As attorney Larry Hecker looked out across the dozens of people assembled for the county bond campaign kickoff at a downtown hotel, he spied three people in particular: Tucson Metro Chamber President & CEO Mike Varney, Southern Arizona Leadership Council President & CEO Ron Shoopman and tireless homeless advocate Brian Flagg.
Hecker asked all three: “Do you guys agree on this?”
After they said yes, Hecker smiled and asked, “Did you ever think that would happen?”
It was a moment that underscored a key point of the upcoming campaign to persuade Pima County voters to approve the bonds: There’s a broad coalition supporting the county’s effort to persuade voters to agree to support $815 million in bonds for road repair, economic-development projects, historic preservation, parks, open space and more.
The coalition was on display as environmental champion and bond committee member Carolyn Campbell—who arrived on bicycle despite the triple-digit temperatures—made the case for purchasing more open space, but also talked up the other proposals: “Neighborhoods deserve reinvestment. Affordable housing is a necessity. Job training and job creation are invaluable. And investment in community centers and parks is a basic piece of our community fabric. So I hope you’ll join me in voting yes for open space and yes on all seven of the propositions.”
Tom McGovern, the chair of Tucson Metro Chamber board of directors, said his organization “is most interested in one overriding issue, and that’s job, jobs, jobs. Economic development depends on new jobs and one of the reasons that we’re so keen on these bonds is the opportunity to create new employment to help drive our economic growth. This comprehensive bond investment strategy is really a grand opportunity for the residents of Pima County to invest in this community.”