Phoenix raised me. That’s why I want to be the Mayor of this great city.

As published in the Arizona Republic on February 19, 2019

Opinion: Phoenix is a city of hope, opportunity and the belief that together we can achieve greatness. Let's make history together.

I was born and raised in Phoenix. The youngest of six, primarily raised by a single mom. I attended 13 public schools in Phoenix and lived in more homes than that.

We had it rough.

My path to becoming a candidate for mayor of my hometown was not easy, but it was this city, and the people and programs in Phoenix, who made me who I am today.

The firefighters who saved my mom’s life inspired me to pursue a career of public service. When she collapsed on our kitchen floor, our first responders didn’t care where she lived, her political party or her income level. It was that day I saw a Latino firefighter for the first time and believed I, too, could be a firefighter.

Why I've focused on public safety, business

I ran for Phoenix City Council to create policies that made all Phoenix residents safe in our community. I fought to lift the hiring freeze to add more police officers. I worked to secure federal grants to add more resources for public safety. And I led on pension reform to save the city of Phoenix more than $1 billion.

I’m proud to stand alongside the brave men and women who protect our city, and I’m honored to be the only candidate endorsed by our police and firefighters. As your mayor, I will make public safety the No. 1 priority and hire hundreds of cops and firefighters, and secure the training needed to best serve our diverse community.

My experiences in the classroom inspired me to create programs available to all students. I know what it’s like to keep up or catch up, so I worked with the business community to create CodePHX, a free computer coding and robotics class that is accessible to all students through our libraries. Education is critical to our continued success as a city, and I am proud to have the support of educators in our community.

I watched my mom struggle to make ends meet and was there when she received an eviction notice after losing her job. This drove my work on the Phoenix City Council to create opportunities for our workforce and an environment for businesses to thrive. It is why as mayor, I plan to work with higher education institutions to create and launch Upskill Phoenix, to provide new workforce connections through retraining.

Let me give back what Phoenix gave me

As our city grows, we need to develop, retain and attract talent to bring the jobs of today and compete for the industries of tomorrow. I led on economic development while on the city council, pushing for downtown to become a tech hub, growing from 60 tech companies in 2012 to more than 300 today. Working together with the business community is why I have earned the trust and support of our business leaders and groups like the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce.

This city raised me. My family and neighbors, the organizations that helped our family when we needed it the most, and the teachers who routinely welcomed the new kid. My leadership is based on my personal experiences, and my track record is built upon a life spent In Phoenix, being part of this community.

When you elect me as your mayor, you will have someone who will constantly give back to this city all that it has given me — hope, opportunity and the belief that together we can achieve greatness.

Let’s make history together.

-Daniel Valenzuela