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New Hire at the Scottsdale-Based Law Firm Further Demonstrates Their Ability to Serve a Vast Array of Clients

What do civil litigation, blockchain, and immigrant rights have in common? If you’re like most people, nothing comes to mind, but if you’re Rose Law Group pc you see an incredible opportunity to serve a wide host of clients with one brilliant hire.

The Rose Law Group is pleased to announce the newest member of its team, Brian Cuevas. Brian is a civil litigator who also practices in the firm’s Web3, Metaverse, blockchain and digital assets  departments. Before joining Rose Law Group, Brian focused on civil litigation and has worked with The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project and the ACLU of Arizona and the Arizona House of Representatives.

The Rose Law Group has long pushed boundaries as the largest woman-owned law firm in the state. From their focus on renewable energy to their cannabis-focused practice, from staking a claim in drone law to their recent push into space law, the firm has long been on the forefront of that which is new and compelling. But with this hire, they also demonstrate that they understand the need for demonstrating flexibility and scope.

The hire of Mr. Cuevas exemplifies just that desire for scope and diversification within their talent pool. He previously served as a writer for the Law Journal for Social Justice and was a member of the Equal Justice Works AmeriCorps, Moot Court, Chicano Latino Law Students Association, and Corporate and Business Law Society. He serves on the Board of Directors of Los Abogados, Arizona’s Hispanic Bar association, where he is co-chair of the Civil Rights Committee. Born in Mexico and raised in Arizona, Brian is fluent in written and oral Spanish, and is an experienced English-to-Spanish/Spanish-to-English interpreter.

As a member of the Civil Rights Committee, Brian is dedicated to identifying and addressing civil rights violations and conflicts affecting the Latino community. He has assisted in presenting a CLE in marijuana expungements and set-aside convictions after the passage of Arizona’s Prop 207. He also helped organize a citizenship fair dedicated to assisting eligible immigrants apply for citizenship in America. His experience and expertise will certainly prove useful within the wide umbrella of legal topics that the Rose Law Group demonstrates leadership in, and he mirrors the growing degree of diversity within Arizona.

Jordan R. Rose, founder and president of Rose Law Group pc, expressed her excitement about the hire of Mr. Cuevas as well as how strong of a fit he is for a firm as topically diverse as Rose Law.

“Brian exemplifies a number of very important ideals of this firm: flexibility, diversity, expertise and ability to think outside-the-box and bring forth unique solutions to complex problems. We are confident that he will be able to add considerable value to our clients across several disciplines, and we are very excited to have him on our team.”

While his career has engaged him in topics as wide-ranging as social justice, blockchain, and cannabis law, Brian is not entirely defined by his work output. Outside the firm, Brian enjoys traveling, golfing, basketball, fantasy football, and appreciating the outdoors. His well-rounded nature will undoubtedly make him an incredible asset for the Rose Law Group pc.

For media inquiries contact Jennifer Parks-Sturgeon at jparks-sturgeon@rosemoserallynpr.com or (480) 495-3806.

For more information on Rose Law Group, visit www.roselawgroup.com

Enrollment for Upcoming Semester Open Now

The new year is already looking bright as Arizona’s Gateway Academy has open enrollment and is eager to welcome new students to the Valley’s top school serving students diagnosed with High Functioning Autism for the upcoming semester beginning Monday, January 3rd.

Gateway Academy is an established leader in educating students with High Functioning Autism for grades 6-12. This haven of learning whose curriculum supports academic, social and emotional development helps students to improve their executive functioning skills while also having opportunities to participate in student councils, multimedia art, world language, science and virtual reality labs, instrumental and digital music and more.

Gateway Academy has the staff that makes them the number one choice for families with children ages 11-19 who have been diagnosed with High Functioning Autism. Here where the students are the focal point of this private institution, they can be immersed in a safe environment with a personalized approach to learning. Our state-certified teachers inspire creativity and dedicate themselves to finding each student’s passion and incorporating that passion into their learning.

“We’ve fostered a specialized school experience where challenges are seen as learning opportunities and students are accepted and celebrated for their differences,” said O. Robin Sweet, Executive Director and CEO of Gateway Academy. “We use an educational approach that’s backed by 35 years of research and best practices tailored to the unique needs of our students.”

Students enrolling in the upcoming semester will never feel like they’re the new kid as Gateway Academy cultivates an all-inclusive, supportive school community that integrates all students and the things that make them unique. Parents can also qualify for free tuition through the Arizona Empowerment Scholarship which is a rolling grant distributed throughout the year.

Always looking ahead to support their students’ future endeavors, Gateway Academy has College and Career Development that ensures security, develops self-confidence, self-esteem and self-reliance to provide a pathway towards independence. Gateway offers dual enrollment with Paradise Valley Community College where students attend a college preparedness class on the Gateway campus and they also attend college tours to gain a better understanding of the college selection and choice process. Students will be reviewing different career fields and prepare for resume submission, job applications and interviewing.

Sweet added, “We have within our walls learners that will go on to change the world, and we encourage those parents, who believe in that same potential for their child, to enroll this upcoming semester and see the facilitation of their magnificent potential take place.”

For more information about enrolling at Gateway Academy, call (480) 998-1071 or visit https://www.gatewayacademy.us/

About Gateway Academy
Gateway Academy was established in 2005, and offers a private education for students, in 6th through 12th grade, with a diagnosis of a Level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder. The school operates a year-round program from July – May of each year, and enrollments are accepted throughout the year.

Gateway Academy To Honor Astronaut and Arizona’s Largest Locally Owned Fitness Founder

 

(PHOENIX) Gateway Academy, the Valley’s top school serving Twice-Exceptional students (academically capable and diagnosed with a level 1 Autism Spectrum Disorder), is hosting its Inaugural Inspire Awards on Wednesday, January 12th, 2022 at 11:00a.m. Gateway Academy has been serving students on the spectrum since 2005.

For the inaugural Inspire Awards, the school will honor Innovators Dr. Sian Proctor of Space X, who was the first black woman to pilot a spacecraft and Tom Hatten, the owner and founder of Arizona’s biggest and locally owned fitness center, Mountainside Fitness.

Dr. Proctor is a geoscientist, explorer, space artist, and astronaut. She is the mission pilot for the Inspiration4 all-civilian orbital mission to space. She is also one of The Explorer’s Club 50: Fifty People Changing the World. Her motto is called Space2inspire where she encourages people to use their unique, one-of-a-kind strengths, and passion to inspire those within their reach and beyond. She believes that we need to actively strive for a J.E.D.I. space: a just, equitable, diverse, and inclusive space as we advance human spaceflight.

