Chip Howard for AZ Governor Campaign Committee

Since Arizona became a state in 1912, the power that guided the State has been concentrated in a few hands.  Historically, that power has resided with the beneficiaries of the growth industry (growth being uniquely defined in Arizona as adding people, not adding economic power).  Consequently, the focus of the Arizona economy has been primarily adding more people.

There are a few problems with this concept;

Except for a few large special interests, the jobs generated by growth are comparatively low-paying.  It creates a quantity of jobs, but not quality jobs.


Growth is subject to cycles of feast and famine which lay havoc on the financial stability of the State and it’s individual citizens.


Logically, we all know that growth can not continue to infinity, thus, at some point the party ends.


At some point of growth, size diminishes the quality of life that caused us to be here in the first place.



As I write this, a headline article in today’s Arizona Republic is “The Gateway to Growth” describing a plan to build 300,000 houses in an area just west of Phoenix.  There is not one mention of what will financially support this population.  There is only one quote, “We need to see jobs as well as homes out here”.  How about bringing the jobs first, high-quality jobs that is?
For decades, we have been reminded during both good and bad times that Arizona’s over-reliance on growth is suicidal.  Experts all know and are not shy about publicly proclaiming that growth is an industry that is not a wise or stable foundation for an economy.  Yet year after year, decade after decade, we march on with no change of direction.
Oh yes, every time the growth industry goes bust, in panic, we admit the obvious and recognize that we have to stop relying on growth and develop other industries.  So we circle the best minds and develop grand plans for change.  But, just about that time, the real estate industry picks up and its party time, happy days are here again.  Welcome to the same old mentality that has buried us in the past and will not change until we have a governor that is independent of political parties and not obligated to the interests that presently control the state.


Water Is The Lifeblood Of The West

  This candidate has a long history of working with matters of water resources and participated in the formulation of the current Department of Water Resources Management Plan as well as the DWR Water Supply and Demand Working Group and the Joint Legislative Study Committee on Water Salinity Issues.  It is a fact that we currently do not have a problem of inadequate water quantity in this state, although one of water quality is developing.  That said, the current drought challenges that statement.

Rather, inadequate water quantity will become a problem when we grow into the problem.  I am in no way suggesting a growth moratorium but our growth must be a product of smart planning, not the present system of maximized growth for the sakes of a few and at a cost to everyone else.  Personally, I would like to see a little green in my neighborhood.  The quality of my life will not be enhanced by turning my street into a rock-covered moonscape in the name of water conservation just so that water service can be extended to new houses.
Historically, and even today, the economic health in Arizona is measured by population growth and how many houses are built for the new residents to live in.  That benefits the people who sell land, build houses and sell appliances for the houses (which happen to be the people that control Arizona politics).  Rather, my goal is to make life better for the citizens in Arizona today.  That means more jobs and higher-quality jobs.  If that is truly our goal, it is counter-productive to bring more people to Arizona to compete with our existing citizens.  After today’s Arizonans are fully employed in quality jobs and enjoying a good quality of life, then let’s talk about encouraging population growth.
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