Guest Columns

September 26, 2013

Affordable Care Act Begins Oct. 1, Tucson Weekly (Sept. 26, 2013)

Open enrollment begins Oct. 1 for the Health Insurance Marketplace, part of the Affordable Care Act, also known as ACA or Obamacare. Whether you were for or against the legislation, it’s here, it’s the law of the land, and here’s what you need to know.

Young adults were some of the first beneficiaries of the ACA, which made it possible for them to stay on their parents’ health plans until age 26 regardless of whether they’re in school or where they live. Already, this provision has helped more than 3 million young adults get coverage. (Read entire column)

August 14, 2013

Students Need Your Help to Improve Reading Skills, Arizona Daily Star (Aug. 11, 2013)

Reading affects everything else. It’s fundamental to success in school and the workplace.

As early as third grade, reading proficiency is a strong predictor of academic success. Three-quarters of children who read poorly in third grade continue to read poorly in high school. Additionally, they are four times more likely to drop out or fail to graduate from high school on time.

On the other hand, children who read well report that they enjoy reading and read for fun almost every day. This starts with a caring adult taking time to read with a child. Even babies benefit from being read to — it’s never too early to start.

I’ve committed to help recruit 500 volunteer reading coaches to help Tucson children — and adults — who struggle with reading. (Read entire column)

July 25, 2013

What Tucson is Doing About Climate Change, Tucson Weekly (July 25, 2013)

Last month, Tucson’s hottest June on record, President Obama revealed his Climate Action Plan, to cut carbon pollution, accelerate clean energy and prepare for climate change that’s already here.

The president is doing what he can on this issue. With a receptive Congress, he could do more. But that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. The fact is, we can’t afford to wait and sit back and let others try to solve this problem for us. We all have a role to play, and that includes city government.

Shortly after I took office, Tucson adopted our own climate plan, with steps we can take to reduce our contribution to climate change, and prepare for the future. (Read entire column)

July 14, 2013

Set Aside Differences, Build on Strengths and Help Tucson Move Forward, Arizona Daily Star (July 14, 2013)

Our city has accomplished a lot in the last 18 months, working to get Tucson on the right track.

We settled Rio Nuevo, put in place some no-risk incentives at the city and watched our downtown come alive. We passed a bond issue to fix our streets. And we changed the dialogue about Mexico from one of hostility to one of mutual economic opportunity.

None of this happened overnight. It happened after long, hard work by a lot of people. And it happened after taking into account the views and interests of all sides. (Read entire column)

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