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March 2024

The Arizona We Want: Newsletter
Invest in the Future this Arizona Gives Day
CFA is excited to be a part of the 2024 Arizona Gives Day on April 2. It’s an online giving event that showcases the collective power of Arizona nonprofits in creating a real impact in the state we love to call home. When you give to CFA, you’re investing in a stronger and brighter future for Arizona. And, when you give to celebrate Arizona Gives Day, you’ll double your impact with a matching gift from a CFA board member.
Upcoming Events
Last Chance: Arizona Healthcare Workforce Summit
April 4-5, 2024  |  ASU Sky Song - Scottsdale, AZ
Arizona’s healthcare workforce needs to retain young talent, create career pathways, and support economic mobility. Healthcare professionals, educators, leaders, and workforce development partners can tackle these critical needs together at the Arizona Healthcare Workforce Summit!
Thank you to our partners Banner Health Plans, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association, Pipeline AZ, and United Healthcare Community Plan.
2024 Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Awards
Help Recognize Arizona’s Community Builders, Civic Leaders & Emerging Leaders
Join us in honoring the unsung heroes of Arizona by nominating dedicated non-elected public servants, the backbone of our communities and civic life, to receive a Gabe Zimmerman Public Service Award. The awards recognize the tireless efforts and profound impact these individuals have on enhancing our state's prosperity and well-being. By celebrating these leaders, we acknowledge the essential role they play in fostering our civic health, inspiring future public service careers, and building a democracy that truly works for everyone. Help us spotlight these pivotal contributions by nominating a deserving individual by April 29. Your participation is a step towards reinforcing our Shared Public Value of civic engagement and leadership, essential for Arizona's future success.
Arizona, you voice matters
Stay Tuned: Arizona Voters’ Agenda Returns Soon
In the heart of our democracy lies the power of the voter's voice, a force capable of shaping the future of Arizona and, by extension, the nation. As we approach the 2024 General and Primary elections, along with pivotal debates and important conversations in between, our collective participation is more crucial than ever. The upcoming release of the 2024 Arizona Voters’ Agenda offers a unique opportunity to center the priorities of Arizonans in the election discourse. By providing a comprehensive overview of the issues that unite us across party lines, the Arizona Voters’ Agenda empowers us all to challenge candidates with meaningful questions, make informed decisions, and partake in constructive dialogue aimed at forging a future focused on our shared interests. Mark your calendar for the release of the Arizona Voters' Agenda on May 6.
In the meantime, get civically inspired with trusted resources from these Arizona organizations.

In the Community
Arizona Students Learn Democracy by Doing
Students at Cesar Chavez Leadership Academy

Students at Cesar Chavez Leadership Academy cast votes for a game room or school store during the school‘s Vote Day.

Arizona students are learning about the value of engaging in their community and wielding the power of their voice while improving their school campuses through School Participatory Budgeting (SPB). This innovative civic learning process equips students with hands-on experience addressing community needs. Chandler, Queen Creek, and Roosevelt school districts conducted SPB Vote Days to determine how schools will allocate real budgets for improvement projects this month. In collaboration with school and district staff, students gathered ideas from across campuses, conducted research, and campaigned for the projects on their ballots. With pilots expanding to Northern Arizona this year, stay tuned for upcoming highlights from students’ very first SPB Vote Days!
School Participatory Budgeting in Arizona is a collaboration between CFA, Arizona State University’s Participatory Governance Initiative, and over 60 school partners across the state.
CFA Joins 2024 States for the Future Convening
2024 States for the Future Convening

Ian Dowdy, Strategic Data Initiatives Director of CFA, leads a panel discussion about the Arizona Progress Meters alongside partners Teniqua Broughton, Executive Director of the State of Black Arizona, Sintra Hoffman, CEO of WESTMARC, Erin Hart, MPA, Policy Advisor, Higher Education and Early Education of the Office of Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs, David Martinez III, Director, Strategic Community Partnerships of Vitalyst Health Foundation.