Tom Hatten, is an entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker. In 1991 Hatten, had just $2,000 to his name and a dream to open his own gym. He was just 22-years-old and a student at Arizona State University at the time, but thanks to family and friends and a perseverance to succeed, Hatten would go on to owning and operating Arizona’s biggest fitness empire, Mountainside Fitness. More than 30 years later with and 19 Mountainside Fitness locations, Hatten shares his story in his memoir “Dream On” and details the remarkable journey and what it takes to build a business from the ground up.

Both Dr. Proctor and Hatten will share their inspirational and innovative stories and how they have become two of Arizona’s most influential leaders.
The Inspire Awards 2022 will also honor two Gateway students. Those students include Joseph Salomon, who will be nominated for the Aeronautical Award and Meaghan Mullenax, who will be nominated for the Entrepreneurial Award.Read More

The Scottsdale-Based Law Firm Represents a New Company Facilitating Deep Space Missions

Innovative and always forward thinking, the state’s largest woman owned law firm, Rose Law Group pc, is pleased to announce a new Space Law practice. This revolutionary new practice is a first for Arizona and it will involve assisting clients in the space and satellite arena.

As part of the division, Rose Law Group pc represents the MILO Institute, a non-profit research collaborative led by ASU with support from Lockheed Martin.

The MILO Institute is working to make deep space missions more affordable and accessible by using a new cost-sharing model that will allow its’ members to participate at a fraction of the total mission cost.

Rose Law Group pc advised on one of MILO’s pioneering projects, “LunaRide Transportation Services,” gives members of the institute the opportunity to include their expertise for trips to the lunar surface or cislunar space. This would be done through Lockheed Martin’s transportation services in the form of an “uber” like rideshare model.

MILO’s scientists and engineers assist universities, scientists, and space agencies to design, build, test, and operate payloads that will ultimately travel to the Moon.

Rose Law Group pc is no stranger to unique areas of the law. The Scottsdale based law firm was also the first in the state to start a Cannabis and Hemp Law practice many years ago, even before it voters approved the initiatives.

Through this new practice area, the firm will provide the space industry clients with representation in the space and satellite arena helping them navigate the layers of business and regulatory issues involved when it comes to space.

Jordan R. Rose, founder and president of Rose Law Group pc, says she is excited for the challenges and legal opportunities that will come out of this new practice area.

“It has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with the esteemed MILO Institute in the field of space law,” said Jordan Rose, founder and partner at Rose Law Group. “We are working hard to make their dream of affordable deep space travel a reality for all.”

The new Space Law practice is headed by Shruti Gurudanti, who is also the Chair of Corporate Transactions. Gurudanti previously worked on projects with Indian Space Research Organization which is the NASA equivalent in India and brings another depth of experience to the project.

Rose Law Group will be assisting their space law clients with a wide range of complex legal issues involved with the domestic and international satellite and space industry. These issues can involve regulatory, transactional, data security, privacy, liability, and legislative affairs.

(SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.) UngerSouthbridge. They are names that conjure best-in-class thoughts involving real estate and development. Indeed, the Unger family led by Fred, who passed away in 2018, is best known for its highly acclaimed work redeveloping The Hermosa Inn in Paradise Valley and Royal Palms in Phoenix before assembling substantial commercial acreage immediately south of the Scottsdale Waterfront, along and near the Arizona Canal.

That area known as “Southbridge” saw an innovative, mixed-use development rise and opened in 2007. Years later nearby land known as “Southbridge II” comprised of nearby properties totaling approximately 4.5 acres, became the subject of redevelopment efforts but also controversy as local property owners successfully repealed new zoning approvals in late 2019 with a referendum drive.

What future plans emerge in their place will now be up to a group led by Bob Agahi and David Sellers of Creation RE, which closed on the holdings for $38 million.

Creation RE has developed numerous mixed-use projects around the Valley including Heritage Marketplace and The Collab in Downtown Gilbert, Overstreet in Downtown Chandler, and Chauncey Lane in North Scottsdale. Creation has hired LGE Design Build, which is owned by Sellers, as the design builder and Perkins+Will as the project architect. Nationally, Creation RE has over $3.5 billion in active projects spanning from California, Colorado, Arizona, Texas, and New York.

“We fully understand the sensitivities and dynamics of these properties and this neighborhood. That’s why our capital and approach will be a patient one,” Agahi said noting his group would soon be looking to set meetings with Scottsdale Mayor David Ortega, City Council members, senior city staff and community groups to first listen and gain additional input and insight.

Creation RE is acquiring Southbridge in partnership with Crescent Commercial and real estate investment firm, FCP, both nationally renowned real estate companies.  Read More

Featured Editorials


By Solange Whitehead

It has been a packed few years at City Hall. Since 2018, we’ve expanded open space, approved new parks, dramatically raised the bar on development, protected neighborhoods and funding for vulnerable populations, took care of seniors, and welcomed everyone with a non-discrimination ordinance. Aligning City Hall policies with citizen priorities led to the passage of crucial, tax-neutral infrastructure bonds, the first General Plan in 20 years, and protected the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Kicking off 2022 with a New Downtown Park Proposal
I started 2022 with a motion to protect public land and create a new downtown park. My proposal advanced in a 5-2 Council vote.

Scottsdale’s value is rooted in past leaders boldly protecting valuable land creating parks, the greenbelt, the natural area open space ordinance, and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. To perpetuate this value, today’s leaders must expand open space to balance growth. My proposed park at 5th and Goldwater will protect that last remaining public parcel on the canal.

2021: A Snapshot of Successes

Citywide Wins: After 2-years of resident engagement, voters approved a forward-looking General Plan. The City Council protected all residents with the passage of a non-discrimination ordinance. From short term rental to parking, Council strengthened ordinances to better protect residents.

Simply Better Development: 2021 marked a shift in development that expanded green design requirements to reduce urban heat, lowered heights and density, increased open space and pedestrian corridors, and gave residents a voice. The Council also approved the first project with a small workforce housing component.

Water Infrastructure: Scottsdale Water opened a new facility on Thomas Rd that treats contaminated water from four wells to drinking water quality. The facility expands the City’s water portfolio, reduces water hardness in the area, and (as a side benefit) expanded the size of Pima Park.

More Infrastructure: Fire stations 603 and 616 were completed as was an $11 million, FAA-funded runway project. The final Preserve trailhead opened at Pima & Dynamite along with the  Art DeCabooter Amphitheater and an accessible new trail called Camino Campana*.  *Honoring former Mayor Sam Kathryn Campana

Green initiatives: Council approved a 1MW solar project, EV charging stations are moving forward, newly installed irrigation technology is substantially reducing water usage by City parks, and a contract with a local nursery will recycle West World’s 40,000 tons of horse manure. For the 39th year, Scottsdale has been named a Tree City USA and the City hired a Sustainability Director.

