Daniel Valenzuela we re-elected to his second term on the Phoenix City Council in August, 2015. He began his tenure on the City Council on January 3, 2012. He proudly represents District 5, which includes west and central Phoenix. Daniel is committed to keeping our families safe, strengthening our economy and improving our neighborhoods.
Vice Mayor Valenzuela currently chairs the Downtown, Aviation and Redevelopment Subcommittee. He also serves as a member on three additional subcommittees: Neighborhoods, Housing and Development; Finance, Efficiency, Economy and Sustainability; and Parks, Arts, Transparency and Education. In May 2015, the vice mayor was appointed to represent Phoenix on the Arizona League of Cities and Towns Executive Committee.
Daniel is leading the effort on the City Council to help Phoenix build momentum as an epicenter for entrepreneurship. These businesses are critical to growing the city's economy. In 2014, he joined CO+HOOTS, a local co-working space, in launching the first global entrepreneur exchange program – a program that is designed to bring together the world's most innovative entrepreneurs and coworkers to share ideas in cities throughout the world. Vice Mayor Valenzuela also worked with Arizona State University to create The Hive, a program at Burton Barr Library that provides a discovery space for business entrepreneurs and combines elements of a co-working space with services and resources. Additionally, Vice Mayor Valenzuela is working with the Valley's higher education institutions including the Maricopa County Community Colleges District and Grand Canyon University to continue to make Phoenix the place where entrepreneurs thrive. Finally, the Vice Mayor has worked with the city's Community and Economic Development Department to create a program called 5K in 5Y. Through this effort, private funds will be raised to develop real estate solutions facing new or expanding startups and to provide grants to augment startup costs with the goal of creating 5,000 startups in Phoenix in 5 years.
He has also dedicated a significant amount of his time and energy to crafting strong public private partnerships. In 2012, Vice Mayor Valenzuela worked with Grand Canyon University and the Phoenix Police Department to develop a $1 million, 5-year partnership to stop crime in the Canyon Corridor and the partnership is still going strong. In 2014, GCU also provided $100,000 to the city of Phoenix to preserve the Phoenix Fire Department's Car99 program – a component of the department's drowning prevention efforts. Additionally, GCU has partnered with the city to clean up graffiti in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus. Finally, GCU and the City entered into an agreement in 2015 to revitalize Maryvale Golf Course. The agreement will keep the course public and maintain affordable greens fees all while saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.
Under the leadership of Vice Mayor Valenzuela, Mayor Stanton and Olympic Gold Medalist Misty Hyman, a citywide healthy living initiative, FitPHX, was created in 2013. The program works with Parks and Recreation Department staff, a team of liaisons from 16 city departments and multiple community partners on a variety of programs to boost community health. FitPHX focuses on walking, fighting childhood and adult obesity, nutrition education, active infrastructure, healthy worksites and encouraging the use of public transportation and bicycling. The program has created multiple mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses, nonprofits and other government agencies
In 2013, Daniel co-chaired the City's efforts to reform the City's pension system by creating sensible, sustainable solutions that respect taxpayers-at-large and dedicated city employees. The majority of Phoenix residents voted in support of the plan to create a 50-50 partnership between the employees and the city of Phoenix for pension contributions. The City will save nearly $600 million over the next 23 years.
Vice Mayor Valenzuela has been a strong advocate for bringing light rail to central and west Phoenix. During his time on Council, he has fought for and voted for accelerating the expansion of light rail into Northwest Phoenix. The extension will now open in 2016, seven years earlier than originally expected and will provide transportation for more than 5,000 people per day.
Daniel has become a leader and an advocate for the city of Phoenix at all levels of government. He has traveled to Washington, D.C. several times to advocate for federal funding thus assisting in securing grants that benefit the City in the areas of public safety, health and human services and transportation. Federal grants have been critically important to the city of Phoenix, especially during tough budget times. For example, in 2012 Vice Mayor Valenzuela met with officials from the Department of Justice in Washington, DC to advocate for the city's COPS Hiring Grant application. Ultimately, in 2013, the city was awarded the maximum amount - $1.8 million along with a micro-grant to protect businesses from criminal activity. The grant allowed the city to hire 15 new police officers.
Daniel has dedicated his entire life to public service. He currently is a special operations firefighter with a valley city and a former fire department public information officer.
Daniel represents the city of Phoenix on the Executive Committee of the Arizona League of Cities and Towns, on the board of Western Maricopa County Coalition (WESTMARC), ASU West Community Leaders, Arizona Emergency Medical Systems, BUILD Arizona, and Project ALWAYS.
For information on the District 5 team, please click here.
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