The Arizona Center for Economic Progress is a leader in advancing policies that create fairer tax codes which raise the revenue needed to invest in education, affordable housing, health care, infrastructure and other supports needed to build thriving communities and better economic opportunities for all Arizonans.

 

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Our impact

You can find us in Arizona communities alongside grassroots organizations fighting for equity and economic justice; in the halls of the government advocating for policy change that removes barriers to getting ahead; and producing key data-driven insights and the latest research to share with advocates, lawmakers, media and Arizona voters.

Our Recent Successes

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Advancing

Advancing legislation to slow the growth of corporate tax credits and preventing millions of public tax dollars from being diverted from public to private schools.

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Achieving

Achieving millions in new annual revenue for Arizona’s public schools and a fairer state tax code through the passage of a ballot initiative establishing an income tax surcharge on the wealthiest Arizonans.

The Center is the only statewide organization that represents authentic voices and working families in the public conversation about Arizona’s economic roadmap. The Center is moving a new and necessary perspective to influence elected leaders and policy advisors.

Luis A. Heredia
Executive Director, Arizona Education Association

The Arizona Center for Economic Progress is an incredibly valuable resource for all Arizonans. The Center provides thorough, easy to understand fact sheets, charts and reports that get to the heart of important issues we face.

Rebecca Gau
Executive Director, Stand for Children Arizona

I always turn to the AZ Center for Economic Progress to ensure that I can fully understand how and from where AZ is deriving its revenue & how such is spent, as the information is made intelligible for people like me via charts and graphs. Thus the Center has been my 'go to source' for clear objective information about public education and taxes.

Rivko Knox
The League of Women Voters of Arizona

Our team

David Lujan
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David Lujan, Esq.

Director

David, a former member of the state Senate and House of Representatives, has worked in public policy in Arizona for 20 years. He served as an assistant attorney general advising the School Facilities Board, legal counsel for the Arizona senate, a staff attorney providing legal services to abused and neglected children and, most recently, as a public policy director for Reading Partners, an organization that provides services to young children struggling in school. David also served as chief administrator for Arizona State University’s Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, a public charter school for preschool through 12th grade students. David earned his law degree at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU.

Karen Mclaughlin
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Karen McLaughlin, MPA

Director of Budget and Tax Policy

Karen McLaughin is the Director of Budget and Tax Policy for Children’s Action Alliance and the Arizona Center for Economic Progress. She provides leadership on the state budget and tax issues. Prior to joining CAA in 2005, Karen held various positions with the State of Arizona including analyst with the Governor’s Office and Strategic Planning and Budgeting and the Financial Serviecs Administrator for the Arizona Department of Economic Security. She earned her Master’s in Public Administration from Arizona State University.

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Taylor Flamini

Digital Strategist

Taylor is the Digital Strategist for the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, elevating the communications of our work to the communities we serve. His prior experience includes campaigns to increase Flagstaff’s minimum wage, raise awareness for sexual and domestic violence, and provide new lending opportunities for more equitable access to housing. Before joining the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, he was the Marketing Manager launching an experiential art exhibit in Arizona. Taylor graduated from Arizona State University with a B.A. in Sustainability and Design Studies.

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Sarah Kader

Senior Campaign Strategist

Sarah is the Senior Campaign Strategist at the Arizona Center for Economic Progress. In this role, Sarah manages People First Economy, a proactive revenue coalition campaign of the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, One Arizona, and the Arizona for Empowerment. This campaign seeks to uplift the needs of long neglected communities in Arizona through policy change at the State Capitol. Prior to joining in 2020, Sarah worked as the Director of Operations at the Statewide Independent Living Council, and before that as an attorney at the Arizona Center for Disability Law for eight years. As an attorney, Sarah represented individuals with disabilities in cases related to health care, special education, employment, accessibility, and discrimination in jails and prisons. Sarah holds a B.A from the University of Arizona and a Juris Doctor from Syracuse University.

May Mgbolu
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May Mgbolu

Assistant Director of Policy & Advocacy

May Mgbolu is an Assistant Director of Policy & Advocacy at the Arizona Center for Economic Progress. Mgbolu oversees the organization’s KIDS COUNT project and data center and performs research and policy analysis. Her research focuses on state fiscal policy, P-20 education, immigration, Native American policy, criminal justice, and the intersection of race and ethnicity in the economy. Prior to joining in 2017, Mgbolu worked as an analyst in Colorado, where she conducted research on recidivism and supported the City and County of Denver’s Crime Prevention and Control Commission’s Transition to Jail model for returning citizens. Mgbolu holds a B.A. in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Arizona and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Public Policy at Arizona State University.

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Lane Santa Cruz

Southern Arizona Organizer

Lane is the Southern Arizona Organizer with the Arizona Center for Economic Progress working on the People First Economy for Arizona. They have spent over 15 years working on issues related to co-governing, sexual/gender violence prevention, food justice, migrant rights, and mobility justice. Lane’s goal is to make sure that state policies are informed and developed from community-based experiences and that investments put the needs of people first. Lane holds a Ph.D. in Teaching, Learning, and Sociocultural Studies from the University of Arizona. Their multi-modal dissertation examined the historical hegemonic making of U.S. education, and how compulsory schooling framed acceptable notions of culture, language/literacy, and knowledge production.

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Andrew M. Sugrue

Assistant Director of Policy & Advocacy

Andrew advances the Arizona Center for Economic Progress’s policy agenda through analysis and advocacy, focusing on food security, housing stability, and strengthening the safety net. Andrew’s public service journey reflects a deep commitment to improving how government works for people. Before joining the AZ Center, he served as a Fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab during which he worked with the Arizona Department of Child Safety to improve the effectiveness of supports for children and families. Andrew earned his Master in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and his bachelor’s degree in Government from Georgetown University.

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Cora Tso

Tribal Policy Fellow

Cora is the inaugural Tribal Policy Fellow at the Arizona Center for Economic Progress. As a recent graduate of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, Cora earned her Juris Doctor degree with a Certificate in Indian Law and is currently working toward becoming licensed to practice law in Arizona and the Navajo Nation. Cora also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and a minor in American Indian Studies with a Certificate in American Indian Governance from Arizona State University. Cora’s prior work experience ranges from federal, local, and Tribal government political and legal work spanning across Arizona, California, and Washington D.C. Cora is also a proud member of the Navajo Nation and is originally from Shonto, Arizona.

Let’s raise the economic power of all Arizonans

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