Newsroom | Message from the Chair, February 2022

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At no time in my career has the saying “the art of the possible” resonated more significantly than during my time as MAG chair.

Regional Council, Chair Message, Giles

At no time in my career has the saying “the art of the possible” resonated more significantly than during my time as MAG chair. From the Regional Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Investment Plan to our Pathways Home Regional Homelessness Action Plan, the visionary work of MAG ensures a better life for residents in both the near and long-term future.

The journeys to both of these successes have been long and at times difficult. There are many parallels. Political viewpoints differ. Conversations are complex. Solutions are nuanced. But the greater good is always our priority, and collaboration drives results.

Collaboration drove the strategic development of the transportation infrastructure investment plan. The plan is multimodal and includes a suite of investments, such as freeway improvements and high-capacity transit expansion. Significant investment also has been directed into various programs such as safety, bus transit, and active transportation. This programmatic strategy provides greater flexibility to ensure the region can best respond to critical needs now and into the future.

The funding received through Prop 400 makes up a significant revenue source that allows MAG to carry out its vital mission of improving the transportation system. It keeps all of us moving safely, and serves an important role in economic development and the region’s prosperity. Public input was key in developing the plan. Continuing to plan for and invest in our transportation system will ensure that you can get to the places you need to go and have more time to do what matters most. We are currently working with the State Legislature to allow voters to determine whether to continue needed transportation investment in our region.

We also need to address the fundamental human needs of our region. Homelessness doesn’t start and stop at the boundaries of our respective cities and towns. I am proud that the Regional Council has committed to working together on a coordinated regional response to homelessness.

The newly approved regional homelessness plan has a target goal of reducing homelessness by 25 percent by 2027. It comes at a critical juncture. Arizona has the fastest growth in homelessness of anywhere in the country, with a nearly 10 percent increase. While there is much work still to be done, the Pathways Home plan provides a framework that empowers our local and tribal governments to take the next steps together.

These are just a few of the efforts underway at MAG, and a few of the ways we seek to make the impossible possible. We invite your participation and support.

Published February 11, 2022

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