A billionaire self-financing a run for president now has a presence in the West Valley.
The Mike Bloomberg 2020 presidential political campaign opened an office in Tolleson, Tuesday, Feb. 4, on 83rd Avenue and Van Buren Street. Bloomberg was not at the office opening event, where his staff emphasized the campaign message of fighting for the environment and boosting the economy.
Bloomberg is the former mayor of New York and billionaire businessman who employs roughly 20,000 people. According to his website, during his three terms as mayor of New York, he created nearly a half-million jobs, expanded health insurance to 700,000 people and reduced the city’s carbon footprint by nearly 40%.
He is now running for president in the upcoming election because he wants to unite America as he fights for climate change, education and women’s rights among other issues, his supporters said.
Not everyone shares this glowing view of Bloomberg. At Friday night’s Democratic candidate debate, even though Bloomberg was not eligible to participate, he was criticized.
“There are millions of people who can desire to run for office, but I get if you’re worth $60 billion and you can spend several hundred millions on commercials, you have an advantage. That is nonsense,” said Sen. Bernie Sanders during the televised debate.
According to the New York Times, Bloomberg spent over $200 million in his campaign, with a big bulk going toward TV ads.
Luis Acosta, state director of the Bloomberg campaign, focused on the local economy. “The fact Mike is opening an office in the West Valley is huge because it’s good for local economic development. We’re supporting local businesses constantly,” he said.
Acosta said the campaign has committed to hiring more than 50 people from Arizona and opening six offices in the state.
“This is about talking to our voters, talking to our neighbors about the issues affecting us every day in the most impactful ways,” Acosta said.
Acosta said Bloomberg is a good choice for the people of the West Valley as he has experience of altruism that could benefit the people of the Valley.
“Mike is different in the sense he has a long history of philanthropy in causes directly affecting communities like ours,” Acosta said. “Mike has diverted $5.8 million into a Latino ad buy.”
Former Miami Mayor Manuel Diaz is the national political co-chair of the Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign. He said having people on the ground is a crucial part of the campaign.
“We understand campaigns are won and lost by people on the field and not by what somebody in New York thinks, but what local people think,” Diaz said. “And it’s why we’re investing here.”
In addition, Diaz said Bloomberg wants to focus on fighting for the environment, gun violence and control and education.
Diaz also said Bloomberg wants to focus on small businesses and jobs as he has done so in the past when he was mayor of New York.
Diaz said Bloomberg will also heavily focus on the Latino community. “We are the immigrant story,” Diaz said. “To help immigrants and welcome them. Those are the kinds of things that are important.”
Campaign representatives said he is the right choice for the people of the West Valley as he came from humble beginnings and keeps the commonwealth in mind.
“He has never forgotten his roots, never forgot where he came from and never forgot the values his parents instilled in him,” Diaz said.