting an escape from email.
Recently I have received some email questions that are similar to those that individuals ask me during conferences or workshops. I thought I would share them as they seem to have a universal theme.
After a thief made off with her bicycle, Becca Mercer needed a way to get around Arizona State University’s Tempe campus during the spring semester of 2014.
Mesa quickly rebuffs online ‘boring’ image. Growing up in western Pennsylvania, our little town of Aliquippa, a one-steel-mill town that went 7 miles down the Ohio River, employed over 80 percent of all workers. Even in the late 1970s and ’80s, our downtown was more vibrant than Mesa’s. In the heat of the summer, when business was traditionally slow, the merchants came up with a three-day event called ”Rodeo Days.” Everybody dressed in cowboy outfits and all the merchants had special offers, free bus rides, music and lots of free food and beverages. It was a family affair and everyone had fun. Next to the Christmas holiday season, Rodeo Days was a crowd pleaser, brought fun traffic to downtown and increased sales tax revenues. It went on for over 20 years. We had restaurants, stores, movie theaters, nightclubs and taverns when the steel mill workers got off their shifts. There were great clothing stores and home furnishing stores, or anything you needed. Pittsburgh’s downtown had the largest department stores like Gimbels, great night life, professional sports and entertainment.
It seems that more and more often, I encounter numerous clients, friends and associates who have been laid off or fired and many others who for one reason or another are out of work and looking for a job. If you are in this group of individuals and looking for employment, it can be a tremendously stressful time as you try and figure out what you are going to do to survive and pay your bills. It becomes even more worrisome to balance survival with the lengthy processes companies implement in their hiring practices.
Question: What exactly is net neutrality and how does it affect me or my business?
From working alone as a consultant to winning Arizona Small Business Person of the Year in 2014 for her $7 million, nationwide company, Cynthia Reed, CEO of MIRACORP, a Mesa-based management and administrative services provider, has certainly come a long way.
NEW YORK — So, a lady walks into a bar...Wait, scratch that. A lady takes out her phone. With a left swipe of her finger she dismisses Alex, 25 and Robert, 48. She swipes right when a photo of James, 24, pops up. It's a match. James had swiped right too. They chat, and make plans to meet. They're only three miles apart, after all.
Videojournalists set up outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 22, 2104. The court is hearing arguments between Aereo, Inc., an internet startup company that gives subscribers access to broadcast television on their laptops and other portable devices and the broadcasters. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)
A videojournalist sets up outside of the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 22, 2104. The court is hearing oral arguments between Aereo, Inc., an Internet startup company that gives subscribers access to television on their laptops and other portable devices and the over-the-air broadcasters. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)
Videojournalists set up outside of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, April 22, 2104. The court is hearing arguments between Aereo, Inc., an internet startup company that gives subscribers access to broadcast television on their laptops and other portable devices and the broadcasters. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)
When you begin your workday you have two individuals who are competing to be your personal career coach for the day. The first, whose name is Donald (of the Trump variety) is dressed in a sleek, dark, and expensive suit and is waiting to take charge. Don carries all of the latest technology with everything organized, easily accessible, and he responds to emails, texts, and phone calls instantly. Don is very opinionated about everything relating to business and has the right to be since his experience and resume are perfect. Don is everything corporate America desires. Donald is going places!
Working in the financial industry a decade ago, Miguel Lopez was reminded of a longtime practice in Mexico where banks use graphic novels to help customers understand saving and investing.
NEW YORK — The future is Stephen Colbert.
Arizona State University will present a new program, Rapid Startup School, that will consist of 12 hour-long modules at Launchpoint, the Mesa Technology Accelerator.
Do you ever feel like your life resembles the small, furry, rodent running on the spinning wheel of life; ever so busy, but never really going anywhere? Most people are involved in this sort of monotony, day in and day out without ever really noticing. Chances are you have become an expert in zoning out those 37 minutes that it takes you to subconsciously navigate the exact same route to and from work.
BOW, N.H. — Combine Twister, paint-by-numbers and the ancient Hindu practice of breath control, meditation and poses, and you get Yoga by Numbers.