Bruce has lived in Tubac, Santa Cruz County, Arizona for the past 30 years. He has been a small business owner and a strong advocate for sustainable economic development in our community. He has developed relationships throughout the County, along with State and Federal governments on both sides of the border. He is running for re-election to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors to continue implementing his vision of growth, jobs, investment and improved quality of life for the residents of the County. His priority is to attract suitable industry that makes long term commitments to our community and create sustainable jobs by fostering and promoting our community’s unique assets.
It is imperative to mention that during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Bruce has been a tireless advocate for the needs of Santa Cruz County and of those in need throughout Arizona. Along with his fellow Supervisors from Santa Cruz County Manny Ruiz and Rudy “Bugs” Molera, the County submitted an application for a $5 million grant from the State of Arizona from the funds received through the CARES Act to pay for a testing blitz in Santa Cruz County along with the lab services required to receive test results in 24 to 48 hours. Additionally, he has participated in multiple community video-conferences to ensure that local government and the private sector are coordinated in the fight against this deadly virus.
Just last week, as Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, he sent a letter to the Arizona Department of Health Services that has resulted in the commitment of additional resources being allocated to the County to help the fight against this disease. Additionally, by working though the Arizona Border Counties Coalition, great efforts were made to help secure authorization from the Governor in order for local governments to mandate the wearing of face coverings to help prevent the spread of the virus. He also worked with Supervisor Sharon Bronson of Pima County, the fresh produce industry in the Santa Cruz County, the Tucson and Nogales Community Foodbanks and the Arizona National Guard to help distribute hundreds of thousands of pounds of fresh produce to families throughout Santa Cruz, Cochise and Pima Counties. This program was also expanded to ship more than 10 truckloads of fresh produce to the Navajo, Hopi and White Mountain Apache Nations in northern Arizona.
Finally, in another successful example of leadership, and hands on involvement, Bruce worked with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, Arizona’s Congressional delegation and the International Boundary and Water Commission to help secure close to $39 million to make the much needed repairs of the International Outfall Interceptor (IOI). The IOI traverses 9 miles of the county but has tremendous impacts on the quality of the water that flows on the Santa Cruz River and feeds the aquifer that we all depend on.
He grew up in a family that stressed the importance of giving back to the community, a basic principle that he has fully embraced in his adult life.
The following are some of the organizations in which Bruce has been active:
International Boundary and Water Commission’s Southeastern Arizona Advisory Council, Member
- This local advisory board the represents Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties.
Arizona Border Counties Coalition, Official Representative of Santa Cruz County
- Founding member of a coalition of County Supervisors from Pima, Yuma, Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties.
The role of this coalition is to help move local, state, and federal legislation and regulation forward that help advocate and/or accelerate economic development opportunities in southern Arizona with a specific focus on policies and issues that affect the quality of life and economy along the border.
Downtown Merchants Association, Past President
- An association of all the merchants on Morley Avenue in Nogales, AZ.
- Communicated with Customs and Border Protection to increase staffing and open more lanes at the Morley Avenue Pedestrian Port of Entry.
- Acted as liaison between Merchants and the City of Nogales, including working with Administration, Police, Fire, and Public Works Departments.
Greater Santa Cruz County Port Authority, Past Chairman and continuing Board Member
During his years of service on the board, he has worked on a number of initiatives that will have long-lasting impacts on the County, including, but not limited to:
- Construction of 6 Cold Rooms at Mariposa Port of Entry: $1.2 million investment that will help diversify the mix of commodities that can be processed at the port of entry and offering year round service by offering a continuous cold chain for temperature sensitive commodities.
- SR189/Mariposa Road: Mechanism to create a community consensus on the scope of the project and helping to create the funding structure for the $134 million dollars of improvements to SR189/Mariposa Road.
- Mariposa Port of Entry: Advocated for and helped secure the necessary funding to study, plan and construct the $215 million modernization of the Mariposa Port of Entry.
- Supervisor Bracker has testified on multiple instances on behalf of the Port Authority and the County before such bodies and institutions as the Arizona Joint Legislative Committee on Border; Arizona House of Representatives Committee on Border Security; the Arizona Transportation Board to push for consideration of multiple transportation projects throughout Santa Cruz County.
Theodore Gebler Trust / Associated Charities, President
- Manage a private charity established in 1926 that funds local Education, College Scholarships, the Santa Cruz County Domestic Violence Shelter, and other small community charities.
EPA Local Government Advisory Committee, Member through December 2020
- EPA’s Local Government Advisory Committee for Region 9 that covers a great portion of the western parts of the United States, including all of Arizona. Bruce was one of 31 members appointed nationally on this advisory board.
Nogales Community Development Corporation, Founding Member and President (‘07-‘11) www.nogalescdc.org.
- A non-profit 501c3 organization operating and managing the Nogales Main Street Program and the Arizona Rural Economic Development Initiative dedicated to the revitalization of downtown Nogales, Arizona, Small Business Development, Asset Development, and Affordable Housing opportunities. NCDC assumes a leadership role in the community by bringing community-based organizations together to best serve the interests of our Citizens.
- Developed a small business loan program that has loaned over $500,000 to Santa Cruz county businesses.
- Managed the Frontera Nogales VITA (volunteer income tax assistance) Program in Santa Cruz County. Over the last three years, NCD helped 1,776 families receive over $4,200,000 in tax refunds and credits.
- Awarded one of eight $2 million grants in the US from the US Department of Housing to redevelop a downtown facility into a multi-use training and resource center; to address asset development gaps related to education, public health, asset development, and business services; as well as, to create a continuum of services referral system across multiple industry sectors.
- Recognized by the State of Arizona as a Charitable Tax Credit Organization.
- Participated in several regional, local and organizational strategic and development planning sessions throughout Santa Cruz County.
Ambos Nogales Partnership Plan, Community Leader
- Participated in the planning process coordinating the strategic plans of 5 non-profit economic development groups located in Nogales, Santa Cruz County and Nogales Sonora. The result was a strategy that identified and coordinated cross-border collaboration for economic development.
Nogales Lions Club Member, Past President
Nogales Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Citizens Academy, Graduate
- Established in 2008 to improve the community’s knowledge of Port operations and the responsibility of CBP officers.