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Tucson among nation’s poorest regions

Metro area ranked sixth in number of people below poverty level

Tucson had the sixth highest level of poverty in 2011 out of all the nation's largest metropolitan areas, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Local officials identify the city's economic struggles, but point to education as the key to getting more jobs and higher-paying jobs in the region.

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8 comments on this story

1
1770 comments
Sep 24, 2012, 11:36 pm
-1 +2

If you had a company, would you bring it here?

This city is held back by its perpetually incompetent leadership, and an idiotic electorate that allows that to continue indefinitely without consequences. Good firms looks at issues such as these when deciding where to expand. They look at our lack of a cross-town freeway, they look at all the craters in our roads, they look at us not spending money where it needs to go, yet us insisting on wasting considerable resources on a choo-choo train few will ever use.

So, I ask again…if you have a company, would you open up shop here?

2
3 comments
Sep 25, 2012, 7:58 am
-0 +1

I recentely attended a “Business workshop” put on by the city.  They touted how they are now business friendly, etc., but under the surface they were still talking about the same things.  You have to let businesses do business in order to grow any economy.  Years of 8-10 months to open a retail location (the owners run out of money) just won’t do it.  Secondly, education?  Again?  Yes education allows folks to get better jobs and do better for themselves, but every time it’s “We need more money for education”.  Where has that gotten us?  How about looking at what’s worked for other communities and use some of their examples instead of being sure you already know what’s right and continuing the stagnation.  Open your minds and learn.

3
1770 comments
Sep 25, 2012, 8:48 am
-0 +1

@Tony Williams

Excellent post, especially the closer.

That’s one of the problems here. There’s a segment of the population, too large, that keeps saying “We don’t want to be like Phoenix”. To that, I respond “why not?”. Phoenix is a good role model for us to emulate. Especially as compared to Tucson, they are a much better run city with much better leaders and are more prosperous. More, they accept what they are. What I mean by that is that, in the ‘70’s and ‘80’s the attitude here was generally “If we don’t build it, they won’t come”. Well, they came anyway, and we are now a very large city. Problem is that this segment I speak of refuses to accept this is a large city. They still think this is a small town, and insist that it’s run like a small down. To say that mindset is what’s holding us back, and is destructive, is an understatement.

What I’ve just pointed out has most likely been noticed by business leaders, also, and is yet another reason why people don’t set up shop here.

4
1770 comments
Sep 25, 2012, 10:17 am
-0 +1

@Dowager Duchess of Dorado

I can’t tell if your post was ill-informed, or an intentional attempt at comedy…

The choo-choo train mass transit? Let’s look at that for a moment…“mass” implies many. A miniscule percentage of our population will ride it, and it will never even come close to being self-supporting. The only thing “mass” about the idiotic choo choo train is the amount of tax dollars it’s going to flush down the crapper (on top of what it already has, I mean).

Questionable need for a crosstown freeway? Are you serious? Have you ever driven in this town? Wow…

Concerning annexation, the outlying communities don’t want to be annexed for the same reasons companies don’t want to set up shop here…incompetent leadership, and an electorate that refuses to hold them accountable for anything. I live in unincorporated Pima County. If Marana tried to annex me I’d probably be OK with it. If Tucson tried to annex me I would fight it with everything I had, and if I lost I would move. I’m not the only one who feels that way.

Ever ask yourself why folks who live in the foothills, who obviously have choices in where they’d like to live, chose NOT to live in the city? If you can come up with an answer for that, you’ll then understand why Tucson successfully being able to annex those communities is a long shot, at best.

5
3 comments
Sep 25, 2012, 10:24 am
-0 +2

@Dowager Duchess of Dorado

The ideology you display is one of the root causes.  Let’s just annex more people to broaden the tax base, instead of fixing what we have.  If you annex more folks into Tucson, you still have the same problems, with more people.  Cart/horse.  Fix what we have first, then they will be asking to become part of Tucson.  No one wants to do anything they are forced to do.  Flies/vinegar/honey?

6
1770 comments
Sep 25, 2012, 10:37 am
-1 +4

Dowager Duchess of Dorado wrote:

...Those that donít like it can always move to Scottsdale, Paradise Valley, Litchfield Park, or CarefreeÖ. or for that matter, Oro Valley.

More destructive ideology…“this is the way it is, we’re not going to fix anything, and if you don’t like it you can leave”. As long as this attitude exists, things will just get worse and worse here.

Speaking for myself, I am tired of holding out, waiting for this city to finally fix itself and start working toward realizing it’s great potential. I have now lost all hope. I used to be an idealist in this area, thinking that these people truly cared about their community and wanted what’s best for it. It’s now clear to me that is not the case. In the past 25 years, we have stagnated in some areas, taken steps backwards in others. The only areas we have excelled in is misplacing priorities and wasting tax dollars.

I have a good job here. That’s the only thing keeping me here. If something ever happened and this job fell through, then I will take the advice of the masses holding this town back…I’m going to leave. I just can’t take all the insanity that exists here anymore.  Besides, because of these masses I speak of…if I ever lost my job, there’s not going to be another good one waiting for me here, anyway.

7
3 comments
Sep 25, 2012, 12:13 pm
-1 +2

The business community has been suggesting, even pleading about what can be done, but it always falls on deaf ears, or commonly gets villified as wrong headed.  Yet we are still in the same boat.  Year after year these reports come out and the causes are never because of the policies in place.  It’s time to pull your heads out (of the sand) and look realistically at what the causes are, and what can be done to fix things.  Corrupt politicians are one cause by the way, believing them is another. 

This isn’t about whether we have a street car or not, it’s about being business friendly.  Once we become business friendly, then the other things that are wanted can be looked at.  Cart/horse again.  You know how to find out if you are a business friendly city?  Look at the state of local businesses.  Count the vacancy signs as you drive around town, there are tons!

8
1770 comments
Sep 25, 2012, 1:23 pm
-0 +1

Tony Williams opined:

     
This isnít about whether we have a street car or not…

The rest of your post was spot-on. This part was incorrect. Believe it or not, you kind of contradict yourself…

If we want to attract business here, we have to show that we know how to run a city and we know how to make the right choices. Boondoggle after boondoggle is not the way to do that. It doesn’t tell businesses to come here, it tells them to stay away. This is one of the things we need to stop doing if we’re ever going to make things better here. As you say…cart/horse. Let’s show we know how to run a city, lets show at the ballot box that we care about this town and we want leaders who care about it, too, get leadership in there that wont bully businesses like HOA’s bully their residents, and then we’ll be much more attractive to businesses relocating here.

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