Steve Farley is a 53-year-old small-business owner and father of Amelia, 21, and Genevieve, 17. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Williams College (Mass.) in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He was elected to represent the citizens of District 9 as State Senator in 2012. He was first elected to the Arizona Legislature as State Representative from District 28 in November 2006, eventually rising to become House Assistant Minority Leader. He now serves as Senate Assistant Minority Leader and the Ranking Democrat on the Finance Committee, as well as Member of the Appropriations, Financial Institutions, and Ethics Committees.
Steve, named by the Arizona Republic as one of 16 Arizonans to Watch in 2016, and voted Best Arizona Democratic Elected Official in 2016 by readers and reporters of the Arizona Capitol Times, is working to move Arizona forward with legislative priorities in the areas of public education, jobs and economic development, senior issues, public safety, transportation choices, sustainable growth, fiscal health, and quality of life.
In his legislative career, he has worked to invest in new technologies and high-wage jobs, expand health care for self-employed and small-business owners, make long-term care more affordable for middle-class seniors and the families that love them, increasing the production of clean solar energy, outlaw driving while texting, build passenger rail between Tucson and Phoenix and beyond, and create livable communities. He has repeatedly been named Conservation Hero by the Arizona League of Conservation Voters, and Legislative Champion by the Arizona League of Towns and Cities.
He is well-known as the artist who gathered personal photos from the Tucson community and turned them into those historic photographic tile murals around the Broadway Underpass, at the eastern gateway to Downtown Tucson, which has won the title of Best Mural in the Tucson Weekly’s annual Best of Tucson reader poll eleven years in a row. For that project, he invented a new way of converting photographs to glazed ceramic tile, and he has since completed numerous mural projects around the U.S. He has run his own public art and graphic design business since 1991.
Steve has also become well-known as a strong advocate for public transit and other transportation improvements, and is founder of Southern Arizona Transit Advocates. He was instrumental in gaining approval for a comprehensive regional transportation system of roads, buses, bikeways and sidewalks, and the Modern Streetcar starter light rail line which opened in Tucson in 2015 and which has created hundreds and hundreds of jobs and more than a billion dollars in private construction projects within three blocks of its route -- all in the middle of the worst recession Arizona has seen. Steve's leadership in the creation of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) has resulted in thousands of new, good jobs and rebuilt vital Tucson regional roadways like La Cholla and La Canada.
The Arizona Transit Association honored him with the statewide Friend of Transit award, and the Arizona Chapter of the American Planning Association named him the statewide 2011 Distinguished Elected Official. He is also a Board Member of the central-city Blenman Elm Neighborhood Association.
- Father of Amelia, 21, and Genevieve, 17
- Small-business owner for more than 25 years
- Voted Best Arizona Democratic Elected Official in 2016 by readers and reporters of Arizona Capitol Times
- Named as one of 16 Arizonans to Watch in 2016 by the Arizona Republic
- Arts Hero Award Arizona Citizens for the Arts 2013, 2014
- Tech Ten Legislator of the Year Arizona Technology Council 2013
- Leader of the Year in Public Policy Arts and Humanities AZ Capitol Times 2013
- Creator of historic photo-tile murals at Tucson’s Broadway Underpass
- Designer/author of several Tucson community history books
- Ranking Member, Senate Transportation Committee
- Member, Senate Finance Committee
- Member, Senate Government and Environment Committee
- Member, Senate Ethics Committee
- Assistant Minority Leader, Arizona House Democrats
- Arizona House Democratic Policy Leader
- Ranking Member, House Transportation Committee
- Member, House Ways & Means Committee
- Member, House Military Affairs and Public Safety Committee
- Member, House Ethics Committee
- Named Conservation Hero by the Arizona League of Conservation Voters
- Named Legislative Champion by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns
- Honored with several other national awards for community art and activism
- Board Member, Blenman-Elm Neighborhood Assocation
- Board Member, Arizona Citizen Action for the Arts
- Union member: Graphic Artists Guild
- Founder, Southern Arizona Transit Advocates
- Vice-Chair, Pima Association of Governments Regional Transportation Plan Task Force
- Vice-Chair Transportation committee, National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL)
- Transportation committee member, Council of State Governments – West (CSG-West)
- High Speed Rail Working Group, NCSL
- Class President, Western Legislative Academy
- Toll Fellow national leadership institute
- Presenter, U.S. Dept of Transportation Distracted Driving Summit
- UofA College of Education Public Service Award