By The Happy Wanderer
Last week, we considered Phoenix Councilman Sal DiCiccio and his 2017 campaign slogan “Sal For Solutions,” and how he’s keeping true to it.
Nearly two years after DiCiccio revealed that catchy phrase, an equally-memorable campaign motto surfaced for another Phoenix political candidate. At a get-out-the-vote rally less than a week before the Phoenix mayoral election, now-Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego packed The Churchill in downtown Phoenix with supporters. As she took the stage, the crowd of over 200 started to chant “Kate Will Be Great!” The attendees were so vociferous that they could be heard up and down Roosevelt Row.
After topping her opponent Daniel Valenzuela by approximately 30,000 votes, Gallego was sworn in as Mayor last Thursday. Now that she’s taken office, we have no doubt that Mayor Kate truly will be great. We touched on this before, but it’s definitely worth repeating.
Throughout the campaign at debates, voter outreach events and community gatherings, Gallego showcased her keen intellect and thorough understanding of issues that impact Phoenix. She could confidently and easily discuss Phoenix’s future as a tech and biomedical employment hub, how more affordable housing can be built within city limits and how to ensure an adequate water supply for the city, all within a 10-minute span. There’s no doubt about this: she’s always thinking.
Another characteristic of hers that will help ensure her success is her ability to rise above the fray. Facing an 18-point deficit after the November 2018 election, Valenzuela’s supporters stooped low and used negative tactics to try to get ahead of Gallego in the special general runoff election. They said she voted against public safety during her time on Phoenix City Council. They distorted the facts regarding her field director and her campaign staff as a way of questioning “judgment of who she surrounds herself with.” Gallego rose above these cheap shots. She had plenty of opportunities to return negativity with negativity, but she didn’t. Instead of being a politician, she was a diplomat. In a city that can be politically divided based on whether a resident has “Avenue” or “Street” in his or her address, she presented herself as the candidate who can unite Phoenicians.
Phoenix is at a crossroads. A steady hand is needed to lead the city. We are positive that Mayor Kate Gallego will calmly and adeptly do so for the foreseeable future.