Good News Tucson Magazine's Blog

The Premiere Christian Magazine for Southern Arizona

What Is 4 Tucson?

When the average person tries to assess the most significant problems in Tucson it doesn’t take long to realize that the problems are so large and complex that they cannot be easily fixed.  Some folks even advocate that because the problems are so massive that if they could only be solved through government action.

Christians have a mandate in Scripture to love God and to love others. Historically, Christians have organized their service to others through their local churches. They do acts of kindness to the most needy in our community only to find that the needs quickly out strip the available resources and it doesn’t take long for the people involved to burnout. Overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, they quit trying, opting to serve others in the local church, raise their families and try to live the Christian lifestyle.

4Tucson was organized in January 2010, to bring Christians of all denominations and all walks of life together to collectively assess the problems our city faces and offer positive solutions that benefit the entire community.

“The most significant problem that our city faces is the lack of a clear and definable vision of what it wants to be as a city in the future,” said founder Mark Harris. “The most promising group in the city for developing a vision for the city is Imagine Greater Tucson,” said Harris. The initiating team of IGT has been meeting for over 18 months reviewing the past city visioning documents and looking at other cities that have developed long-term visions for their city. You can get more information or get involved in the process by going to the website

Here are three questions that should be explored in discussing what the 20 year vision plan for Tucson should be:

1) What are we doing about Jobs?
A quick glance at who Tucsonans work for is revealing.

16 Largest Government Employers in Tucson
Raytheon Missile Systems – 12,140 jobs – Department of Defense
Carondelet Health Network – 4,566 jobs – Government Health Care
University Medical Center Corp – 3,109 jobs – Government Health Care
TMC Health Care – 2,512 jobs – Government Health Care
Corrections Corp of America – 2,500 jobs – Department of Justice
University Physicians Healthcare – 2,125 jobs – Government Health Care
Southern Arizona VA Health Care – 1,900 jobs – Department of Defense
Northwest Medical Center – 1,511 jobs – Government Health Care
University of Arizona – 10,363 jobs – Department of Education
State of Arizona – 8,708 jobs – State Government
Davis Monthan Air Force Base – 7,755 jobs – Department of Defense
Tucson Unified School District – 7,012 jobs – Department of Education
Pima County – 5,399 jobs – County Government
City of Tucson – 4,353 jobs – City Government
Tohono O’odham Nation – 3,530 jobs – Tohono O’odham Nation
U.S. Border Patrol – 2,455 jobs – U.S. Customs

16 Largest Private Employers
Wal-Mart Store, Inc, 7,192 jobs – Private Employer
Freeport-McMoRan Copper – 3,997 jobs – Private Employer
Fry’s Food Stores – 3,050 jobs – Private Employer
Citi – 2,219 jobs – Private Employer
Asarco LLC – 2,117 jobs – Private Employer
Target Stores – 1,900 jobs – Private Employer
Bashas’ Inc – 1,893 jobs – Private Employer
Afni Inc – 1,685 jobs – Private Employer
Safeway Inc – 1658 jobs – Private Employer
Walgreens – 1,475 jobs – Private Employer
APAC Customer Service – 1400 Jobs – Private Employer
IBM – 1226 jobs – Private Employer
UniSource Energy – 1180 jobs – Private Employer
Circle K Stores – 1150 jobs – Private Employer
Long Realty – 1100 jobs – Private Employer
Home Depot – 1109 jobs – Private Employer

Total Employment From Top 16 Government Related Employers: 79,938
Total Employment From Top 16 Private Employers: 34,351
Source: Arizona Daily Star, 2010, 2009 Data

It is not healthy for any city to have the majority of its jobs in the Government sector.
What if we decided the every job in our area is important to for the long-term health of our city? What if we decided to be the employment capital of Arizona?

We may want to consider helping develop a deep water port in Guaymas, Mexico that could potentially handle 20% of the shipping from Los Angeles and bring it to Tucson for distribution. Many cottage industries and new jobs would develop from the import and export of products shipped through the port to Tucson.

2) What are we doing about Energy?
Tucson should be ground zero for a variety of energy sources. Soon there will be a paradigm changer that will make solar a viable energy source. Currently solar is only affordable through substantial government subsidy. What if we decided to be an energy exporter? We should look at Generation 4 Nuclear Plants that burn their own waste product.  What if we developed two plants, one for Tucson and one to export energy to other states that will not or cannot produce their own energy?

3) What are we doing about Water?
It is predicted that Tucson will have another million people in our city by 2025.  We could pipe water from the Gulf of California through a pipeline to a desalination plant located in Tucson.  Oil and gas are piped all over the United States, why not water? That would mean more jobs and more water for our future.

4) What are we doing about our greatest export?
Every year some of the brightest minds anywhere in the country graduate from one of the universities or colleges in Tucson.  It is almost a foregone conclusion that these graduates will leave Tucson for higher paying jobs in other cities. Tucson’s greatest export is our brightest kids.  What if we were determined to provide job opportunities so these students could stay in Tucson and contribute to our future success?

Our city is what it is because of the choices we have made in the past and it will be what it will be because of the choices we make today. I see a bright future for our city if we will choose to make it so. 4Tucson’s strategy is to participate in these discussions, to challenge the status quo and to offer workable solutions for the benefit of all Tucsonans.

If you want to get involved in 4Tucson call us at (520) 745-4404.


August 3, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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