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Thursday, September 20, 2018

Between the 7s

Local Residents in District 7 will have the opportunity September 11th, 2007, to elect a new leader who will represent them as their voice in City Council. I recently had the opportunity to ask one of the lead candidates, Laura Pastor some questions about herself and her plan to govern our district, especially the South Mountain Laveen area. 

1. What sets you apart from the other candidates as a community leader

and why have you chosen to run for City council?

One of the most significant differences between me and my opponents is that I am a native Phoenician who has lived and worked most of my life in District 7.  I understand the diverse needs of the district, after having worked in all of the various areas of the district for the majority of my career. I am an active participant in the Historical area by serving on the Encanto Village Planning Committee; I have worked in both Roosevelt and Isaac School Districts and I am currently the Outreach Director for South Mountain Community College which takes me all across the District. Therefore, I have a deep connection within each of the diverse communities of Maryvale, West Phoenix, South Mountain, Laveen and Central Phoenix. Additionally, I am the only candidate that has experience working in city government. I have worked with elected officials, administrators and community partners to create and implement a program in the third largest city in the country.


I am also very proud of my family’s long history of public service.  Many newly elected officials enter their terms with little practical experience in governance.  As the daughter of Ed and Verma Pastor, I have been afforded exposure to the intricacies and subtleties of government in action.  This experience afforded me the opportunity to receive a unique, hands-on education on how to be an effective leader from not only my father, but from the numerous community members that have mentored me.  I learned early on that great leadership comes from listening to and working with others, and to lead effectively one must be a consensus builder.  I believe this will be particularly advantageous in terms of being a newly elected city council member of the 5th largest city in the nation.


Finally, as a mother of school age children and a professional educator, I look at how all public policy decisions will affect the quality of life of the families in District 7.  This is an important perspective – one that I can bring to the Phoenix City Council.    


I have deep roots in District 7 and that is why I have chosen to raise my family in the District.  The reason I am running for office is simple — I will work with my neighbors and friends to solve our community’s problems and celebrate our accomplishments.

2. Roosevelt and Laveen School Districts have a history of

under-performance. If you are elected to represent us, what can you do

to assist our district to create performing/excelling schools?

As a former teacher in the Roosevelt School District, I understand the challenges that these two districts are confronted with. I want to expand collaborative efforts involving students, teachers, school boards and communities to bring about more effective school practices and policies. It is essential that we improve education, and prepare our students for further study and equip them with the skills necessary to compete in our global economy and technically-driven workforce. I would also work with state, federal, business and non-profits to provide additional resources for students, teachers and schools. 

As an educator and administrator with a strong working relationship with state legislators and school board members, I am confident that I can be effective in bringing about improvements in the Roosevelt and Laveen School Districts.

3. What is your plan to increase the amount of police officers in

South Mountain and Laveen?

On the September 11th the voters will have the opportunity to invest in additional police officers and firefighters. If the voters approve Proposition 1, more police officers will be hired on the streets of Phoenix. I believe that the areas with the most need should be the first to benefit from the increase in police officers and I will fight for South Mountain and Laveen to get their due share of additional forces.

4. There has been tremendous growth in South Mountain, Laveen and

Downtown, yet there are still neighborhoods that face issues of crime

and blight. How will you help these neighborhoods with their

revitalization effort?

Block Watch Programs are extremely effective in curbing crime and blight. The City Fight Back Program is another program that increases city resources in a designated area for a short period of time to help revitalize, decrease crime and blight, build the leadership and organization of residents, and physical improvements. Currently, only three neighborhoods in District 7 are involved in some sort of Fight Back Program, primarily because it takes a great deal of community involvement and planning for a neighborhood to be awarded a Fight Back Grant. Once in office, I want to bring community members from targeted areas together with Fight Back Alumni. The alumni can mentor and advise their neighbors from blighted areas on how to qualify for and apply for these grants, as well as share their own experiences on how to muster enthusiasm and participation in communities.

Business partnerships can also play an important part in fighting blight and crime, and I plan on involving them in developing new programs and supporting existing ones. As new businesses move into South Mountain and Laveen, I will ask them to consider donating supplies needed for a youth group to paint over graffiti, match funds needed for a Fight Back Grant, volunteer or donate resources to an organization that works with at-risk teens.

5. What plans do you have to attract more knowledge-based companies or higher wage earning jobs to areas outside of Downtown Phoenix?

Visionary development and improving out education system will attract high-level corporations to South Mountain and Laveen. By improving our schools, business leaders will have an immediate workforce from which to draw from, which is why concentrating on education is crucial. In addition, providing quality workforce housing is also important in attracting knowledge-based businesses.  High-technology companies will want to locate in South Mountain and Laveen because of its diversity, its close proximity to downtown, Rio Salado and Sky Harbor. If South Mountain and Laveen has a skilled and educated workforce to draw upon, and housing, it will be the most exciting place to live in all of Phoenix.

6. What is your plan to increase health care services such as adding hospitals, urgent care facilities or medical complexes to South Mountain/Laveen?

Because of the tremendous growth in South Mountain and Laveen, there is a great need for a hospital and medical facilities in that surrounding area. Preliminary conversations have taken place regarding the location, property, etc.

A new medical center would provide needed services to the community as well as high paying jobs. Partnering with South Mountain Community College will offer students the opportunity to work, study, and live in their community. As the District 7 Councilperson, I would strongly support and advocate for a new hospital and medical facility.

I would like to thank Laura Pastor for sharing her answers and I wish her the best in her pursuit to become our next councilperson. Be sure to mark your Palm Pilot, Calendar, Treo or Blackberry to get out and VOTE on September 11, 2007.

To learn more about Laura Pastor or to request a Vote By Mail ballot visit her website

at www.laurapastor2007.com or call 602-262-2007


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