Things I’d Like To See . . . Arizona Version

I love Arizona.

I’m not a native, but I’m close. My family moved here when I was 2.  I’ve lived in Arizona for 54 of my 59 years. And I’ve never really wanted to live anywhere else.

But that doesn’t mean I love everything about Arizona. There are many things I’d love to see change. Some of these are political. Others are non-partisan in nature. Some of them are personal.

What would I like to see?

  • I’d like to see teacher pay increase dramatically.  I believe in education, and my children have been privileged to have some excellent teachers, but they are severely underpaid. Starting teacher pay needs to be increased about $10,000 per year. Immediately.  I’m personally willing to have my taxes increased to make sure this happens—as long as it goes to teacher pay. If this doesn’t happen, we will fail to attract the quality of families and jobs we will need.

  • I’d like to see a freeway all-the-way from Phoenix to Las Vegas.

  • At the same time, though, I’d like to see a less car-dependent state, with more good options for mass transit, biking, and even walking. I’d like an easy way to go from my home in Avondale to downtown Phoenix on mass transit.

  • I’d like to see revitalization of places like Maryvale and South Phoenix.

  • I’d like to see more independents in the State House and Senate.  And I’d like to see more ethnic diversity in all levels of government.

  • I’d like for those who don’t belong to a political party to have the right to vote in presidential primaries.

  • I’d like to see the Diamondbacks, Suns, and Cardinals all make the playoffs in the same year.  (I can dream, can’t I?) And as long as I’m dreaming, I’d like to see it happen when Larry Fitzgerald is still playing.

  • I’d like to see UA or ASU win a national championship in football and/or basketball.  And I’d like to see GCU become a national powerhouse in basketball.

  • I’d like to see more affordable college education and job training opportunities.

  • I’d like to see walking trails and recreational corridors following the canals and rivers in the Phoenix area.

  • I’d like to see more prosperity in the inner city areas and on the reservations.

  • I’d like to see Arizona do more to conserve water and energy and to keep our air clean and for us to become a world-leader in these areas.  We need to recognize that we live in a desert with extreme temperatures and very little water. We need to learn to live accordingly and to show others how it can be done.

  • I’d like us to see us do more to recognize and even celebrate our Spanish and Native American heritage and culture.

  • I’d like to see more Caucasian Arizonans (like me) learn to speak Spanish instead of complaining about Spanish speakers.

  • I’d like to see more quality jobs in the west valley and in our small towns.

  • I’d like to see more churches feed and house the homeless.  We can do it more effectively and more compassionately than can government.

  • I’d like to see us treasure our natural areas and wilderness areas even-more-than-we-do and keep them clean.

  • I’d like to see us thin our forests effectively to reduce the chance of catastrophic fires.

  • I’d like us to find a better way to deal with mental illness and drug addiction. Many end up in jail or on the streets; neither is a good solution.

  • I’d like more shade in the summer time!

I love Arizona, but there are many things we can do better. My prayer is that a combination of good government, good policies, strong churches, and solid families can help bring these things about!


About Pastor Jack

Pastor Jack Marslender is the pastor of First Southern Baptist Church of Avondale. He is married (Dawn) and is the father of Tina, Rebecca, Kimberly, Melinda, Angela, Maria, Kenneth, Kevin, and Lorissa. He is also the grandfather of Wyatt, Emilie, Everett, Olivia, Dylan, Charlotte, Aiden, and Avery.
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