Biography

Mayor Jonathan Rothschild came to City Hall promising accountability in government, increased emphasis on economic growth and help for those most in need.

Since taking office, the mayor has helped settle the long-standing Rio Nuevo dispute, opening a new era of downtown redevelopment. He codified and increased incentives for Tucson businesses. And, he led efforts to pass a $100 million road improvement bond, the first in the city for many years.

Mayor Rothschild’s work in Mexico has been recognized in both Washington, DC and Mexico City. He is a leading advocate for developing infrastructure in Sonora and Arizona that will create an economic region where both states are prosperous and secure.

During his first year in office, the mayor focused on revamping the Planning and Development Services Department, reducing wait and processing times for building permits and consolidating inspections.

Mayor Rothschild has been a state leader in advocating for a strong education system as the key to economic success. Along with Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, Mayor Rothschild formed the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable, which promotes programs that help bring dropouts back to graduate. He also spearheaded a drive to double the number of reading coaches for young children in our community and helped extend the family literacy program Teach the Parent Reach the Child to schools serving low-income neighborhoods.

Initiatives like the Mayor’s Reading Challenge, Mayor’s 10,000 Trees Campaign and Tucson Moves a Million Miles provide more examples of how Mayor Rothschild works to engage the community in creating a healthier Tucson.

The mayor has set a community-wide goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015. Tucson is one of 25 cities nationally leading the way in this effort. He also created task forces focusing on issues relating to youth, seniors, the re-entry population, poverty, health and education.

Mayor Rothschild was instrumental in obtaining $5.5 million from the Regional Transportation Authority for new bicycle and pedestrian paths in the city. During his administration, Tucson won a Smarter Cities Challenge Grant from IBM to help Tucson Water adopt new technologies to save water and energy. The mayor is also an advocate for the solar industry and water conservation programs.

Mayor Rothschild is a native Tucsonan. His grandmother moved to Tucson in 1942 and opened a used furniture store on South 12th Avenue.

He is a graduate of Canyon del Oro High School, Kenyon College and the University of New Mexico Law School. After serving as a law clerk for District Court Judge Alfredo C. Marquez, he went on to a 30-year career practicing law with the firm of Mesch, Clark and Rothschild. He served as managing partner for the firm and concentrated his practice in the areas of business law and estate planning.

The mayor has a long history of service with many nonprofits in the community and served as Board President for Casa de los Niños, Handmaker Services for the Aging and Temple Emanu-el. He has been married to Karen Spiegel for 34 years and has three adult children, Isaac, Nathan and Molly.

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