AJ Kurdoglu Wants to be a Champion of Small Business and the American Dream as a Member of the Chandler City Council

Chandler City Council Candidate AJ Kurdoglu

AJ Kurdoglu epitomizes the American Dream.

An immigrant from Turkey, Mr. Kurdoglu has thrived in Arizona, first in his graduate studies at Thunderbird School of Global Management, then as a small business owner in Chandler.

A veteran public activist who once sought a seat in the Arizona State Senate, he would like to become a member of the Chandler City Council this election season. 

If elected, he would fight for others to achieve the American Dream by assisting small businesses, generating affordable housing opportunities, and promoting Chandler as one of Arizona’s most appealing sites to visit and also start a life in. 

Mr. Kurdoglu graciously took the time to respond to questions about his campaign for the Chandler City Council. 

The questions and his responses are below. 

  • Please tell the readers about yourself and why you want to become a member of the Chandler City Council. 

“I want to start telling my journey. I came to Arizona for my graduate studies. I was born and raised in Istanbul and finished College out there. I became an Industrial Engineer. I’m a product of the public school system and I came here to get my MBA at Thunderbird. After I finished graduate school, I realized that I fell in love with this state, with its people, its nature, and I -still- like to say in this 110-degree temperature, even with its dry heat. After that, I started my small business here. We purchased our home. I met the love of my life. She is amazing. She is a public school teacher. Basically, everything I did, happened in the city of  Chandler. This city is more than just a place that I live. This is where I realized my American Dream and that’s why I’m running so that others will have an easier time and a bigger chance to realize their dreams in this beautiful city of ours. Where you live makes a difference; if you live in a community, that offers safe and affordable neighborhoods, that provides great public education and supports local and small business, you will have a better chance to realize your dreams ”

  • What are two or three main issues you will be running on in this campaign?

Please explain. 

“As you know, I’ve been on the campaign trail for a few years now and I’ve been talking to our neighbors. I am coming from the school of campaigning like Jennifer Pawlik and Sean Bowie. Those are my two mentors. I learned a lot from them,”

“And just like they do, I love knocking on doors and talking to people. That’s what I do every single day and the number one issue that they worry about in Chandler is the housing. That’s number one and it’s in different price levels. We’re not just talking about homelessness. We’re talking about a lack of housing for people, especially the younger generation.

 I’ve heard from families struggling with housing affordability. Adult children still live at home because they can’t afford to rent or buy in Chandler, even though they work here. Young families who love our city and our schools consider leaving because they can’t afford to stay.

 Long-time residents and retirees worry about being priced out. 

Workforce housing must be our top priority. 

Let’s find innovative ways to use land and collaborate with the private sector for affordable, sustainable housing.

Let’s think creatively about planning, redevelopment, and reuse of areas that can perform better.

The second issue that I am passionate about is helping local and small businesses.

As a small business owner, for more than 20 years, I know that our local and small businesses are providing jobs, and they are the backbone of our economy. They should have their champions in local government so that their issues are not neglected but taken care of. I would love to see our local and small businesses giving more chances because every dollar they make, stay in the community.

“Chandler has for some reason a unique traffic problem with the road works and the upgrades and everything. As I told you earlier, I’m knocking on doors every day, and Traffic is another issue that our neighbors are complaining about.  Unfortunately; it seems like their complaints about this issue fall on deaf ears.

I am certain that we can find ways to do the necessary work on our streets while minimizing the inconvenience to our residents and businesses. We have to hear our neighbors’ concerns on this issue.

  • Please explain at least two reasons the voters should choose you over your opponent. 

I am a first-generation American, an industrial engineer with an MBA, and a small business owner with more than 20 years of experience, I believe will I bring a fresh set of ideas and new points of view that are needed in our city government. 

As a business owner, I know the hardships and the struggles of our families, because I live through them every day.

As a small business owner, two important traits that I have will be very valuable at the city council; I know how to build relationships, and bridges, and work with anyone regardless of their background just to get the job done. 

I also know the importance of every single dollar. I will make sure our budget, and our neighbors hard hard-earned money are not wasted and utilized best way possible.

  • Please describe your get-out-the-vote operation and how your campaign will appeal to Democrats Independents and like-minded Republicans. 

“I have a wonderful large group of volunteers. We are out every single day and we practically covered almost every corner of the city with our literature, with our door knocking and everything, and we’re going to keep doing this next 30 days.” 

“Our newspaper ads are about to come out for the Go TV, phase of our campaign. We’re going to have digital ads as well. We’re going to have a mailer. I am different than my opponents. It feels like they all believe that the more signs they have on the street corner the better. I don’t buy into that. I have my set of signs, which is enough so people can see my name and face and that’s what I do.”

Again, the most important part of our campaign is door-knocking and reaching people at their homes. We’re going to do that and then I’m hoping for the best that this hard work will be successful.”

  • Is there anything not covered in the first four questions that you would like the readers to know about you and your candidacy for the Chandler City Council? Please explain. 

“I want this city to be the best it can be. in another interview. I said this,  I want that when people think about Arizona, I want them to think first of Chandler. Not Scottsdale. Not Phoenix. Hopefully Chandler. That’s my ultimate goal when I get elected to the city council.”

Please click here to find out more about AJ Kurdoglu and his campaign for the Chandler City Council. 


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