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November 2022

The Arizona We Want Newsletter


Dear Friends,

We’ve just been through one of the most consequential elections of our time. We don’t have full results yet as the canvass isn’t complete, but with what we know right now, I am encouraged by some clear takeaways.

Arizona’s midterm election results
thus far have reinforced many insights CFA learned through our survey research of likely voters earlier this year for the Arizona Voters’ Agenda. We found that the majority of Arizona voters across the political spectrum believe our election system is fair, secure, and accurate. They care more about candidates’ positions on the issues and their plans for addressing those issues than their political ideology. And they want candidates willing to negotiate and compromise. Over and over again, our takeaways from listening to Arizonans show that the broad majority are pragmatic-minded people who want to get things done for Arizona. We have seen these themes show up in the outcomes of this election.

The midterm election outcomes also point to an important reality – that candidates are more likely to be successful if they appeal to and engage the broad majority of Arizonans. There are indeed voters who wanted different outcomes, and the end of an election is just the start of the real work of governing on behalf of all Arizonans. Now is the time to bring people together to move forward.

CFA will continue to share our message that Arizonans agree more than disagree on the most critical issues, and there is rich common ground on which to build. We are committed to this work and will continue to lift the voices of Arizonans and bring us together around our shared priorities in building The Arizona We Want.

There is much work ahead, and I am confident that Arizonans can come together and create an even stronger and brighter future for our state!

Sybil Francis Signature
Sybil Francis, Ph.D.  
President & CEO, Center for the Future of Arizona



Data Snapshot




Arizona Median Rent Costs by County


Check out our interactive housing graph that provides a breakdown by city.


According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, Arizona has become one of the least accessible places in the nation for finding a home. There are just 26 available options for every 100 extremely low-income households in Arizona.

The coronavirus pandemic, rising inflation, and other economic factors have exacerbated the housing affordability issue and led to an increase in Arizonans experiencing homelessness, displacement, and uncertainty. The lack of affordable housing has also hit the local economy hard. Small businesses in high-average-rent cities, like
Flagstaff, are struggling to find enough workers to fill vacant positions. There are remedies to this crisis, and 88% of likely Arizona voters, regardless of their political affiliations, say this issue is essential and needs to be addressed with real solutions and plans.



In the Community


All of CFA's work is to ensure that the public values we share are realized for all Arizonans by shaping and advancing The Arizona We Want. To do this, it is mission-critical to continuously engage with our partners, community members, and all the Arizonans we serve – here’s a peek at some highlights from our work over the last month:


Tucson Youth Leadership Academy’s Fall 2022 Kick-Off


The Tucson Youth Leadership Academy (TYLA) is a partnership between Greater Tucson Leadership and the Pima County Superintendent’s Office to develop and expand high school students’ leadership skills and career readiness. Each semester, TYLA provides students in grades 9-12 with leadership training and career exploration designed to help them focus their career interests, gain leadership skills, and build social capital with local business leaders. At this semester’s kick-off, Aaron Ball, CFA Director, College & Career Pathways and Southern Arizona Liaison, led a discussion on education and career pathways that included a demonstration of the My Future AZ platform, a tool to explore careers and navigate post-secondary opportunities. CFA collaborated with the Arizona Department of Education, Arizona Business & Education Coalition, and PipelineAZ to make this free online resource available to all Arizona students.


Valley of the Sun United Way Quality of Life Event


In 2019, CFA announced an expanded set of Arizona Progress Meters, including 85 metrics in eight issue areas critical to achieving The Arizona We Want. These tools help local and state leaders measure and report how Arizona is doing on the things that matter most to Arizonans.

The Valley of the Sun United Way (VSUW) recently provided an update on its Mighty Change 2026 initiative, which uses three Arizona Progress Meter measures to track progress toward significant goals for efforts in education, housing and homelessness, workforce development, and health. CFA team members joined an event highlighting this work last month, and we look forward to supporting this ambitious vision with more data, tools, and resources to bring Mighty Change to Arizona.


CFA’s 2022 Board Retreat


CFA’s 2022 Board Retreat was an energizing milestone to remember! It was filled with rich discussions about CFA’s history and charting our path toward achieving The Arizona We Want. We are thankful for the CFA Board of Directors, their wise counsel, and their unwavering commitment to a stronger and brighter future for Arizona.


