Arizona dreamin’

The Center for the Future of Arizona announced the launch of tools that will help the organization achieve success for the state at its Dream Big Arizona event last week.

The Center for the Future of Arizona (CFA) was established in 2002 and focuses on bringing Arizonans together to advance the state’s future.

Dream Big Arizona included significant speakers and a panel of community leaders. Dr. Sybil Francis, Center for the Future of Arizona president and CEO, announced two CFA initiatives to the attendees.

“Today we are launching a set of tools, The Arizona [We Want] Progress Meters, that will help us measure and report on our progress in achieving the Arizona we want,” Dr. Francis said.

The Arizona We Want Progress Meters will focus on eight priority areas:

“We developed the progress meters through a rigorous multi-year process, which included close consultation with Arizona leaders and technical experts, input from over 100 critical reviewers statewide- many of whom are in the room today- and the insights of young people gathered through focus groups across the state,” Dr. Francis said.

At the event, Governor Doug Ducey recognized the importance of measuring outcomes in an effort to create a state Arizonans envision.

“As a businessperson, I believe in what gets measured gets moved,” Gov. Ducey said. “It’s what gets done.”

“This has been a powerful tool and I encourage this organization to continue to do that not only in the places where we’re succeeding, but where we’re falling short,” Gov. Ducey said.

At the event, CFA also announced it will launch the Arizona We Want Community Conversations, which will engage the community.

“We will be introducing the Arizona Progress Meters to communities around the state to support data-driven dialogue. We have early indicators that these kind of supported community conversations will prove immensely valuable. We’ve already conducted several of these around the state and have been enthusiastically welcomed,” Dr. Francis said.

After the announcements, the CFA event featured a panel moderated by Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick, Maricopa Community College District chancellor.

The panelists discussed what makes Arizona special and what improvements can be made to build a better Arizona.

Police Chief Jeri Williams of the Phoenix Police Department explained a partnership with Arizona State University and steps the police department is taking to utilize research and data to support law enforcement efforts.

“We’re bringing academics into the criminal justice system to help us build data sets because I can tell you anecdotally what goes on, but if I don’t have data… all I’m doing is just talking,” Chief Williams said.

She added, “So, preparing with research entities, we have a few different advisory boards that comprise folks from different faiths, different ethnicities, business groups because we want to hear those different voices.”

Sierra Ciaramella

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