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Charlene Tarver, JD, LL.M., CEBS

Charlene Tarver has lived in Maricopa County for more than 16 years and currently serves on the boards of the Phoenix IDA, Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone's Office, and the Georgetown University African American Advisory Board. Tarver has served on the City of Phoenix Pension Reform Task Force, Arizona List, City of Phoenix Parks and Recreation, and the District 8 Advisory Board to City Council Member Kate Gallego.  Tarver  is a member of Valley Leadership Institute, 40 Under 40, AAUW, and a policy fellow of Leading for Change and the Flinn-Brown Civic Leadership Academy. 


Growing up in one of the poorest cities in the nation Charlene knows the value of  quality education and is an advocate for Maricopa County youth, families and faculty. 


  • As adjunct faculty for Maricopa  Community Colleges I see first hand the challenges our students face due to limited resources in K-12 and zero state investment at the community college level.  Students are struggling with access to books, technology, transportation, childcare.   You name it there's a need.  For some of our students housing, meals and healthcare is a more immediate need than education.  It's hard to to focus when you're hungry or study when you don't have books.   And faculty equally struggles with teaching to academic gaps,  limited administrative  support, technology, and infrastructure challenges. 


Many of our students aren’t pursuing four-year degrees, because of unaffordability, significant academic achievement gaps, or family and life responsibilities that simply interfere with the traditional college pathways. Some struggled in school and lacked adequate support to make it to graduation, others were ESL, involved in the juvenile justice system, teen parenting, or children who simply “aged out” of foster care.  By not challenging the state to reinvest in community college education  we've failed them!


  • We all deserve an opportunity to make a better life for ourselves and our families.  Opportunity reduces crime, homelessness, and unemployment. Opportunity creates jobs, builds our labor market, attracts industry, and strengthens our economy. Workforce development without adequate funding and resources for our children to graduate is an empty promise.


  • The Arizona State Legislature's divestment from Maricopa Community Colleges amounts to a reckless abandonment of our youth.  That's why I'm running. --Our children and their children deserve better. 


 I’ve had a lot of real-life experiences being an attorney, entrepreneur, single parent, and woman of color….I’m a champion for opportunity. That’s what I bring to the classroom and that’s what I’ll bring to the Governing Board--A strong voice who will fight for the future of our county and zealously advocate for Maricopa students, families, and faculty.    I'm not interested in status quo.  It doesn't serve Maricopa and it doesn't serve our youth.

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If you believe Maricopa County's youth, families and faculty deserve better  let's Stand Together  November 3, 2020 and demand better!