Paul Cunningham is a native Arizonan and longtime community activist with 19 years of professional and volunteer public service. His is the son of former State Senator George Cunningham and lifelong Tucson advocate Margie Cunningham.
Cunningham started his career at the Ott Family YMCA located in Ward 2. He is a 12 year veteran of the Pima County Juvenile Probation Department, and served in the Army Reserve and National Guard from 1993-2001.
A 1992 graduate of Rincon High School, Paul has a B.A. in History from the University of Arizona and a Master's Degree from ASU. Councilmember Cunningham served on the Arizona Juvenile Justice Commission, the Correction Officer Retirement Local Board, has been active in volunteering with Youth on their Own, Our Family, the Pima County Probation Officers Association, National Youth Sports, the YMCA, Friends of the Library, and the Community Prevention Coalition. He and several youth founded “TEAM Tucson” (teen empowerment and advocacy movement) in 2005. He also authored a youth empowerment program, known as the “Hoop Dreams: Control Your Destiny” curriculum. He is the former president of the EL GHEKO neighborhood association.
Since being sworn into office in, Councilmember Cunningham championed preseason professional soccer as an economic development engine for Tucson. In the past two years, ties with Major League Soccer have grown and the league considers Tucson its “Western Hub.”
Councilmember Cunningham is committed to safeguarding Tucson’s greatest asset – our water supply. He championed our current water service area policy and advocated for rainwater harvesting rebates. He firmly believes that policies like these are the only way to ensure the long term viability of both our community and the precious desert we live in.
Paul was sworn in as a councilmember by his Grandmother, retired Superior Court Judge Lillian Fisher, on May 11, 2010. He was elected to a full term in November of 2011. On April 8, 2014, Paul was selected by his colleagues to be Vice Mayor. He served in that position until December of 2014.
Paul is married to Alisa and has three sons. He currently teaches at Gridley Middle School in the Tucson Unified School District.