I grew up in Tucson in a time when large families, by definition, were expected to be part of the political arena. In recent years a dynamic both statewide and nationally has changed the political discourse into unrelenting disputes and territorial ideologies. The divisiveness of political discourse enhanced by 24/7 coverage of politics has turned many away from serving and engaging. Many are simply tired of it all, as am I.

What is missing is the statesmanship of political discourse between sides that agree to disagree but wish to come together to solve problems for the community.

When I decided to “Jump In” to the race, I wanted to be both Business Friendly and People Powered – and these two things are not mutually exclusive. We can reach out and help those in need, while at the same time inspire each other to work hard and attain economic goals that are for the betterment of us all.

Most major municipalities in our state have non-partisan council elections. Tucson is one of few remaining jurisdictions where we have partisan council and mayoral elections. It has long been said there are no “this party potholes” or “that party garbage collection”, were are all members of the same community and our local issues are our collective issues – not partisan issues that divide us. We have more in common than we have different. Traveling the country or around the world, we do not tell people we are from one political party or another, we simply say we are a Tucsonan and proud of it.

My decision to run as an independent, although difficult and historically a challenging political path, comes at the right time. Our community needs a leadership approach that brings both sides together to solve common problems so that in five decades our grandchildren will say our stewardship of the time we were in charge propelled us all to a better community and a sustainable place to live.

It is with immense respect for the two-party system that I choose to run as a candidate with no party affiliation. This will help me listen to all voices and be an independent leader with the best interest of all of us for a better, safer and vibrant future.