Growth is a priority for the city of Phoenix, like every city, but the needs and opportunities for growth in Phoenix are unique and must be handled responsibly.
One of the core ways we can grow our economy for the benefit of those living here is to retain more of our college graduates. Phoenix and the areas around it have some of the best public universities in the country. All three of Arizona’s great public universities have branches in Phoenix and the surrounding area and are bolstered by excellent private institutions.
Despite this, Phoenix suffers from one of the worst brain drain epidemics in the country. Tens of thousands of qualified college students graduate every year, and too many of them leave and take their qualifications and education with them. We should be doing more to keep our college graduates and make Phoenix a city that is more amenable to young professionals looking to start their careers.
For most college graduates, the availability of affordable housing and high quality jobs determines where they live after graduation– and rightly so. Highly mobile college graduates can’t be expected to stay somewhere they don’t make enough money to pay rent and have money left over.
Phoenix can soothe this problem by working to enable cost effective housing throughout the city and making sure that the investment and businesses the city courts are ones that need highly skilled young professionals.
By investing in the city’s ecological bona fides and incentivizing relocation to Phoenix for growing industries, Phoenix can court growing industries like renewable energy. These new growing industries are the kind that attracts qualified college graduates.
Renewable energy, tech, and other growing fields are one of the best ways we can both retain our college graduates and promise positive incentives for the rest of our wonderful city. As your city councilperson, I look forward to bringing jobs and highly qualified workers to Phoenix.