The Arizona Corporation Commission is the government entity that sets the rates and regulates the electric, gas, water, and energy industries. As a Democratic candidate for the Commission Kiana Sears states, “Without the element the Corporation Commission controls, one will not have a sustainable life.” Sears is running for the Corporation Commission because she “cares about the present and future of Arizona.
Running on the motto, “To whom much is given, much is required,” Sears, an experienced consultant at the Corporation Commission, is conducting a campaign based on honesty, integrity, and transparency that will put the welfare of people and small businesses first. If elected, her goals as a commissioner are as follows:
- “Restore integrity so that the public understands what the Commission’s mission is, which is to serve the people and not corporations, monopolies, or special interests in a “clean” political fashion. In doing this, confidence and trust in the commission would be restored.
- Serve the public by providing clean and safe water, modernizing our water and energy supply infrastructure, supplying abundant energy (with a strategic direction towards renewables like solar and wind), and lowering rates to benefit the people.
Well experienced and prepared
Married for 25 years, Sears is well experienced and prepared in public policy and service. A mother of two college graduates, Sears moved to Arizona from New Orleans. A graduate with both a Bachelors and Masters Degree from Arizona State University, she has served three years as a social worker for the Children’s Action Alliance. She followed that as a research staffer for the Family Services Committee in Arizona State Senate for about a year and then six and a half years as an Executive Consultant and Professional Public Utility Analyst for the Arizona Corporation Commission.
In running to be a Commissioner, Sears sees the position as one of “social and public service that does include the business sector, but the important thing is serving the public.” She wants to take a “consumer-focused approach” to the job and wants to run strictly on the issues facing the people.
Issues facing the Corporation Commission
According to Sears, there are three issues facing the Commission at this time. They are:
- A culture of corruption and bribery with some commissioners that needs to be remedied.
- A Commission that goes against the people’s interests and staff recommendations by increasing utility rates.
- “Ignoring the need for building a modern water infrastructure for the state (especially in the rural areas) and energy renewable standards where we can be the solar capital of the world.” Sears feels, in order to lower rates and reduce asthma increases among all children, that the Commission should commit to utilizing 50% renewables in its energy output (all kinds including solar and wind).
Sears offers several solutions to modernize and reform the Commission and its goals. These include:
- Launching an awareness campaign about the purpose, powers, goals, and responsibilities of the Commission so every citizen knows how it affects their daily lives.
- Energizing and reactivating the Consumer Services Division of the Commission to carry the awareness campaign and assist consumers in finding ways to reduce bills.
- Channeling the monies generated by late fees to supporting art programs across the state.
- Reducing rates for consumers in August and September so they do not have to face the choice of turning on the air conditioner in the middle of the summer or buying clothes for the kids when school starts.
- Working with all stakeholders from both major political parties at the policy, regulatory, and rules level in promoting and harnessing more renewable alternative energy sources like solar and wind as well as energy efficiency standards. Sears suggests public relations campaigns based on showing “tumbleweeds” and “haboobs” as examples of how wind power can be channeled. She also supports the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Initiative.
- Testing older school and commercial buildings for lead pipes and recommending steps to correct the problem if they exist.
Qualities a good Corporation Commissioner
According to Sears, a member of the Corporation Commission should possess the following attributes. They are:
✓ Having a background in the area they are overseeing. With her eight years experience as a consultant and analyst for the commission, Sears has that background.
✓ Caring about serving the community and taking the position on the Commission to serve, not profit. With her more than 10 years in working to serve the public, Sears has shown her devotion to serving the community.
✓ Being endowed with high character that is shown by not receiving campaign money from special interests (open or dark) that have a vested interest in the energy industry. Sears is running a Clean Elections Campaign.
Working tirelessly to get her message across the state, Sears is the only candidate to have visited the La Paz and Green Valley areas twice. Feeling that she has an obligation to give back to the state where she and her family have flourished, this daughter of a disabled Marine and member of the New Orleans Water and Sewer Board, promises to put the people first as a member of the Corporation Commission by working to lower their electric and water rates while endeavoring to supply cleaner and safer water and renewable energy.
For more information about Sears, please visit her website at: www.searsforarizona.com .