Parks, Amenities, and Services: The Council established two new parks, completed the Bell Road Sports Fields, upgraded tennis courts citywide, and added pickleball courts. With new safety protocols and dedicated staff, the City re-opened and expanded hours at the senior centers, libraries, and pools.

Photo Credit: Town of Gilbert

We often gripe about the lack of new developments in Scottsdale, with reasons ranging from a council that is sometimes antagonistic to such projects as well as the culture of NIMBYism that has befallen our great city. Sometimes we need to see that there is a better way. Enter Gilbert.

Gilbert is showing what can happen when you have leadership that understands the need for a spark on occasion. A recent successful rezoning vote on a recent major mixed-use development has paved the way for a transformation of Gilbert. The Heritage North project will come with 288 rental units, parking, a hotel, shopping; it could reasonably alter Gilbert in a very major way, an unequivocally positive way.

Moreover, the construction firm is a familiar one to those who follow Scottsdale development: LGE Design Build. They are also a partner on the project to develop the area where the highly contentious Southbridge 2 development was to take place. They are earning kudos from the city of Gilbert, which should portend a positive future for their plans here.


But is the Scottsdale City Council paying attention? Are the NIMBYs listening? Because while the idea of Gilbert taking away Scottsdale’s tourist dollars would have seemed far-fetched before reading this, they’re clearly creating a significant value proposition for out-of-towners. We can only hope that the city sees the value that good builders like LGE are bringing to that city and would want some of that for themselves.

Scottsdale has long prided itself on preserving its quality of life, however that sometimes seems as though it’s shorthand for being antagonistic to any change. And while that may earn some points for those who look for “quaint” in their vacations, it’s not unreasonable to see a situation where Scottsdale starts to get left behind by bolder ideas and concepts.

Bold ideas get people’s attention. Good builders catch people’s eyes. And when you bring the two of them together, you gain tourist dollars both from in-state and out-of-state. Good development moves cities forward, like this project likely will to Gilbert. We hope that Scottsdale will read the tea leaves and stop clinging to the past and start thinking about the future.

Julie Pace. Photo Credit: paradisevalleyaz.gov

Paradise Valley politics haven’t always been the most exciting, but recent events demonstrate that 2022 will be different, as new entrants for Mayor and City Council will likely mix things up significantly.

Councilmember Julie Pace recently submitted paperwork to run for Mayor in what will certainly be a closely watched battle against incumbent Jerry Bien-Willner. The two have had a somewhat contentious time in council recently, with the incumbent writing op-eds specifically attacking her in what seemed to be an attempt to keep her out of the race. They seemed to have the opposite effect.

While PV isn’t a town with many glaring needs, and as such the differences between the platforms of the candidates is a relatively narrow chasm. The big difference seems as though it will be a focus on term limits and ethics in governance by Pace, as well as Pace’s strong record on quality of life and preservation of the Town’s iconic mountains. This is a significant statement in opposition to Councilmember Paul Dembow, who will be running for his 4th term this year.

Dembow has had a long history of controversy in the town which has brought unnecessary attention to a largely non-controversial board. Additionally, another talking point against Dembow is the charge that he was wasting town resources by consulting with the Town Attorney on the legality of blocking critical comments about him on social media, which Pace has seized upon recently.

Speaking of Dembow’s seat, new entrant Christine Labelle has entered the arena to run against him this election. She is a realtor and long-time PV resident whose platform on the surface mirrors much of the desires of the town, primarily protection from overdevelopment and restrictions on STRs. The significant undercurrent in this race is the past actions of Dembow however, and the desire for many within the town to get him off of the council.

Paradise Valley is known as a fairly sleepy town, just how its residents would like it. But its local politics will be anything but sleepy this year, and a major potential shakeup faces this town. We have appreciated Councilwoman Pace’s priorities in the past and look forward to hearing about her plans as Mayor. And we echo the call for Dembow to no longer be in a position of leadership, and as such we also look forward to what Ms. Labelle has to say.

Photo Credit: Moazam Khan

Regular readers of this blog have no doubt read about our disappointment over the lack of vision and forward-thinking regarding development. One frequent example that we have lamented about is the difficulty that the Ironwood 92 project has encountered as it attempts to make its way through the approval process. A fantastic project that has the unanimous support of the businesses around its proposed site; a site that currently houses an office building that has been a vacant eyesore for 12 years. An unequivocal upgrade over the present.

Well, wouldn’t you know, another valley city has become a north star for this sort of guidance: it’s Mesa, of all places.

In the case of 560 W Brown Road, long-vacant medical offices were an eyesore, and a developer came in wanting to turn it into beautiful housing, which turned into NIMBYs offering concerns of it turning into “low-income housing” and concerns about higher crime.

Does any of this ring a bell, Scottsdale? If not, I recommend listening in on a planning commission or city council meeting. You’ll hear much of the same pearl-clutching and gnashing of teeth.

However, because of the foresight and practicality of 60% of their city council, Mesa will soon have gorgeous apartments with major amenities, as well as some degree of rent relief for many people. And unless rent prices stabilize in a major way, which seems unlikely, this same process will play out throughout the valley. How many other cities are going to leave Scottsdale in the dust and recruit new residents and a larger tax base because of forward-thinking policies?

We never would have imagined that Mesa would be acting in a matter that we envied, but here we are. How many other cities will have had enough with out-of-neighborhood NIMBYs and finally do what’s right? How many other cities are we going to look to as a north star?

By Alexander Lomax

Photo Credit: NBC News

In what was a surprise to absolutely no one, the Arizona Democratic Party voted behind closed doors to formally censure Kyrsten Sinema this past weekend. If there was a single saving grace for Sinema (other than the potential support it may elicit from registered independents and other politically homeless voters), it’s that it was not done in a vote of State Committee members, which likely would have been embarrassingly one-sided at this point.

This also comes on the heels of a recent poll that came out from (admittedly questionable) pollster Civiqs showing her support amongst Arizona Democrats bottoming out at an absurd 8% approval rate. Ohhh, dearest senior Senator, they are just not into you. Not at all.

So what does it mean for Sinema? These sorts of insider-baseball moves from political parties usually have no bearing on real life, but this one may be somewhat different. You see, party support of an incumbent matters. It means that behind the scenes, potential new entrants will be strongly dissuaded from entering the fray, in a methodology that Pablo Escobar made famous: “plata o plomo”, which translates to “silver or lead”. You take the bribe or you get the bullet. Those are your choices.

As it relates to politics, it’s not uncommon for party leadership to dissuade challenges to an incumbent by offering up party support for a different, lower political seat (silver), or subtly let it be known that if you choose to go forward, inconvenient truths will come out and be used to destroy you (lead). This is a significant tool in avoiding chaos and bloody battles against those who are already in power and on “the right side”.

