About Us

Our history. On May 22, 2004, a group of ninety downtown stakeholders, including residents, business owners, property owners, and community-based organizations met at the Icehouse in Phoenix’s Warehouse District to discuss downtown planning and the effect of future development efforts on their neighborhoods, businesses, and quality of life. The purpose of the meeting was to engage in a process whereby revitalization of downtown could be discussed from various viewpoints.

Stakeholders engaged in a highly interactive discussion to better understand their neighbors’ and communities’ thoughts on a wide array of social, economic, physical, and political issues. The outcome of this discussion resulted in a comprehensive document, “Downtown Voices: Creating a Sustainable Downtown.” The document, summarized in the Priority Issues section of this site, has been well received by all who have reviewed and studied it.

On January 16, 2010, Downtown Voices Coalition and a broad-based group of downtown community leaders and residents reconvened at the A.E. England Building to assess progress and determine initiatives for future focus. This update recaps progress for major downtown initiatives since 2004, and illuminates issues and opportunities that still need attention.

How we’re organized. Downtown Voices Coalition is led by a Steering Committee comprised of the following volunteers:

  • Chair Jeff Sherman: Downtown resident
  • Vice Chair Andie Abkarian: President, Roosevelt Action Association
  • Treasurer Louisa Stark: Executive Director, Community Housing Partnership; Board Member, Phoenix Elementary School District #1; and F.Q. Story Neighborhood resident
  • Secretary Jim McPherson: Executive Director, Sustainable Communities Collaborative & Longview neighborhood resident
  • Erick Baer: Downtown property owner
  • Jennifer Boucek: President, Hance Park Conservancy & Roosevelt neighborhood resident
  • Ryan Boyd: Member, Grand Avenue Members Association & Downtown resident
  • Katherine Coles: Fairview Place neighborhood resident
  • Kyle Foxcroft: Oakland neighborhood resident
  • Kim Kasper: Roosevelt neighborhood resident
  • Nate Sonoskey: Downtown developer, True North Studio
  • Tim Sprague: Downtown developer, Habitat Metro
  • Steve Weiss: Executive Director, No Festival Required

All help to oversee the work of our committees, keep the organization “humming,” and evaluate its progress. The group always welcomes individuals and organizations to bring issues to the table, to join in the discussions, and if time permits to serve on the Steering Committee.