Mayor Robert E. Walkup was elected to his third term as Mayor of Tucson in 2007 and served until 2011.
During his tenure there were numerous fundamental changes in the way the Tucson region operates.
Under Mayor Walkup’s leadership, Tucson began utilizing its share of Colorado River water in 2001 to supplement its potable water supply and reduce its dependence on groundwater.
Mayor Walkup was instrumental in forming the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) and gaining voter approval for its $2.1 billion multi-modal transportation plan, including obtaining full funding for implementation of the first All-American Modern Streetcar System for the city.
He helped form the Meth-Free Alliance, the Men’s Anti-Violence Partnership, and he led the City Council effort to increase public safety support over a ten-year period with 560 more police officers and 336 more firefighters and paramedics.
Working together with Pima County, Mayor Walkup engineered consolidations of economic development agencies into one regional entity, the Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities, Inc. (TREO), and consolidation of our regional library system funding. His efforts in economic development contributed to a net increase of 50,000 jobs and $10,000 per year in average worker earnings during his tenure.
Mayor Walkup was the first Arizona Mayor to sign the U.S. Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement. His local environmental efforts that have resulted in doubling Tucson’s recycling rate, instituting impact fees to make new growth pay its fair share and requiring LEED certification on all new city buildings. Additionally, he led the way on a significant expansion of the solar energy capability of the city.
Believing that mayors can play a key role in reducing health care costs, Mayor Walkup initiated the Healthy Tucson Initiative locally and the Global Alliance for Community Wellness internationally. The Global Alliance commits mayors and city governments to partner with local health care leaders to demonstrate healthy lifestyles and support prevention programs in order to improve the city’s quality of life.
Mayor Walkup has a degree in Industrial Engineering from Iowa State University. He served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and worked for over 37 years in the aerospace industry as an Industrial Engineer and Executive for Rockwell International, Fairchild Republic and Hughes Aircraft. He is President of the Arizona League of Cities and Towns and is a member of the League’s Executive Committee. He also serves as Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee for the US Conference of Mayors’ Transportation Committee.
Mayor Walkup and his wife, Beth Walkup, have five children and six grandchildren. He enjoys astronomy, classical history and is an avid cyclist.