Dennis Michael Burke

The genes and jeans have been around awhile

  • The photo is the Central Avenue Dairy, which was located where Park Central is today, on Central Avenue, between Thomas and Osborn. It was Dennis Burke's grandparents' dairy, on his mother's side. His grandfather, Jim Geare, a dairyman, is the fellow standing by the first milk wagon in the photo. He took time away from the family dairy to help build Roosevelt Dam when he was a young man. Everyone knew that the future of the Valley, and of Arizona statehood, rested on the success of the Valley's visionary system of dams for flood control and water storage.
         On his father's side, the family first put down roots in Prescott in the 1870s. Dennis A. Burke, the candidate's great grandfather, was several times Prescott's mayor and a member of the Territorial Legislature. He built the Burke Hotel, which is now known as the Hotel St. Michael.
         The candidate's father and grandfather owned and operated the Beverly Burke Pharmacies in Phoenix, from the mid 1920s to the 70s.

Civic Background (a reformer)

  • Dennis Burke organized the successful ballot campaigns to create Arizona's Clean Elections system and its anti-gerrymandering Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission. 
  • He co-drafted the Phoenix Neighborhood Housing Code, which was the foundation of the City of Phoenix's effort to preserve and upgrade Phoenix neighborhoods, and he led fair housing efforts to discourage discrimination. 
  • He helped lead downtown redevelopment efforts as chair and member of over twenty City committees tasked with that mission, under the Terry Goddard administration and subsequent ones. 
  • In 1985, as operations director for the Phoenix Association of Realtors and MLS, he originated the "I Voted" stickers in Arizona to encourage voting. 
  • He organized national grassroots support for campaign finance reform. 
  • Dennis M. Burke has no known relatives working for the Salt River Project. He has no investments or other interests (other than as a homeowner and citizen) that will prosper as a result of SRP actions or policies.  

Professional & Personal Background (a writer)

  • Dennis M. Burke, father of two, is a longtime resident of the Encanto neighborhood in central Phoenix, with his wife, Maureen. He is a Random House non-fiction author, currently working on a book with the president of the World Bank.  A few projects:
  • Granny D (the story of the 90-year-old New Hampshire woman who walked across the U.S. to promote campaign finance reform)
         “I read it not once, but twice. I keep it next to Silent Spring on my bookshelf.”—Pete Seeger
         “A Whitmanesque treatment of America. . . a stunning portrait of the American soul.” —Library Journal 
  • The Translator  “The Translator may be the biggest small book of this year, or any year. In roughly 200 pages of simple, lucid prose, it lays open the Darfur genocide more intimately and powerfully than do a dozen books by journalists or academic experts.”  —Washington Post   
         “A book of unusually humane power and astounding moral clarity.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)  
  • Thousand Hills to Heaven  The story of an American couple who move to Rwanda after the genocide to make a difference.  "A personal adventure tale with a serious message for those concerned with eradicating poverty.—Kirkus Reviews   

Who else is running for this seat on the SRP Board?

  • "Jack White Jr. is the long-time incumbent and is expected to run for reelection. He is a dedicated Arizonan.  As a former SRP employee, he knows the organization well. I'm running against him to greatly encourage and incentivize solar (large installations and home-scale) and other renewable sources of energy—a point of major difference between us." —Dennis M. Burke