Hello dear readers, my name is Edward Celaya. Although I’m new to this space, if you’ve ever held a private party, been to a University of Arizona tailgate or had a beer at a catered event somewhere around Tucson, there’s a good chance you might already know my face.
If you’ve had a child between the ages of 6 months and 6 years and a pool in the backyard, I might also be familiar to you from swim lessons for the little ones.
I’ve also been an editor for the two award-winning college newspapers in town, the Aztec Press and the Arizona Daily Wildcat.
On the surface there is little similar between swim lessons, bartending and opinion journalism.
But look closer, and you’ll see a common thread — service. At my essence, I am a helper.
Just like teaching children to float on their back results in fewer drownings, informing people of potential solutions to the upcoming e-scooter apocalypse is vital to the greater community good.
Each job I’ve had in the five years since I left Tempe for Tucson has had its lessons.
Be it a child vomiting all over me after aspirating too much water, or an adult doing the same after one too many, the ability to not let the end goal out of sight has been essential to finding the most positive outcome possible in challenges big and small.
Between the numerous jobs and titles, I know what it means to be a nontraditional college student struggling to make ends meet. When I moved here in 2014, that sort of work was fine, and provided me a small, at-the-time affordable one-bedroom apartment for just over $500 dollars a month, including utilities.
Fast forward to May 2019, and in a comparably sized one-bedroom apartment managed by the same ownership group, I pay nearly $150 more per month. This experience helped open my eyes to the issue of affordable housing, a topic I’ll be covering in depth for the Star’s Opinion section.
Taken together, those pre-journo jobs taught me work ethic, stick-to-itiveness and how to make do with less. Perhaps more importantly, it showed me that along with those skills and caring for others, I would need a higher education to achieve higher goals.
I will help give voice not just to Tucson’s new, emergent generation of young white-collar professionals freshly hired and eager to discover the growing cultural and natural splendors the city has to offer — but also the local blue-collar young adults who are still looking to get by in a city where rising rents and stagnant wages are becoming a frightening reality for those without a secondary degree.
Part of Tucson’s beauty is its diversity, and I look forward to hearing your voices and personal stories.
With the help of Opinion Editor Sarah Garrecht Gassen, I aim to bring you coverage that includes topics like affordable housing, transportation, city and county politics and what is going on at the UA.
I love Tucson, and will look to contribute content that helps illuminate what makes it so special. At the same time, I promise to never shy away from covering stories that expose a need for change, while at the same time guarding against looking at the community with a jaundiced eye.
Much like Tucson, I’ve suffered my own self-made potholes and still managed to make it down life’s proverbial Speedway. And just like Tucson, I’ll be trying to smooth out the potholes to make the ride easier for all of us.