Guest Editorial: The Positive Lessons For 2020 From The Scottsdale Bond Campaign

By Recker McDowell —

The Scottsdale City Council has certified the November bond election where voters overwhelmingly passed Questions 1, 2 and 3.

It is the first major bond program passed by Scottsdale voters in 19 years.

Now, the political focus in Scottsdale, statewide and nationally turns to the 2020 elections. Scottsdale will be electing a new mayor and council members. Arizona is a key U.S. Senate battleground and is expected to join Florida, North Carolina and Rust Belt states in deciding the presidential race and Donald Trump’s bid for a second term.

All those campaigns (from Scottsdale on up the political ladder) can learn from the bond campaign for Questions 1, 2 and 3. Despite the tenor and tone on Twitter and from the media and political activists, many voters are thirsting for more productive results and more positive campaigns. Those same voters prefer collaboration over cultural and political combat.

That’s what the Scottsdale bond campaign offered. The effort brought together a unanimous Scottsdale City Council and advocates from all parts of the city and from differing political corners.

Building that kind of coalition was no easy feat in Scottsdale. But a focus on investing in the community and its future and the need for investments in public safety, parks and senior centers and infrastructure repairs outweighed political rivalries and personalities.

The bond campaign saw some past political wounds get mended and encouraged a diversity of views and new emerging voices that will help make Scottsdale a better community going forward.

This what many voters want from their elected officials, policy makers and political campaigns.

There are plenty of voters who want results that will improve their lives and communities.

Those voters might not be politically vocal on Facebook and Twitter and shout down those with differing views, but they are poised to decide 2020.

That could translate into who gets elected in Scottsdale and other local races, who wins key U.S. Senate races and who carries the Electoral College battlegrounds.

We know the temptation is for state and local campaign to emulate the scorched earth national discourse.

But the bond campaign shows there is an appetite for the positive or the negative, community over conflict and coming together over tearing apart.