The censure decision takes that away; there will be no keeping anyone from entering that fray. The protective walls have come down, and the buzz is already heightening for a run by Ruben Gallego for that seat (and when you hear this sort of buzz, it’s probably not accidental, it’s PR). Moreover, it frees up the party to actively consolidate behind and support a candidate. While Gallego has his detractors within the party apparatus for having a reputation for a hard-partying lifestyle, if the party chose to back him as the best shot to win in 2024, Sinema would have no chance in that primary.

And so Sinema will effectively have two choices: run without a party and hope that 35-40% will win in a three-way race, or move into the cushy, 7-figure world of DC lobbying. It certainly feels like she is moving towards the latter, and I don’t think anyone could blame her for choosing that golden road. Arizona Democrats certainly wouldn’t mind.

The Francis and Dionne Najafi Global Initiative is a one-of-a-kind inclusive, innovative, impactful global initiative that will advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4, Quality Education for all. 70% of participants will be women. Thunderbird’s new state-of-the art headquarters will also be named after Francis and Dionne Najafi.

PHOENIX, Jan. 20, 2022 – Thunderbird School of Global Management, home of the world’s No. 1 ranked Master’s in Management at Arizona State University (ASU), ranked No. 1 for innovation in the U.S., announced today a transformative new global initiative to educate and empower 100 million learners by 2030. The announcement coincides with the World Economic Forum’s State of the World sessions.

Thanks to a historic $25 million donation from the Francis and Dionne Najafi Global Initiative, Thunderbird will offer a free, accredited online Global Management and Entrepreneurship Certificate, consisting of five world-class courses in 40 different languages. Of the 100 million learners the program will reach worldwide, 70% will be women and young women. Never before has such an ambitious higher education goal been launched.

The Francis and Dionne Najafi Global Initiative has been made possible through a generous donation from prominent Phoenix businessman and Thunderbird alumni F. Francis Najafi ’77 and his wife Dionne Najafi ’06. “Our lives were transformed by our experience at Thunderbird and we wanted to extend that same transformative experience to people around the world who don’t have the opportunity to access this world-class education,” said the Najafis. “We are excited and deeply humbled to be part of such a bold initiative.”

The United Nations estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic has erased 20 years worth of educational gains. In addition, the uncertainty and disruption that has come to characterize this era of rapid technological disruption has displaced many workers, increasing the need for upskilling and reskilling in order to seize the immense opportunity of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“Thunderbird is the most global and digital leadership and management academy in the world and has touched over two million learners in its renowned 75 year history. As part of Arizona State University, we measure success not by whom we exclude, but rather by whom we include and how they succeed,” said Thunderbird Director General and Dean, Dr. Sanjeev Khagram. “This initiative will enable ASU and Thunderbird to provide quality higher education to people from all over the globe and advance the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4, Quality Education for all.”Read More

Photo Credit: AZ Big Media

If you read this blog, you know that we love Scottsdale. We love the myriad fine dining options all around the city, and we love the incredible options to let your hair down and party in Old Town and elsewhere. But what about combining the two? How perfect would that be for Scottsdale?

Well we don’t have to wait any longer to find out: Buzzed Bull Creamery, a company specializing in alcohol-infused ice cream with locations primarily in the southeast, is making their furthest venture out west with their first Arizona location in Old Town Scottsdale.

The company uses liquid nitrogen to infuse alcohol into ice cream in a number of different flavors and liquors, including fan favorites Death By Chocolate and Honey Bourbon Pecan. Their location will be on Camelback Rd, right in the heart of Old Town, no doubt catching a mix of curious tourists and local revelers.

Buzzed Bull is based in Tennessee and currently only has eight locations open, but is clearly in hyper-growth mode. Along with their foray into Arizona, they are also in the process of opening their first locations in Florida and Kentucky, and are expanding from one to nine locations in Georgia. The locations are nearly all in warm locations, which of course makes sense. And considering the Arizona heat, perhaps no location is more apropos than Scottsdale.

More overarchingly though, we should consider ourselves lucky. When interesting new concepts want to enter the Arizona market, they have plenty of options. However, very often (especially in the hospitality and service sector) they start their Arizona journey in Scottsdale. It’s an excellent testament to just how world-class our city is, and we should feel honored to have so many top-notch options.

Lake Mead – Photo Credit: LATimes.com

We live in a desert. We all know that water is at a premium here, and yet your average Arizonan uses as much water as they need with little thought of minimizing usage. That will soon change for Scottsdale though, as the city is now asking residents to reduce their usage by 5%.

Interestingly enough, this makes Scottsdale the first city in Arizona to make such a request from its residents. That said, on further thought this makes sense. According to the city, 70% of its water use it outdoors, of which a considerable amount is likely used on the number of golf courses in town, as well as a proclivity towards very well maintained lawns compared to other parts of Arizona.

We have already spoken about the significant drought problems that have been plaguing much of the southwest, as well as more specifically in Scottsdale due to the Stage 1 drought announcement. Lake Mead, the major source of water for much of the area, has been at historical lows all year, with levels so low that they imperil hydroelectric power production in the area, bringing up a potential cascade of additional issues.

A Stage 1 drought announcement is by nature voluntary, an ask from government. A Stage 2 announcement will bring with it more muscle, when more restrictions and mandatory limitations may be in play. Essentially, we will ask you politely this time, with the hopes that we won’t have to ask you a second time, because the next time it will not be an ask, it will be an order.

We have long lived like we don’t live in a desert, and I believe that most Scottsdalians knew that at some point that had to end. Unfortunately, that time is accelerating. We would like to believe in the collective understanding of the common good, of coming together for what’s best for everyone. That would be ideal, but we find it hard to see any outcome that doesn’t involve us living like we always have, and changing our behavior only when absolutely necessary after prolonged kicking and screaming. And that’s unfortunate.

1967 Shelby Cobra

On January 22nd, the eyes of the country (and parts of the world) will be on Scottsdale and the world-famous Barrett-Jackson car auction. We are incredibly spoiled in that it’s a short drive for us so we have the ability to easily take it in in person. So since it’s only a short drive, 1) you better go, and 2) when you do, what should you look out for?

We love this absolutely gorgeous 1967 Shelby Cobra, originally sold in Scottsdale in 1967. It received a full restoration in the early 90’s, was repainted metallic blue with white stripes and upgraded to full S/C specifications. With a 427 ci engine V8 engine, you would look incredibly cool rolling up the 101 in this.

For me personally, this 1962 Shelby Cobra turns my head a little bit faster, but I think I could manage with either one…if I had to!

For that rare gem of a person that wants to flex on everyone around them but is also environmentally conscious? Check out this McLaren P1 hybrid. Yes, a McLaren hybrid. All the performance you would expect (903 hp,0-60 in 2.8 seconds), with an incredibly sleek look and those sexy scissor doors, AND you can help save the planet. Slightly. Definitely a good talking point at least.

