Our 22nd Annual Roosevelt-Kennedy Fundraiser event culminates on April 3 with an in-person event featuring the Honorables Sandra Kennedy and Lauren Kuby: A Team of Strong Women running for Statewide Office in Arizona’s 4th Branch of Government — the Corporation Commission.
Sandra Kennedy started her public service when she was elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in November 1986, where she served for six years. During her tenure as a House member, she co-authored and introduced with fellow member Patty Nolan Arizona’s first Domestic Violence Bill. She found that working across the aisle, many issues could be accomplished with bipartisan support and the people of Arizona would benefit greatly. In 1992, she ran successfully for a seat to represent her District in the Arizona State Senate, where she served for three terms. Sandra has always been a strong voice to those she represents, never shy about being outspoken. Some of her accomplishments include: sponsoring legislation that was signed into law regarding Domestic Violence Shelters, Foster Care Placement, Pre-Natal Care Education Fund, and City Powers regarding Fair Housing. Concurrent with her stint in the legislature, Sandra was elected to serve on the Phoenix Union High School Governing Board for a four-year term in 1990. Governor Mofford appointed her to the Arizona Employment and Training Council.
Sandra was first elected to the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2008 on a platform of promoting solar energy in Arizona, and as a fierce consumer advocate. In her first term at the Corporation Commission, she worked with the Republican majority led by Kris Mayes to advance Solar Energy and Energy Efficiency. She is the first and only African American in Arizona to hold statewide office and the first statewide elected official, west of the Mississippi.
Sandra was re-elected to the Corporation Commission in 2018 on a platform of restoring integrity and transparency to the Commission, lowering unjustified utility rate increases and creating more solar and renewable energy in Arizona, especially rooftop solar. She is completing her term and running for re-election.
Lauren Kuby, a two-term councilmember and former vice mayor of Tempe, has spent her career standing up to special interests and fighting for consumer, environmental, and worker protections in Arizona. She is a sustainability scientist at Arizona State University and a recognized national champion for climate action and clean energy.
Lauren is a longtime Tempe changemaker with a track record of putting people first and getting things done. As a councilmember, she has led reforms in pursuit of social, economic and environmental justice, spearheaded a Tempe ballot initiative to drive dark money out of politics (that over 90% of voters supported!), and created the Tempe Sustainability Commission, which empowers residents to have a say in their city’s climate policy.
An advocate for fair, equitable worker protections, Lauren spearheaded an initiative through the Tempe City Council to arm marginalized workers with salary negotiation skills and help businesses meet equal pay goals. She also championed the creation of the Tempe Family Justice Commission to promote access to just, safe avenues of care for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and sex trafficking. As a result of her work with community members, Tempe leads the state in climate action-planning and bold, empathetic justice for families and people of all genders.
A fighter for what she believes in, Lauren is known for her bold, practical climate activism and determination in the face of powerful special interests. In 2015, Lauren labored to pass an ordinance banning single-use plastic bags in Tempe. When special interests retaliated by passing a law that banned banning plastic bags, Lauren joined with Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest to sue the state. In 2020, Sierra Club Arizona celebrated Lauren as a “Women’s History Month Climate Hero” and was named one of the “Top 5 People Who Made a Difference in Tempe” by The Arizona Republic in 2014.
Lauren is a Senior Sustainability Scientist at ASU’s Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory. She also holds positions at ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation and Stardust Center for Affordable Homes and the Family. She served on the board of the nonpartisan Arizona Municipal Water Users Association from 2015 to 2020. She works with cities, small businesses and nonprofits to create sustainable economic solutions and to connect the dots between housing, health, food access and transportation.
Lauren has a master’s degree in public history from ASU and a BA from the University of Chicago, where she met her husband Mike, an ASU geographer. They ran a small business together and raised six dogs and two daughters in Tempe.