Earlier this month, CFA proudly took part in the 2024 States for the Future Convening, joining forces with leading data-driven organizations from 13 states across the country. The convening was a vibrant platform for critical discussions, knowledge sharing, and pioneering the future of public dialogue and data-driven solutions. CFA had the opportunity to showcase our journey and the impactful contributions to Arizona in partnership with remarkable individuals and organizations. Highlighting the event were the influential voices from our team and collaborative partners:
  • Dr. Sybil Francis, CFA Chair, President & CEO, lent her expertise to the "States & the Current State of Democracy" Panel, offering insights into strengthening the fabric of democracy. 
  • Dr. Amanda Burke, CFA Executive Vice President, participated in the "Education & Workforce" Panel, discussing innovative approaches to shaping workforce and educational landscapes.
  • Ian Dowdy, CFA Strategic Data Initiatives Director, presented the groundbreaking Arizona Progress Meters, in collaboration with a distinguished panel of CFA partners to discuss turning data into action and meaningful progress. 
Foundation Recognizes CFA’s Work with Peoria Unified School District
Peoria Education Foundation Awards 2024

From left to right, Becky Proudfit, President of PUSD Governing Board; Julia Smock, President of Peoria Education Foundation; Cindy Erwin, College and Career Pathways Director of CFA; Melanie Baca, College & Career Pathways, EIR Project Manager at CFA; Erin McGehean, College & Career Pathways Project Manager at CFA, and Kenneth Christopher Somers, incoming PUSD Superintendent, pose for a photo awarding CFA with the Community Leader award.

The Peoria Education Foundation honors local leaders and organizations whose work serves to strengthen public education with their annual Visionary Awards. CFA received the Community Leader Award recognizing our Arizona Pathways to Prosperity (APTP) team’s longtime contributions to pioneering the future of education, specifically in Peoria Unified School District (PUSD), one of the first districts to partner on advancing college and career pathways for youth. We congratulate our fellow Education Visionaries and extend sincere appreciation to PUSD for their unwavering partnership and commitment to student achievement.
New Report: Unlocking Opportunity for Young Arizonans with Disabilities
Discussion on challenges young people with disabilities face in education and the workplace

CFA and AZTH host an interactive discussion with 40 participants representing key roles in education, nonprofits, workforce, and higher education at The Flinn Foundation in Phoenix.

How do we address the challenges young people with disabilities face in education and the workplace? CFA and Arizona Town Hall (AZTH), with support from the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, turned to Arizonans for answers.
A diverse group of leaders across sectors, young people with disabilities, and their families gathered at listening sessions held throughout the last year. These conversations provided essential qualitative insights, adding depth and dimension to the Arizona Progress Meter data. Together, these inputs identified actionable, community-led solutions aimed at granting equitable access to postsecondary and career pathways for these young individuals with disabilities. Discover how data and dialogue are driving change.
Grant Breathes New Life Into Superior
Queek Creek Restoration Project
Over two decades since its inception, a project to restore Queen Creek is propelled by a much-needed $2.25 million grant, breathing new life into the creek and its surrounding ecosystems. Spearheaded by the town's leaders and backed by funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, this initiative is more than water restoration—it's about community resilience, environmental stewardship, and economic revival. Learn how local leaders and the community are navigating challenges of environmental shifts, wildfire risks, and the quest for sustainable growth, all while preserving the creek's natural beauty for generations to come.
Data Snapshot: Celebrating Women's History Month
March is Women's History Month – an opportunity to celebrate the remarkable women of Arizona, who make up half of our state's population. Throughout history, Arizona women have achieved many important milestones and made significant contributions to our state and country. To honor and uplift the diverse and dynamic women who shape Arizona today, we explore some of CFA’s survey research and Arizona Progress Meter data with a focus on women.
In the News
Catch up with recent news about CFA, our partners,
and the priorities of Arizonans:
Video   Arizona Capitol Times, Morning Scoop Hosted by Education Forward Arizona
Broadcast   KTAR, Helios Education Foundation aims to Accelerate Progress in Early Literacy Across Arizona
Web   Arizona Capitol Times, Op-Ed: Listen to Voters - Education After High School Matters
Web   PR Newswire, Arizona Organizations Among Recipients of $14 Million Department of Labor Grant to Bolster Youth Workforce Development
Center for the Future of Arizona
Center for the Future of Arizona brings Arizonans together
to create a stronger and brighter future for our state.
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