Wanting to give voice to the younger generation, the Town of Marana has agreed to participate in The Manifesto Project, a program aimed at recruiting young leaders in Arizona who want to take action in helping improve the state.

The Center for the Future of Arizona is a non-profit organization that researches and puts together an agenda that highlights critical topics the state needs to address. Recently, the center released The Arizona We Want 2.0, which took statistics and the voice of the citizens and put together an outline of areas that the state needs to grow in.  The citizens’ three agenda items included caring for the economy, caring for the people and caring for the communities.

The Manifesto Project was created in response to the Arizona We Want 2.0 report. They then posed the question of: How does Arizona retain its young leaders? 

The project organizers want to hear from young Arizonans and encourage them to take leadership positions where they can actively be involved in the local or state government. Their goal is have 100 young adults take new leadership positions and to network more than 5,000 leaders through social media.

The project has reached out to more than 50 towns and cities in Arizona, encouraging them to host a Manifesto event. 

Marana hosted the Marana Manifesto Project event on Aug. 8 and had 12 people between the ages of 18 and 40 show up. The event asked participants to finish three statements, which was aimed at generating more verbal discussion.

 The three statements to finish were: Our generation is…, I would stay in Arizona if…, and I will lead the change I want to see by…

Michael Tucker, a marketing and communication business owner, heard about the meeting after someone left a comment on his Facebook status where he asked why all of his friends in Tucson were leaving.

“I had a lot of comments after I posted that said the city caters to retirees, there’s no exciting opportunities, not many attractions, lack of real transportation, lacks motivation to attract people to Tucson and more,” said 33-year-old Tucker. “I realized a lot of people are disconnected from the community.”

After attending the Marana Manifesto Project meeting, he found himself more motivated to helping grow the community of Tucson.

“What I’m looking forward to in the Manifesto Project is to see real action. I think that if the Manifesto Project can create a movement that mobilizes young people to action by identifying the opportunities available, there will be a greater chance of people staying here,” said Tucker.

Marana Administrative Assistant Vickie Hathaway was one of a few to head up the meeting and felt the event was successful.

“Marana is always about promoting progress and innovation so we thought it was a good thing for the community to be involved in,” said Hathaway. “I think it was successful because we were able to achieve the intent of the event. It will be exciting to submit the Manifesto to the Manifesto Project and see how our values line up with the other places who have done it.”

Other nearby areas that have been involved besides the City of Tucson and Marana are Flagstaff, Phoenix and the Town of Wickenburg.

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