How about this 1970 Plymouth Hemi Superbird? Only one of 135 created and in impeccable condition, remarkably well preserved with a factory repaint. Serious muscle with a truly charming retro look.

Hey, we don’t have to tell you that there will be amazing cars for sale there. And we probably don’t need to tell you that they won’t be cheap, but that’s the point. Bring your checkbooks or your platinum cards, and don’t forget that this is a charitable event. Barrett-Jackson has raised over $133 million for charitable organizations, so consider spending big, looking fantastic in the process, and doing a good deed for those in need in the process.

By Ronald Sampson

Money is not the end all be all of politics, but it is the best determinant of success of a campaign. You need money to get your message out and to demonstrate your level of support. The first Arizona campaign finance reports for this election season are now in, and they cover an entire year’s worth of fundraising and expenses and offer many clues as to the strength or weakness of campaigns.

Governor: much has been said about Kari Lake’s polling dominance on the GOP side, but the numbers show real weakness. Her $1.5 million raised isn’t bad (although it trails several other candidates), but the real story is how much of it she burned through, over $1 million. She sits with only $375K cash on hand. Meanwhile, Karrin Taylor Robson sits on a robust $3 million in cash on hand; while she is currently polling miserably low, $3 million can do a lot to improve that. Steve Gaynor contributed over $5 million to his own campaign and has retained most of it in cash, so he also is well positioned to chip away from Lake’s support. 4 GOP candidates currently have more cash on hand than Lake, meaning that her polling numbers have likely already hit their highest.

On the Dem side, all 3 legitimate candidates raised over a million, with Katie Hobbs predictably raising the most and retaining nearly $1.5 million cash on hand. Most notably for the other candidates, Marco Lopez raised over a million dollars but somehow managed to burn through around 80% of it, likely grounding his campaign before it ever lifted off.

Secretary of State: on the GOP side it is a two person race as far as cash on hand is involved: both Mark Finchem and Beau Lane have raised and retained substantial amounts of cash, while Shawnna Bolick and Michelle Ugenti-Rita both stand at a paltry $54K cash on hand. Both Dem candidates burned through over half of their raised amount, with Adrian Fontes holding a $60K advantage in cash on hand.

Attorney General: Rodney Glassman again shows how deep his rolodex of wealthy people is, raising nearly $1.3 million and retaining almost all of it. Andrew Gould put up a valiant effort but has only about 1/3rd the cash on hand as Glassman. Both are far above the closest Democratic challenger, Kris Mayes, clocking in at under $275K cash on hand.

Look at these numbers in totality, there are a few conclusions: 1) Kari Lake will not have a cakewalk to the nomination, 2) Katie Hobbs will have an easier pathway than her recent troubles imply, 3) Democrats will have a tough road to retain the Secretary of State’s seat, and 4) Rodney Glassman just won’t go away, despite the wishes of many. There is plenty of time left to go, but we have more clarity.

There’s a helpful rule in political and legal circles:  know the answer to the question before you ask it.

Rarely has it been violated more spectacularly than last night, in Scottsdale.  For a redevelopment project called 92 Ironwood that in most any other time would be on a consent agenda.  As a reminder the plan seeks to replace an empty and dilapidated office complex, next door to a shopping center, with a low-density, low-height multi-family project.  It is being proposed and would be financed and managed by highly regarded Scottsdale companies.  No thinking person who walks the site and its deterioration and emptiness can think 92 Ironwood is misguided.  Indeed, it is necessary to help a critical hospital and beloved shopping center in the Age of Amazon.  Some apartment projects deserve opposition.  Not this one.

Nevertheless, the case has become very weird as Scottsdale politics can cause these days.  All those immediately surrounding the project from Honor Health and a shopping center, including its small businesses, support the plan.  There are no residents within any proximity.  Yet, Scottsdale’s Lockdown Caucus which opposes anything at anywhere at any time – roughly 17% of the electorate – has weighed in to strangely oppose the plan.

So last night there was an Open House.  It was terrifically attended and ended up being a convention of Scottsdale’s best characters in democracy from Kathy and Bob Littlefield, Linda Milhaven, Tammy Caputi, Tom Durham and Solange Whitehead to Bob Pejman, Jason Alexander, Rod Pritchard, Don Henninger, Andrea Alley and many others.

Early on and perhaps inspired by the robust turnout a member of the Lockdown Caucus rudely interrupted the presentation – before the illuminating walking tours – and loudly challenged the developer before the audience:  did anyone there support what would be a $95 million investment in Scottsdale and revitalization a defunct slice of it?  He thought he had the audience due to its size on his side.  Boy was he wrong.  He was he literally shouted down by 92 Ironwood supporters.  Whatever political balloon he thought he was holding deflated quickly, badly, embarrassingly.

That’s because of the 80 people who attended the Open House 58 signed into support 92 Ironwood, 12  were opposed (at least as of then) and 10  said they were undecided.

That’s reality, and quite a reversal from the perception that 92 Ironwood was an uninvited redevelopment.  The opposite is now true, thanks to a political faux paus and paperwork for all decision makers to now see, in the case that all of the neighbors before and even the Arizona Nurse’s Association weren’t persuasive enough before.

Beau Macmillan, Photo Credit: Food Network

We have long talked about how Scottsdale is a world-class locale to eat, drink and be merry. Well Chef Beau MacMillan, Executive Chef for Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain as well as for the Arizona Cardinals, is exemplifying exactly why with his latest endeavor, a new combination culinary experience/entertainment area that seems bound to make our adult hearts joyous not unlike what a trip to Chuck E Cheese would have done in our youth.

His new restaurant “Cala” will be opening this month on Camelback Rd, with a coastal Mediterranean menu focused on Greece, Spain, Morocco, and Italy. However, that isn’t the new and refreshing part; the restaurant will feature a large patio with a 40 foot bar and plenty of cabanas. In the words of MacMillan, “A lot of people come down here, find a place to eat and move to the clubs. Let’s give them a place to eat where they won’t want to move on”.

And what does that mean? We can get a few hints from another MacMillan project in Las Vegas, “Money, Baby!”, described as “adult playground with a mid-century modern style”. It seems as though the attempt will be to bring some of Old Town’s revelry into a restaurant; think a much, much cooler and classier Buster and Daves.


For those that are unfamiliar with MacMillan, he has carved out a solid culinary career for himself in the Valley, but also on television. He beat out Bobby Flay on a cook-off on “Iron Chef America” in 2006, and co-hosted the show “Worst Cooks in America” six years later, along with a few collaborations with Guy Fieri on his shows. The title “Celebrity Chef” seems apropos.

The variety of both food and entertainment options in and around Old Town are myriad, and typically we would say that there is so much competition that newer concepts can easily get crowded out. However, this particular concept, albeit with details left to release, seems to be a fantastic potential combination of a great idea with the star power to make it work. We wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a culinary anchor, a flagship that sticks around for years to come.

