Alston, Lela

Democrat – Legislative District 24 House

Phone: (602) 278-2002

Email: [email protected]


Facebook: Lela Alston

Twitter: @LelaAlstonAz

Address: 69 W Willetta St #1, Phoenix, AZ 85003

Age: 72. (06/26/42, Phoenix, AZ).

Arizona since: Birth

Occupation: Member, Governing Bd of Phoenix Union H.S. Dist, since 2009; section mgr, Dept of Economic Security, Workforce Investment Act, 2004–07; teacher, Phoenix Union High School Dist, 1968-2002.

Marital: Divorced

Children: 2; 6 grandchildren

Education: M.S., child development and family relations, ASU, 1971; B.S., home economics education, UofA, 1967.

Political experience: Precinct committeeman, state committeeman.

Legis exp: House since 2011; Senate 1977-94, assistant minority leader and whip.

Interests: Lela Alston Elementary School, students and families of the Phoenix Union High School Dist, family, reading, dogs (Joe Biden and Bo Obama), antique autos, historic restoration and preservation.

Two biggest issues: Economy and education. The state needs to encourage job creation by supporting industry and manufacturing via strategic tax supports that we know will result in job development. Investment in technology and the biosciences is critical to creating high wage jobs. Funding of the innovative research grants as requested by the UofA is an example of where we should be spending. Investment in education at all levels is woefully insufficient for creating productive citizens and training workers that are needed for our businesses and the high-wage jobs that can be created.

Budget priorities: In addition to the economy and education we should be investing in our young children who are being abused and neglected. Spending to ensure that all reported cases of child abuse and neglect are being investigated is a must. Spending on preventative services is a wise investment in both human and financial capital. Child care subsidies, increasing dollars to the Homeless Trust Fund and offering parenting and substance abuse treatment programs are all examples of ways to reduce the need for investigation in the first place. Funds can be saved by repealing the Student Tuition Organization tax credits and vouchers that take money away from public schools, quit building prisons when the population is decreasing and increase efforts to reduce tax fraud are a few ideas.

Fiscal philosophy: Moderate. I believe in funding education, job training and investment in people, business and the economy.

Common Core: Yes, these standards were developed so that we can measure in a meaningful way those things we expect students to know and they are rigorous. We will have consistent measures throughout the states.

Gifts to elected officials: I would support a ban on all gifts.

Transparency in government: I think transparency is critical as is public notice. One of the worst examples of the lack of transparency is in the budgeting process. The budget is crafted by members of the leadership and in small group meetings by the majority party. These meetings occur totally outside of the public view. The budget presentations by agencies are shamefully inadequate in detail and often the big issues are decided behind closed doors so that even some members of the Legislature are not adequately informed.

Pro-life / pro-choice: I am pro-choice. I believe we should support programs that delay sexual activity among teens and make birth control available so the incidents of abortion can be curtailed. The right to privacy between an individual and her doctor is essential.

Public policy advice: I get information from a number of sources that include constituents, staff, lobbyists, agency personnel and other members. There is exceptional written material available on many subjects and interested citizens often bring that information to my attention.