Election 2011: An Extended Interview With Mayoral Candidate Jonathan Rothschild

In this week's TW, I have an interview with Democrat Jonathan Rothschild, who recently announced he would make his political debut with a run for mayor this year. Here's a longer version of the Q&A, edited for clarity.

Democrat Jonathan Rothschild: I don’t think there’s any question that our basic services—our police, our fire, our water, our sanitation—are vital, but if you just had that, you wouldn’t have a city that people wanted to live in.
  • Democrat Jonathan Rothschild: "I don’t think there’s any question that our basic services—our police, our fire, our water, our sanitation—are vital, but if you just had that, you wouldn’t have a city that people wanted to live in."
Who is Jonathan Rothschild?

Jonathan Rothschild is a third-generation Tucsonan. His grandmother came here in 1942, a single mother with her 14-year-old son, my father. She opened a used furniture store down on South Sixth Avenue called Vanity Fair and worked—not there, but worked—every day until she was 96. My father went to Tucson High and went in the service in World War II and came back on the GI Bill and went to the UA law school and started a law firm with Alfredo Marquez. That law firm still exists and I’ve managed it for the last 12 years. I’m a native Tucsonan. I was born here in 1955 and when I was born, there were 50,000 people in this valley. So I think I’ve seen both the good and the bad that’s occurred.

I’ve been real involved in community affairs. I’ve been president of Casas de los Niños, Handmaker (Home for the Aging), involved with Ben’s Bells and Operation Deep Freeze. I feel I know the community. And I also think I know the community because I’ve been practicing law for 30 years, representing some of the least-well-off people as well as some people who are pretty well off. I’ve been real results-oriented. What’s real important to me and one of the things that driving me is that I have three children—one actually works with us in the law firm now and two are away at college. One is in law school in Spokane and the other is in undergraduate school in Los Angeles. And I’d very much like them to believe they can come back to this community. That’s what I’m going to work towards.

Why run for mayor of Tucson?

I think the mayor can have a very important role in this community, both as a leader and as somebody who can get things done. The city government has a very important role to play in our community. It covers all the basic services and, quite frankly, I think that city government is the last safety net. Whatever problems are left over, the city is required to deal with it, whether they’re dealing with