Sunday, October 25, 2009
Arizona Seeks Better Jobs, Environmental Protection A fascinating series of stories in the venerable Arizona Daily Star, the Tucson paper, reporting on a massive statewide public opinion survey conducted by the Gallup organization and commissioned by the Center for the Future of Arizona. The survey effort is designed to build upon a statewide visioning exercise and has resulted in an impressive action report - The Arizona We Want. As the Star reported: "'Most states don't tend to have a vision,' said Lattie Coor, chairman and CEO of The Center for the Future of Arizona and Arizona State University president emeritus. 'The Arizona We Want' report was released this month." Perhaps it is no big surprise that quality, 21st Century jobs topped the list of Arizona priorities, followed by protecting the state's natural wonders and improving opportunities for young people. Like most of the rest of the West, Arizona's political leadership is locked in a prolonged battle over budget cutting and fiscal priorities. The state has a huge deficit to address and a legislature not often on the same page with the governor. So, it is also not surprising that the Gallup survey finds that folks in Arizona have lost confidence in their political leadership. A remarkable finding: only 10% of those surveyed, and it was a huge sample of 3,600 interviews, expressed confidence that the state's political leadership would look out for their interests. An old saying comes to mind: If you don't know where you're going any road will get you there. Some in Arizona are trying to determine where the state is going. At least that much is encouraging.