Once upon a time Jason Alexander and Solange Whitehead were allies.  They worked smartly and effectively on the same team to defeat the ill-conceived Desert Discovery Center a few years back.  In many ways Alexander’s indefatigable leadership paved the way for Whitehead’s election in 2018.

But a split has developed between the two, largely on policy lines.  This recent Facebook exchange about a proposed redevelopment across from Honor Health’s North Scottsdale hospital called Ironwood 92 is noteworthy and instructive.




On this one, Alexander is right.  Clearly.  Undeniably.  And Whitehead would be wise to heed his counsel on this particular project.  We have written previously about the project’s substantial merits.  An empty old office building.  Next to a shopping center that supports the plan. Across from a hospital that has endorsed it too.  As has the Arizona Nurse’s Association which says housing costs for those on the front lines is getting out of control.  And proposed heights are actually less than what is allowed now!

Oh, and did we mention that the project is being proposed by a long-time Scottsdale business person? With an investment partner based in Scottsdale? To be managed by a Scottsdale-based company? It truly is a project by and for Scottsdale.

We could go on but instead want to focus on Alexander’s deconstruction of Whitehead’s previous opposition.

Whitehead talks of “hundreds of emails” she purportedly previously received opposing the plan.  She fails to note that NONE of the emails came from people living near the site.  Indeed, those closest to the site support it.  Overwhelmingly.  Wasn’t that and hasn’t that been Whitehead’s campaign and governing ethos?

Whitehead’s strength as a councilor is that she gives most everyone a fair shake.  Then, like a good umpire, she calls balls and strikes.  She supports some projects, opposes others.

But no sane individual can visit the run-down office site of Ironwood 92 and think it should not be redeveloped to help a hospital, shopping center, traffic flow (since it is adding a new light) and in a small way address spiraling housing costs in Scottsdale.   People will again have the chance to see this at a project Open House Wednesday from 4p-6p on site.

Whitehead knows all of this.  But she’s playing games for some strange reason.  And Alexander is wise to call her out on it.

Photo Credit: scottsdaleaz.gov

It hasn’t been a big secret that Mayor David Ortega has had a sometimes contentious relationship with a few other members of the city council. That has recently come out in the open even more however, with a recent tift with Councilwoman Tammy Caputi coming to light and with potential stakes including a significant lawsuit.

The most recent conflict is in relation to the Scottsdale Old Town Character Plan, the plan designed to guide development in our unique district. Mayor Ortega is attempting to incorporate lower “bonus height standards”, which are building heights allowed over the traditional zoning limitations, often with certain caveats (or “bonuses”) added as sweeteners. Ortega has been consistent with his desire to keep heights in check, to the delight of many anti-development activists but to the annoyance of developers.

Councilwoman Caputi’s objection was relating to Proposition 207, passed by the voters in 2006 which relates to zoning changes. Essentially, when changes are made that will diminish the property value of a property, compensation is necessary. Caputi’s argument is that forcibly lowering those heights will have a negative impact on property values, which will then lead to a lawsuit and a  subsequent payout from the city, one that in one case has been estimated to be $4 billion by the Goldwater Institute.

Scottsdale City Attorney Eric Anderson mentioned that it should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and should be evaluated by real estate valuation experts. While non-committal in either direction, his response does strongly imply that there is certainly potential merit to the charge.

This case has been yet another example of battle lines being drawn in the council, between the “Build, baby, build!” members of the council (of whom Caputi is certainly on the forefront of), and those that are more averse to development, or at the very least more demanding of stronger standards, spearheaded by Ortega. That said, their conflict seems to be more personal and the result of conflicting personalities, of two strong-headed leaders butting heads like rams.

Personality conflicts aside, one thing that Scottsdalians absolutely do not want is taxpayer funds being used to pay out based on mistakes from council. While we are not sure that that is how it would play out, the remarks from the city’s legal guidance was enough to give us pause. The city council should not make any unnecessary changes in the sake of development ideals if it potentially imperils our taxpayer dollars. We hope that Mayor Ortega will let this one go and find a less litigious battle to fight.

Photo Credit: nj.com

Finally, the crackdown of party houses may finally start in earnest in Scottsdale. So why did it take this long?

Last Friday, Scottsdale police were finally able to begin their enhanced enforcement efforts on out-of-control short-term rental parties. This is after the STR issue was a major campaign talking point on numerous city council and mayoral campaigns, and which clearly resonated. The Scottsdale Short Term Rental Working Group was formed, and after six meetings, they came up with nine recommendations which have been adapted.

We have spoken about this saga at length, and we come back to the question of…why? Why did it take so long? And yet the answer is unusually clear in this case: the state tied the city’s hands behind its backs. When they passed A.R.S. 9-500.39, with Governor Ducey’s blessing, they made it illegal for cities and towns to place additional regulations on short-term rentals.

Why would the state want to do so? We have to imagine that STR companies (most notably Airbnb and VRBO) made generous campaign donations to well placed legislators, and paid for some excellent lobbyists. For a party that prides itself on small government, telling local governments that they’re not allowed to regulate in their own best interests seems to be anathema to that credo.

There have been efforts to undo this wrong. We must give Representative John Kavanagh credit for attempting to reverse this, yet his bill came out of the other chamber watered down (in his words) and failed to pass. Senator JD Mesnard has introduced a bill to allow for municipalities to exert strong financial disincentives for bad actions. But in reality, a full reversal would be preferred.

The people of both Paradise Valley and Scottsdale have spoken. They may not know that it is the SGINOs (“Small Government In Name Only”) in Phoenix who stand in the way, but clearly they are supportive of efforts to reign in STRs. The state capitol needs to take the hint, and get out of our damn way!

Photo Credit: AZ Big Media

Scottsdale as a hub of sustainability? Nearly no reasonable people would think that those words should go together, but one firm sees the value of setting up shop here and making us a base of operations.

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council recently announced that the United Cities North America, a sustainable energy company, will be setting up a base of operations in the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Reservation, right next door to Scottsdale. The site will serve as a research and development hub, allowing them a space to test out tactics for reducing carbon emissions. In the words of the head of United Cities Jason Lohe, “We selected the greater Phoenix Area because it is one of the fastest growing markets in the U.S. and we believe it is well positioned to be a driver of the Net Zero and sustainability goals going forward”.

While Arizona may seem like an odd choice for a sustainability company to set up shop due to our right-of-center politics, United Cities is not alone on that front. Arizona State’s world renowned Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation allow for a solid talent pool for sustainability-focused companies to choose from. Also, our frequent sunlight and high proliferation of solar energy production allow for a pre-set infrastructure of sorts.

