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.
In early February, the Phoenix City Manager proposed $140 million in budget cuts to the Mayor and City Council. In response, a nascent coalition of neighborhood groups and non-profit organizations began meeting to research and draft their own budget proposal to maintain public safety while preserving essential services that Phoenix residents require for a reasonable quality of life. Here two representatives of the Citizens for Phoenix coalition, Paul Barnes and Ann Malone, offer their views to City Council on February 11. Councilman Michael Johnson offers his impressions of the coalition’s effort to date.
Paul Barnes of the Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Phoenix, explains the unifying philosophy of Citizens for Phoenix in dealing with the current budget crisis in Phoenix.
Ann Malone, president of Require the Prior, speaks to the Phoenix City Council about the proposed food tax, the importance of public safety, and the need to maintain city services for the vulnerable in our community.
Phoenix Councilman Michael Johnson expresses his thanks to and support of the Citizens for Phoenix coalition.
The city of Phoenix is in the process of preparing its 2010-11 budget, which will include reductions to city programs and services of approximately $140 million. Residents in and around downtown Phoenix are invited to attend a District 7 community hearing to discuss the proposed budget before final decisions are made. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 16, starting at 6 p.m., at the Burton Barr Central Library, 1221 N. Central Ave.
At the hearing, residents will have an opportunity to comment and make suggestions. Council members and city staff will answer questions and talk about specific district issues. This public discussion is among the reasons the city’s budget so closely matches the community’s highest priorities each fiscal year. Residents can view details of the proposed budget and submit comments at phoenix.gov or by calling 602-262-4800. After the community’s review, the mayor and City Council will approve a budget-balancing plan on Tuesday, March 2. The approved plan will take effect April 5.
For more information about the budget process and other community hearings in other Council districts, click here.