Guest Editorial: Solange Whitehead is Part of the Problem

By Larry Kush

Three years ago on February 28th 2019, I had coffee with newly elected Scottsdale
councilwoman Solange Whitehead to discuss her position on housing. Solange told me
of her commitment to help alleviate the homeless problem and how she was an strong
advocate for affordable housing.

Over the next 3 years, Solange then proceeded to oppose nearly every multi-family
project presented to her in City Council for a vote. Solange has never seemed to grasp
the economic reality of the laws of supply and demand and that by turning down one
worthy project after another, she was limiting supply which has only helped to
exacerbate the drastic rent increases we are seeing throughout the city.
Solange has become the official spokesperson for Scottsdale’s NIMBY minority who
fear that these projects will bring the wrong element to their neighborhood.

Only recently, Solange opposed a housing project that would have brought needed
shelter to our medical community working in the 60 acre Honor Health Campus on Shea
boulevard. Even though, this project was strongly supported by the vast majority of
neighboring communities and businesses it was none the less opposed by a few anti
growth advocates living miles away, Solange sided with that group and opposed the

Unfortunately Solange is not alone in her dislike of all things Multi family, as good
projects are being turned down throughout the metro area. This anti housing stand has
led to a bipartisan bill in the Arizona State Legislature called House Bill 2674 which
seeks to address the rampant NIMBYISM throughout the valley by placing restraints on
the likes of Solange by allowing rezoning “by right” for more apartments as well as
adding $89 million dollars to the States Housing Trust Fund.

This bill was just announced last week, and quick to respond in this very news source
was Solange with an OPED warning her NIMBY voter base to oppose the bill. Poor
Solange, she just does not seem to understand the major part that she personally
played in the creation of this bill by being a big part of the problem, for if she really
wanted to stop the bill all she has to do is start by supporting the many multi family
projects currently in front of her.

We will see.

Larry is a 45 year Scottsdale resident and served over 6 years on the Scottsdale
Planning Commission and is a lifelong advocate for fair housing