The timing is also relatively favorable for sustainability in Arizona. The Arizona Corporation Commission, the governing body that oversees electricity production, had long been resistant to more rigorous clean energy standards at the request of APS, the energy provider that often bankrolled preferred candidates.. However APS has announced that it will no longer get involved in Corporation Commission campaigns, leaving a vacuum which has been filled with initiatives to get 100% of our energy from renewable sources.

We certainly appreciate sustainability-focused companies seeing the value of relocating to our beautiful area, and we welcome them. What we really hope however is that they find a way to achieve those goals without doing significant economic harm. While sustainability is a noble goal, the real achievement would be doing so in a way that is also economically sustainable.

By Larry Kush

I recently read an article in a nationally published apartment industry report called Rent Cafe, which stated that Scottsdale” renters struggled to find an apartment in our city where they met an awful mix of high occupancy rates of 96.3%, and 20 applicants competing for every vacant apartment that on average, stayed available for just 25 days.”

Most any apartment owner you ask will tell you that an occupancy rate of 96.3% means that they are effectively full given that there is always a “turn around” period getting a vacant apartment ready for the next tenant.

20 applicants per vacancy!  I thought that cannot be true, so I called several local multifamily developers who verified that high number as correct.  These same developers also lamented that the root of the supply problem is with cities (such as Scottsdale) who are continually denying or discouraging new apartment development.

It is no secret that the entire Phoenix metropolitan area is experiencing record sales of new and resale single family homes that continues to grow driven by in-migration.  Currently, the Phoenix metro area is the No. 2 migration destination in the United States, second only to Miami Florida.

As home prices continue to skyrocket to unheard of prices, fewer families can afford a single-family home and are thus driven into the rental market, where they are finding fewer and fewer options from which to choose.

One of the unfortunate consequences of this unit shortage is that renters are looking to smaller and older 2-8 unit complexes where many elderly and service workers have been living for years.  This strong demand has resulted in landlords raising rents thus displacing the current tenants who cannot afford the increase in rent.

Scottsdale is an excellent example of this housing problem.  Many articles have been appearing in local papers (such as this one) about elderly tenants being forced to move out of places that they have occupied for many years.  This situation is not the fault of the landlords but instead the city of Scottsdale’s elected leadership.  Mayor Ortega with support of the likes of Council women Solange, Littlefield and Janik have shown their lack of leadership skills and a total lack of empathy for Scottsdale’s citizens and new-comers by continually blocking well designed and badly needed apartment projects throughout the city.  A great example being their refusal to support a recent application for a 250+ unit project on 92nd Street and Shea Boulevard by Kaplan Development.  This project looked to fill the need for housing for the large group of medical personnel located across the street at the Shea Medical Center.  Driven by a group of NIMBY’s (Not in my neighborhood) activists they denied these people a great place to live.

So long as cities such as Scottsdale continue to answer to a group of anti-growth, radical (some even say racist) individuals this housing problem will only grow worse.  Clearly new leadership is needed.

 

Larry Kush is a 45year Scottsdale resident as well as a former 6year Scottsdale Planning Commissioner and a lifelong advocate of affordable/fair housing

 

 

 

 

Scottsdale police are not immune from celebrity sightings; history is filled with quite a few examples of various celebrities (mainly professional athletes) who have too many drinks, get behind a wheel and quickly learn that driving under the influence isn’t acceptable in Arizona, regardless of how big your paychecks are. SPD recently had a more congenial celebrity encounter however, with a tie-in to local politics.

Comedian Rob Schneider, best known for his time on Saturday Night Live as well as comedies such as Deuce Bigalow, calls Scottsdale his home. Recently his Tesla broke down on our roadways, and who came to the rescue? Scottsdale’s finest, as demonstrated via Schnider’s Twitter account.

Scneider isn’t alone when it comes to celebrities calling Scottsdale or Paradise Valley their home. Former star athletes Charles Barkley and Kurt Warner have kept a Scottsdale zip code even after their playing days were over. We all know about Alice Cooper being a local, but so is pop star Alicia Keys, Franie Muniz from Malcolm in the Middle fame, as well as another former SNL-turned-movie star, David Spade.

Scneider also made some local waves for a completely different reason only a few days later. At the end of a comedy show that he headlined, he went on to endorse Kari Lake’s campaign for governor. Schneider has not been known as a political firebrand, and has demonstrated views from across the political spectrum. A former Democrat who tired of liberal policies in California, his views became more pronounced in the midst of Covid-19, where he stridently voiced anti-vaccination views.

We recognize the everyday bravery of Scottsdale police, who deal with difficult situations every day, even if helping a broken-down celebrity is a much more benign problem to solve. And we also recognize the bravery of a celebrity making a public endorsement, one that will no doubt cost him some fans and friends. Regardless of how you feel about Lake, it’s a gutsy move.

By Ronald Sampson

Photo Credit: the Scribble Bug

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is an old adage about government, that people get the government they deserve. The implication is that a general lack of interest or attention will lead to sub-optimal governance results. And the more things change, the more things stay the same, as Scottsdale residents have shown recently.

For a bit of context, there have been public meetings related to the Scottsdale Old Town Character Plan, a regular council initiative designed to set a plan for the development of Old Town (like the Scottsdale General Plan, but focused on Old Town). While these aren’t strictly binding, they are designed to set the tone and tenor for development and zoning concerns in the area going forward.

We have spoken at great length about NIMBYism and “activism” against any and all development in Scottsdale a few times here at APG. Plenty of Scottsdalians are more than willing to speak out at meetings for developments outside of where they even live, and yet…only an estimated 100 people have gotten involved in the Old Town planning process, as per the Scottsdale Independent

As per normal, it seems as though a lot of people want to try to make some waves, ruffle some feathers, and appear to be in a leadership capacity, but few actually want to do their homework.

I’m just wondering where all the people are who are more than willing to jump into the public comments for zoning or general council meetings, willing to badmouth a project miles away from them. Don’t they have thoughts on the Old Town plan? Where are they?

Actually, upon further thought, maybe I won’t complain about their absence. Maybe we’re better off with their silence. If only they would do so more often, Scottsdale would be a better place.

2022 Scrum


Dear Friends,

Earlier today, I made final arguments for the Town at the Arizona Corporation Commission hearing on proposed rate increases for EPCOR water customers in Paradise Valley. I am very pleased to report that for the second time during my service as Mayor, the Town has achieved the excellent result of avoiding huge, sudden increases in water rates.  More details to be released soon, including on the savings to Town EPCOR customers and the Town.

I am thankful to the elected members of the Arizona Corporation Commission, who ultimately voted 5-0 in favor of a proposal to keep the Town’s rates separate from other water districts, despite many recommendations for them to have Paradise Valley ratepayers subsidize others.  Several years ago, EPCOR had taken its own path in proposing higher rates.  This time, EPCOR worked closely with me and our senior staff to narrow the issues and support keeping Paradise Valley in its own district, which is very much appreciated.