2022 Flinn-Brown Convention: The State of Democracy


On Nov. 4, the Flinn Foundation’s Arizona Center for Civic Leadership hosted the 2022 Flinn-Brown Convention about the state of our democracy. The all-day event included topics related to our democratic processes and institutions, including data-driven discussions on what Arizonans want from our policymakers, how our language can impact our messaging around civic engagement, and discussion on our state’s elections process. CFA President & CEO, Dr. Sybil Francis, presented insights from our latest survey research that shows enormous gaps between what matters to voters and our political narrative. It was an inspiring day with Flinn-Brown Fellows and other influential leaders in our state whose dedication to Arizona bolsters our hope for the future.



Stories of Impact


Empowering Students at Roosevelt School District to Learn Democracy by Doing


Earlier this month, CFA kicked off a new partnership with 13 schools in the Roosevelt School District (RSD) to empower students to learn democracy by doing and create positive change for their community by curating ideas, developing project proposals, and voting to fund campus improvement projects. In a series of training workshops, RSD educators, principals, and students came together to learn about the School Participatory Budgeting (SPB) process, practice each key phase of the model, and plan for implementation at their schools. CFA is thrilled to partner with the Roosevelt School District to prepare our young people to come together to solve public problems, be active, informed, and engaged participants in community and civic life for the long-term, and advance The Arizona We Want through their experiences gained in the SPB program.



CFA Named a Finalist for Phoenix Business Journal’s 2022 Best Places to Work


2022 Best Places To Work -  Phoenix Business Journal


We are thrilled that Center for the Future of Arizona is a finalist for Phoenix Business Journal's 2022 Best Places to Work! It’s critically important that CFA provides positive space and place for teams to thrive. Without a passionate and committed staff, our vital mission of uniting Arizonans to build a stronger and brighter future for our state would not be possible. See the complete list of this year’s finalists.



Upcoming Events


Giving Tuesday is Nov. 29



This month and always, we are thankful for all of CFA’s supporters and friends! With your support, we can continue and expand our impact in building a stronger and brighter future for all Arizona communities. On Nov. 29, we will celebrate Giving Tuesday, a global generosity movement to support nonprofits. Join the celebration! Consider making a tax-deductible donation to CFA before the end of the year. Plus, check out CFA’s social media for stories of impact during our Month of Gratitude Campaign in December as we reflect on progress made and look forward to more opportunities to build The Arizona We Want in the new year!



Join the Conversation Around College & Career Pathways Dec. 6!


CFA’s Arizona Pathways to Prosperity (APTP) Team holds monthly Chatting for Action webinars to learn about and discuss creating seamless college and career pathways for Arizona’s young people. It’s open to partners and community members in the education and business sectors interested in getting involved and supporting this work.

  • Dec. 6, 3:30-4:15 I Zoom – APTP team members will share what they learned at a recent Fall Institute hosted by Jobs for the Future, including strategies, insights on problems of practice, and resources.
  • Jan. 17, 3:30-4:15 I Mark your calendars!



Arizona Personalized Learning Network’s Launch for Schools – Join our Next Cohort by Jan. 31


What happens when we reorient teaching and learning to put educators and students at the center? Educators and students flourish.

We invite school leaders to join Arizona Personalized Learning Network’s (APLN) Launch Pathway for school leadership teams who could benefit from support that creates the space and time to realize this vision for education. APLN Launch provides skills development, peer connection, and technical assistance in implementing personalized, competency-based learning. We are currently accepting applications for our 2023-25 cohort to schools ready to re-energize a vision for learning and implement transformational practices. Learn more, join an informational session, and apply by Jan 17.



Resources to Advance The
Arizona We Want


School Participatory Budgeting Evaluation Toolkit Now Available Thanks to Support from the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council


In partnership with Arizona State University Participatory Governance Initiative (PGI), we are proud to announce the launch of our Evaluation Toolkit for School Participatory Budgeting (SPB). This toolkit is designed to support researchers, educators, and students in evaluating the impact of the SPB process on students’ civic outcomes and the school community. With CFA and PGI’s strong track record of evaluating impact alongside school partners, we hope to empower everyone engaged in SPB in Arizona and beyond to continuously improve the model toward even more significant impact. This project was generously funded by a three-year partnership with the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Planning Council to expand more inclusive practices and fully engage students with disabilities in all facets of SPB.


Let’s Join Forces to Create a Stronger and Brighter Future for Arizona


Everything we do at CFA is to ensure that the public values Arizonans share are realized for all. In addition to survey research & reports and the Arizona Progress Meters, CFA leads impact initiatives and programs across the state to address complex challenges with positive, innovative, and collaborative solutions and ultimately achieve real change in our communities. Join us on the journey to accomplish The Arizona We Want:


Download ReportAction Agenda

Progress Meters

Take Action

The Center for the Future of Arizona brings Arizonans together
to create a stronger and brighter future for our state.
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