Downtown Voices Coalition, downtown Phoenix’s only grassroots stakeholder group that champions issues of urban excellence, like small and locally owned business, historic preservation, sustainability in a broader perspective, and good government, is hosting a series of one-on-one online conversations with the four remaining candidates for Phoenix City Council. The four candidates will be in conversation with our Edward Jensen, our group’s Secretary as well as an ardent observer in Phoenix politics and governance.
Leading off the conversations will be Laura Pastor, a program director at South Mountain Community College and the daughter of U.S. Congressman Ed Pastor, on Friday, October 4, from 7:00-8:00pm. Justin Johnson, running against Pastor for the District 4 seat, will be in conversation with Jensen on Monday, October 7, also from 7:00-8:00pm. Johnson is a real estate developer and the son of former Phoenix mayor Paul Johnson. Conversations with Kate Gallego and Warren Stewart are being scheduled for the week of October 7.
The conversations will be hosted on DVC’s Google+ page as a Google+ Hangout On Air, an innovative platform to allow many observers from Phoenix to watch and participate in the conversation. Twitter users can send in their questions and comments using the hashtag #DVC4 and #DVC8 (depending on the district represented). Participants who do not have Google+ can watch on DVC’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/DVCPhoenix. The conversation will then be available on the DVC YouTube channel for watching after the live event has concluded.
“I am pleased to be hosting these one-on-one conversations,” said Jensen. “This is a unique, first-of-its-kind way to engage with the candidates and the questions that will be asked are not the conventional questions asked in debates and fora. It gives the candidates an opportunity to envision that they are in their respective City Council seat and working to accomplish their agenda.”
The questions are focused around the central theme of governance and how the candidates plan to accomplish their policy proposals while they are in office. The four subthemes are “City Hall and the Next City Manager,” “Governance and Intergovernmental Relations,” “Downtown / Urban Phoenix and Urban Living Infrastructure,” and “Sustainability and the Environment in a Broader Context.” The one-on-one conversation format will allow Jensen to pursue different lines of questioning based on the answers given, allowing for tremendous flexibility. About 15-20 minutes at the end will be reserved for audience questions.
Downtown Voices Coalition is a coalition of stakeholder organizations that embrace growth in downtown Phoenix, but is mindful that healthy growth should be based upon existing downtown resources — the vibrancy of neighborhoods, the strength of the arts community, the uniqueness of historic properties, and the wonderful small businesses that dot downtown. For more information, visit downtownvoices.org.
Several ASU students are interested in organizing an ASU Downtown Phoenix Campus Chorale and Glee Club. The goal is (a) perfect harmony and (b) to go holiday caroling around the campus on Wednesday, December 10. Their first rehearsal of traditional holiday favorites and new music will be Thursday, December 4 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in Room 286 of the University Center (411 Building). For more information, visit their Facebook page.
The new Midtown Museum District neighborhood association is now online. While the new website is still very much under construction now, it will be the group’s main source of information. If you have questions about the website, e-mail Edward Jensen, director of communications.
The inaugural meeting of the MMDNA was held last week at the Fairfield Inn and Suites, 2520 N. Central Avenue. Nearly 50 people were in attendance. There was a range of interesting and informative speakers, who gave a flavor of what’s going on in the neighborhood, and how residents can have an impact in developing the area. The minutes can be found at the website, by clicking on “Meeting Notes” in the left-hand column.
The next meeting is planned for Wednesday, October 22 at 6.30 p.m. at the Hilton Suites, 10 E. Thomas Rd. If you have any questions, e-mail Margaret Dietrich or Julia Tourville, co-founders and coordinators.
Local blogger, Edward Jensen, wants to identify all of the cafeterias of various downtown Phoenix buildings. Besides the Chase Tower Coin Room Café and Phoenix City Hall 10th floor cafeteria, what other cafeterias does downtown have to offer? If you know of any cafeterias, or would like to stay abreast of what’s going on with Edward’s project, send him an e-mail.