Governor Janet Napolitano has made the education and protection of Arizona’s children the driving force of her administration. She is an effective chief executive who has focused on moving Arizona forward and preparing our state’s families for the new economy and the New Arizona.
When Governor Napolitano took office in January 2003, the state faced a billion dollar deficit. In that first year in office, she erased that deficit without raising taxes or cutting funding for public schools or other vital services.
Also during that first year in office, Governor Napolitano tackled a problem that had been ignored for too long in Arizona – the under-funding of the agency that cares for abused and neglected children. She began a series of reforms of the state’s Child Protective Services that continue to this day.
Governor Janet Napolitano
Under her leadership, the state has begun the phase-in of voluntary full-day kindergarten.
When complete, every parent in every family in Arizona will have the choice of sending their children to full-day K.
Governor Napolitano believes that while we prepare students for life in the real world, we must create real jobs that will be there when they graduate. That demands a rethinking of the way we teach our children – from elementary school, through high school, college and workforce training. The Governor has never wavered in her support of higher education, and she created the P-20 Council to specifically to align elementary, secondary and higher education to the workforce – in other words, ensure that what children and young adults study in school reflects the skills and knowledge they will need to be successful in business.
These efforts in the area of education and her work to build trade – particularly in high-tech industries – are part of her strategy to secure the stability and growth of Arizona’s economy for the long term.
She has been a champion of law-enforcement and border security, as well. Governor Napolitano’s leadership is responsible for creation of the Arizona Counter-Terrorism Information Center, a multi-agency intelligence fusion center that tracks and shares critical data used to keep our cities and our borders safe 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
By pre-positioning fire equipment and putting plans in place early, Governor Napolitano has ensured the state would be able to handle several consecutive severe fire seasons. She has been at the forefront of water management planning – particularly for rural Arizona – in response to the state’s extended drought.
Health care has been another key focus for the Governor: she worked with Universities and the community to create a new medical school in the Phoenix area to begin to address the critical shortage of doctors in Arizona; her prescription-discount plan, the Copper Card, saves Arizona seniors $100,000 a week; and the expansion of the state’s HealthCare Group insurance plan brings health coverage to thousands of individuals and small business that would otherwise do without.
Prior to her election as Governor of Arizona, she served one term as Arizona Attorney General and four years as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona. Born in New York City and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she is a distinguished alumna of Santa Clara University and the University of Virginia Law School. She has lived in Arizona since 1983, when she moved to Phoenix to practice law.
Governor Napolitano is a serious sports fan – the Arizona Diamondbacks are her favorite – an avid reader and moviegoer, a friend of the arts and a friend to all Arizonans.
· 1 decade ago