A true daughter of Tempe is running for public office in her hometown.
Sarah Kader, a staff attorney at the nonprofit Arizona Center for Disability Law, has announced she is running for Tempe City Council.
“Because I’m so lucky to live in Tempe, I just felt that this was the perfect opportunity to contribute to the place that I live in,” she said. “My husband and I now have a young daughter who is going to grow up in Tempe. I want her and other children to grow up in a city that is welcoming and safe and diverse and sustainable. I just felt compelled to contribute to making the world a better place and given my commitment to justice, the timing just made sense.”
As a staff attorney for the Arizona Center for Disability Law, Kader represents children and adults with physical, mental and cognitive disabilities, helping them to get the services they need. Kader also works as an adjunct professor at Northern Arizona University, teaching an online undergraduate disabilities studies course. She also served for five years on Tempe’s Disability Concerns Commission and volunteers at Hospice of the Valley, the Anti-Defamation League and Arizona Jews for Justice. Kader earned her law degree at Syracuse University College of Law. Her husband, Ross, also is an attorney.
The election for three of the Tempe Council’s six seats will take place in March 2018. The seats are currently held by Robin Arredondo-Savage, Lauren Kuby and David Schapira. Schapira’s seat will be open, as he is running for the statewide office of Superintendent of Public Instruction in the November 2018 election. Of the two Tempe City Council incumbents, so far only Kuby has announced she is running for reelection.
Kader, whose family belongs to Temple Emanuel, enjoys pointing out just how much of Tempe runs through her veins — even though she did graduate from the University of Arizona.
“Tempe has been my home since I was born,” she said. “I was brought from the hospital to my parents home in Tempe, where they still live, and I lived there through high school. I went away for college and law school, but came back and I met my husband in Tempe. Last year, we bought a house that is right next door to my parents. So, we live right next door to where I grew up. Tempe is most certainly my home and I love it.”
Along with her natural affection for her hometown, Kader is impressed with the progressiveness of Tempe government policies. She cites the city’s practices of inclusiveness, diversity and sustainability. However, she most admires Tempe’s commitment to education.
“Tempe does focus a lot on education, which is an issue that’s very important to me in large part because I am Jewish and we have a focus on learning,” Kader said. “There’s actually a free preschool program for kids in need that the city just passed. If I’m elected, I’ll be able to support that program and support strong public schools in general, which I think is so important amid a state climate that is struggling with that. I’m really proud of Tempe for stepping up and supporting kids in need.”
Kader’s paternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors and her father, David, was born in a displaced persons camp in Europe after World War II. David Kader is a professor emeritus at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. His daughter thinks about her father’s and grandparents’ experiences when she talks about continuing to improve the city she loves.
“Tempe is thriving and doing a lot of things right, and I want to help to continue that legacy and also work on areas where we can improve. I know that there are places in Tempe that are still hurting and need attention, and there are places in Tempe that do have poverty and do have needs,” Kader said. “[My father’s family] came here with nothing. They were poor, they didn’t speak the language, but they were welcomed to this country, and now I have this amazing life in Tempe. I just feel this immense sense of gratitude and wanting to give back to the community that’s given me so much, and also to make sure that other families, like my family, who are coming to this country without much, can have a successful and thriving life in Tempe.”JN