I am very proud of the strategic planning, work, and advocacy as your Mayor to achieve this superb outcome.  Foremost, though, I want to express sincere thanks to each and every one of our citizens who spoke up when requested by the Town.  Your time, efforts, and remarks made a big difference.

In addition, I am grateful to the Town’s Resort Community, who worked closely with the Town to keep rates low for everyone, and spent their own time and money to do that for our community.

As we have come to expect, the Town’s legal and staff teams did a phenomenal job staying on top of this evolving and complex matter and in executing our strategy to perfection, with community buy-in and outreach.

Last but not least, I am very grateful to the Town Council for its hard work and engagement on this issue – every single Council Member contributed and helped in these efforts.

I hope all Town EPCOR customers can rest easier tonight (I am told by our lawyers that the rate order is subject to final appeal, but that this is unlikely given the 5-0 vote).

Rest assured, we will not rest on our laurels, and instead I will keep focused on avoiding unwelcome spikes in utility bills for PV citizens.

Thank you for the privilege of serving as your Mayor.

Sincerely,

Mayor Jerry Bien-Willner

Dear Friends,

I am writing to ask for your continued support as I work to preserve Paradise Valley’s status as Arizona’s premiere residential community. I am beginning my campaign for a renewed two-year mayoral term, and I would like to share my aspirations and my plans for our Town.

The past two years have been a challenge for everyone, but I am proud that Paradise Valley has continued to thrive. Our accomplishments should be points of pride for each of us:

·      Top-notch public safety

·      Welcoming and safe neighborhoods that have earned our Town national recognition

·      The highest residential property values, reflective of our focus on preserving our historic building and lot size standards

·      Collegial and cooperative relationships with our resorts, houses of worship, schools, and neighboring communities

·      And excellent financial management that does not require a local property tax

Indeed, despite recent and ongoing challenges, Paradise Valley residents continue to enjoy the best quality of life of any community in the Southwest. It’s not easy to stay on top, but our Town’s commitment to its values – including effective, limited, responsible government – has served us well.

My priorities for the next two years will include:

• Continuing to emphasize and support public safety, and ensuring that Paradise Valley remains among the very safest communities in Arizona and the Southwest;

• Finishing the job when it comes to reigning in the short-term rental situation and ensuring our residents and neighborhoods are protected;

• Continuing to ensure responsible land use that is consistent with our Town’s unique residential character. With the potential for several large development projects in the future, this diligence will be important;

• Ensuring a full economic recovery from the pandemic, including supporting our local resort properties while protecting our Town’s peaceful and exceptional residential character;

• And working with my colleagues on the Town Council and with our Town’s other volunteers and Town staff in a professional, respectful, and cooperative way to advance issues important to all Paradise Valley residents.

I remain committed to work on behalf of our Town, using all the skills and knowledge I have been privileged to gain as an attorney, businessperson and long-time Town volunteer and elected official.

If reelected Mayor, I promise to continue to fight every day for our citizens.  Three generations of my family proudly call our Town home: My wonderful wife, Robyn, and our two school-aged children, along with my parents, who are Town citizens since 1978.  My commitment to my family is also a commitment to yours.

Thank you for your support, and please remember to vote in the upcoming Town elections — Election Day is August 2. I look forward to continuing to serve our exceptional community.

Sincerely,

Jerry Bien-Willner

Dear Friends,

I am excited to announce I am running to serve as your State House Representative in the new LD4, which includes a good portion of LD28 (east of the 51 and all of Paradise Valley) and parts of the old LD15 and LD23. I am truly inspired by the strength of our community over the last few years and I know that we have more work to do to create the opportunities we want for our children and future generations.

I am honored to be teaming up with a fellow principled, conservative – my friend, colleague, and one of the hardest working public servants I know, Senator Nancy Barto.

You will be hearing more from us in the weeks to come but in the meantime, please go online and sign our petitions so we will be on the August primary ballot. If you are currently in the old LD28, you can sign my petition. The Secretary of State plans to suspend online signing next week so I appreciate you taking a few moments to do it now.

Thank you.

With appreciation,

Maria Syms

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy announced today he is endorsing Juan Ciscomani (AZ-06) for U.S. Congress.

Arizona’s new 6th congressional district spans 6 counties in Southern Arizona and one of only two congressional districts in Arizona to include the U.S.-Mexico border. Our district is a critical, key battleground seat we must flip in 2022 to ensure we take back the House! 

“Juan Ciscomani is a conservative fighter for Southern Arizona, and we need his help in Congress to stop the radical Biden-Pelosi agenda.  Juan embodies the American Dream, and he’s working to rebuild it for everyday Arizonans. Juan’s message is resonating with voters across his district, and he has built a strong campaign that will help us Fire Pelosi and Take Back the House in November!  I’m proud to endorse Juan Ciscomani for Congress,” said Leader Kevin McCarthy.

This endorsement doesn’t happen by accident.
It’s thanks to YOUR commitment to helping us build a strong and winning campaign here in Southern Arizona! We are very grateful.
Let’s build on the momentum, and win in 2022!

From Data Orbital

Data Orbital is pleased to announce the results of its latest statewide, live-caller survey of registered voters. The survey was conducted from September 30th to October 1st.

The survey focused on voters’ views of the proposed $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill and sought to gauge their position on the overall size of the spending package.

The $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation bill does not reach majority support with Arizona voters. Overall, less than half (45.6%) of all voters expressed support for the spending bill. Independents, in particular, do not support the bill, with only 22% of Independents strongly supporting it and 18% having no opinion.

However, voters expressed that they may be open to some form of the bill, but only with a smaller price tag. A majority of Democrats (54%) as well as sizeable portions of Independents (46%) and Republicans (34%) said they would be more likely to support the bill if it came at a lower cost. In addition, of those who either “somewhat support” or “somewhat oppose” the bill as it stands, almost 60% would be more likely to support the bill if it was less than the current price tag of $3.5 trillion.

Pollster George Khalaf said, “These results clearly show why Senator Sinema is holding out against pressure from the progressive left. She is listening to the constituency of voters that elected her in 2018 – moderate suburban voters. It is clear Arizona voters are hesitant about the reconciliation package at its full $3.5 trillion price.”

This poll of 550 registered voters was conducted through a live survey that collected 60% of the results from landlines and 40% from cell phones. It has a margin of error at plus or minus 4.18% with a 95% confidence interval. Respondents were weighted on a number of different demographic figures based on registration data from the Arizona Secretary of State. The poll was conducted from September 30 – October 1, 2021. All non-released questions would not reasonably be expected to influence responses to all released questions. The questions released are verbatim from the survey provided to respondents. Toplines and demographic data can be found here. Crosstabs for this survey can be found here.