The Arizona We Want Grant

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The Center for the Future of Arizona announced today it has raised $1.375 million to fund implementation of The Arizona We Want 2.0: The Case for Action. The plan calls for improving the lives of Arizonans in eight key areas, including education, job creation, environment, water management and healthcare. The Center for the Future of Arizona Chairman and CEO Dr. Lattie Coor will discuss the implementation of the new funds.

Ted Simons: The center for the future of Arizona announced it's raised nearly $1.4 million to fund implementation of "The Arizona We Want 20. The Case for Action." Which calls for improving the lives of Arizonans through education, job creation, and other key areas. Joining us now center for the future much Arizona chairman and CEO Dr. Lattie Coor. Good to see you again.

Dr. Lattie Coor: Good to be here.

So we got 1.4 some-odd million for the Arizona we want 2.0. Explain, please.

Dr. Lattie Coor: We did the Gallup Arizona poll 3.5 years ago and learned very fundamental things what citizens want for our future -- Education and health care and infrastructure, and environment, water management, basic issues about the future. We then spent time over the state talking with people about how do we take these very important issues. For example, in education, citizens said they want their students to graduated high school, college and/or career ready, and be measured by national and international standards. How do we turn that into actionable items themselves? Through a series of discussions and meetings, stakeholder groups who came together, we -- And the Arizona we want 2.0 were able to indicate ways in which actual action could take place. What we're doing now is creating an institute within our center that is dedicated to taking these ideas forward and particularly in the period immediately ahead, asking every candidate for state level office in the 2014 election to speak to these issues. To speak to the goals that citizens have identified. To indicate that if they oppose a particular piece of legislation, let's take career and college and career ready goals that are there, or Medicaid restoration and expansion. If they support those, how do they see that connecting with what citizens want? If they oppose those, what solutions do they have? And to make that part of the campaign itself, so voters know what those candidates are going to do once they get in office.

Ted Simons: So the case for action includes going to folks who can make changes and persuading them to change? Are there other avenues for action?

Dr. Lattie Coor: What we're seeking to do is get every organization in the state that has an interest in these categories that I've just mentioned. Education organizations, for example, and have a lead organization that will bring all of the partner organizations together and advance their cause to individual candidates. So in debates, in public appearances, in other ways in which candidates present themselves, candidates for legislature, and candidates for the state level office, governor etc., ask them to speak to those issues in the form they are going to be involved--

Ted Simons: as far as donations, how many corporation, how many foundations are contributing?

We have about 12, between corporation and foundations. And we've asked them to contribute for three years. So we can get the institute up and running, get leadership there that can take it forward, and that's what that 1.4 million you described is all about. But -- And it's about equally divided between foundation and corporations.

Ted Simons: So with that in mind, money is coming in now, they're getting things funded and you're trying to get this action plan -- What do people need to know about the Arizona we want 2.0, because for some they'll say, let's just vote for the right people and get it over with.

Dr. Lattie Coor: They need to know that we have been able to determine scientifically, GALLUP poll, what Arizonans want. And we see evidence that too many decisions are being made that don't conform to that. It takes a commitment over the long haul to make it happen. So what we encourage citizens to do is recognize that they have a chance to ask candidates to tell how do they intend to carry their projects forward? And to make their own decisions and voting by that. And to encourage others to get out and vote. We discovered in the Arizona we want that we don't have a very high turnout. We're in the bottom in voting and being an active part of the political process.

Ted Simons: Very good. It's good to have you here. Continued success with the organization. We'll keep tabs on you and invite you back.

Dr. Lattie Coor: It's always a pleasure to be here. Thank you.

Dr. Lattie Coor:CEO, The Center for the Future of Arizona Chairman;

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