Democrat – Legislative District 1 House
Phone: (928) 458-6931
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Frank Cuccia
Address: 940 Buckhill Rd, Prescott, AZ 86303
Age: 58. (09/06/55, Cleveland, OH).
Arizona since: 2006
Occupation: Coach/teacher, Higley Unified School District & Prescott Unified School District, 2007-13; professor, Kaplan, Bryant & Stratton College, ITT Tech, 2002-06; sales, sales management, franchisee, F.A.N.D.A., 1981-91; machinist, warehouseman, dock worker, 1974-81.
Education: J.D., The Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, 1997; B.S./B.A., finance/economics, The Ohio State University, 1994.
Political experience: Community organizer for Northern AZ MoveOn Council, 2012-13.
Interests: Ballroom dancing, family travel, sports, politics.
Two biggest issues: Public schools: For decades, the best interests of people – the well-being of our public schools – has been ignored by Republican leadership. They‘ve placed the profits of large out-of-state private education corporate donors ahead of the best interest of children. I’ll end the Republican-corporate-sponsored siphoning of hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ dollars and redirect these funds to help restore our public schools to their past glory. Economic fairness: As your next representative, I will replace the failed economic policies of bailouts and corporate tax giveaways with effective economic solutions that will actually benefit everyday people. I will support a livable wage policy, one designed to move working Arizonans off government assistance on their way to reaching the American dream.
Budget priorities: Over the past decades, at the behest of large special interest donors our leaders have spent billions of tax dollars for the best interest of the private good. As a result, Arizona’s budget is hemorrhaging while our quality of life in Arizona is reeling. We pay prisons corps 10s of millions more than necessary to house our prisoners; we divert 100s of millions of public dollars into the coffers of private education. We permit our largest corp earners to escape most all state business tax and we invest billions for the private goods that provide little or no public ROI. My goal will be to focus on policies that benefit the public good that will attract new businesses and improve the economy of Main Street. I will work to increase our investment in our schools, work to raise the wages of all residents, work to require our large corps to be good corp citizens, to secure an adequate water supply. These types of policies will provide the ROI that will once again bring solvency back.
Fiscal philosophy: I believe in common-sense economic policies that work from the middle out. Economic policies should be driven by sound fiscal priorities that are focused on getting the best “public good” return for our public dollar investment. Our policies must avoid recent failed policies, similar to those like T.A.R.P., where we focus our tax dollars on the well-being of corporate America and Wall Street. The results of 40 years of focusing our fiscal policies on what is best for the private good have been poor jobs, poor wages, poor benefits. If Arizonans want to create an Arizona that is good for themselves, their children & grandchildren, they must embrace the economic policies of the 40s, 50s and 60s that were designed to build the economy from the middle-out: by building a world-class education, by creating a workforce that is not best known for its high high school drop-out rate, but for its high college graduation rate, by creating policies fostered for an era of increasing workers’ rights & wages.
Common Core: As a parent of two publicly educated children, one with special needs, as well as a middle school math teacher, I understand the importance of locally controlled education. I will work to ensure that our schools pursue a path of increasing expectations, regardless of from where these standards are derived. Currently, our leadership’s desire to outsource public education to unaccountable out-of-state private education corps and to divert millions of public dollars to benefit these private entities has resulted in a dramatic decrease in the quality of education provided in our schools. To hide these self-inflicted negative results, Republican leadership chose to dumb down the AIMS test in an effort to fool Arizona parents by elevated scores.
As your representative, I will choose a different path, one grounded in the notion that a representative’s duty is to work to raise the quality of life (here the quality of education) for all Arizonans. I will pursue a path where we “Double Down NOT Dummy Down.”
Gifts to elected officials: To me this is a quintessential government transparency issue. Common sense should tell us that corporations/special interest groups are the biggest benefactors of these gifts. Their benefits are derived from their ability to pressure a representative to place their best interest ahead of the best interest of people. As such, I am strongly opposed to the undue influence this causes. As a Clean Elections candidate, I have personally chosen a path which will allow me to avoid the undue influence of large private donations. And as your next representative, I will forward policies designed to force big money from state politics.
Transparency in government: Communities need to trust their government at all levels. If they feel that information is being inappropriately withheld, or if decisions are being made “behind closed doors,” they will doubt their government’s ability to protect their interests as citizens. Situations such as the VA Hospital scandal, the Child Protective Services scandal, and budget decision-making done in private with the minority party always excluded contribute to this distrust. As your representative, I will introduce and support legislation that provides for improved transparency and reporting in all government agencies, and for bipartisan participation in all levels of critical decision-making.
Pro-life / pro-choice: I support the Supreme Court’s 1974 decision, where it held that all Americans have a right to privacy and within that right was included a woman’s right to control the if, how and when she decides to start a family. And as such, I would oppose government action at any level whose objective was to interfere with this constitutionally guaranteed right.
Public policy advice: Whom a candidate looks to for advice is a key component as to whether or not the candidate’s term will be successful. The advisers that I would seek out vary depending upon the issue. When faced with a need for decision-making, I would seek out a coalition of knowledgeable parties on the issue – community leaders. For example, I am currently meeting with area school superintendents, PTOs/PSTAs, teachers and others to probe their ideas about the needs of our public schools.