Tempe has been Lauren’s home for more than 25 years. It is a city that may be considered part of the “Greater Phoenix metro area,” but those who live there know that Tempe is special: an urban community with the feel of a small town. It’s second nature for Tempeans to care for each other; and to invest in their children and their infrastructure.
Overall, Tempe’s elected officials have done a fine job of taking care of the community. While other Valley cities struggled through the recession, Tempe proved resilient, and the city budget continued to reflect their community values. Tempe is now in strong position to move forward and there is a need to take care of it.
There is a federal government in gridlock and a state legislature that has ignored the needs of Arizona communities. From Lauren’s perspective at the Global Institute of Sustainability, the hub of sustainability research, education, and business practices across ASU, she sees that cities are where solutions can really move from “talk” to “walk.” Cites are where it’s happening.
Lauren’s experience at ASU provides a perspective that doesn’t exist on the council today. At ASU, she is surrounded by amazing innovators and researchers, as well as students and staff who hunger to take their work from concept to reality. Lauren wants to bring her unique perspective and experience to a council that embraces innovation and entrepreneurs and is open to suggestions from neighborhoods and residents.
City Council decisions impact communities for generations. Now more than ever, Tempeans need to double-down on progress made on energy-efficiency and solar initiatives. It should work with ASU on ways to turn trash into business opportunities and jobs in its communities. Tempe needs to reap the benefits of an ASU partnership and lead the Valley in sparking a resilient, clean-energy economy. On the social side, it needs to transition the homeless, one-third of whom are veterans, into affordable, supportive housing.
Lauren sees Tempe as a vibrant place that embraces diversity, where residents care for those in need, and where children and grandchildren will continue to thrive.