It’s Election Time! We know what you’re thinking – wait, didn’t we just have an election in November (…and December, and January)? We did, but we didn’t quite finish the job, at least not in Phoenix City Council Districts 3 and 7. In Districts 3 and 7 there are runoffs, and today the Phoenix City Clerk is mailing out early ballots to voters in those two Districts. The official Election Day is March 9. Please remember that Phoenix City Council races are non-partisan, just like our law firm. The outcome of these two races will heavily influence the dynamics of the Phoenix City Council going forward.
Phoenix City Council District 7 primarily covers the southwestern part of the City (think Laveen and South Mountain Area, but much more).
For 12 years, Councilmember Michael Nowakowski has ably represented this District, but term limits means his service is coming to an end (thank you, Councilmember!). Several folks stepped up to seek the seat in November’s election, and two candidates easily emerged from that crowded field, Yassamin Ansari and Cinthia Estela. We have had the pleasure of getting to know both candidates. The residents of District 7 have two committed, energetic and capable candidates ready to serve their District.
Cinthia Estela is a longtime Laveen resident with a track record of public service in the community. Her parents were immigrants, they taught her the value of community and hard work. She is focused on building a more complete community through economic development, parks and community programs, public safety for district residents and ensuring District 7 receives its fair share of public infrastructure improvements and City services. Learn more about Cinthia here.
Yassamin Ansari is an Arizona native and daughter of immigrants who will bring her deep experience in civic engagement and work in public policy to District 7. Yassamin has identified her policy priorities as focusing on climate change, safer communities, creating good paying jobs, education and public health. Learn more about Yassamin here.
We wish them both luck in this election.
The race in Phoenix City Council District 3 (think North Central Phoenix and Moon Valley and more), on the other hand, is an important one and we heartily support the re-election of Councilmember Debra Stark.
CouncilmemberDebra Stark has spent her entire career in public service, first as a city planner, rising to become the Planning Director of Peoria, then Phoenix, and then Maricopa County. Deb’s priorities for her next term on Council include promoting economic development and job growth, creating signature community corridors like the 32nd Street Corridor, investing in public safety and public infrastructure, eliminating wasteful spending, protecting parks and community centers, and encouraging volunteerism. Since first elected in 2016, she has been a key, moderate voice on the Phoenix City Council. You can learn more about Deb here.
Because there were multiple candidates in the November race, Councilmember Stark fell just shy of the required 50%. She now faces an extremist candidate with virtually no experience with Phoenix local government. Her opponent, Nicole Garcia, endorsed the January 6 attack on the US Capitol as it was occurring, claiming that the same election that put her into a runoff was “stolen.” She has called for the arrest of the County Supervisors and labeled the Speaker of the Arizona House a “deep state monkey.” She has posted the personal cell numbers of public officials on Twitter. There is no place for such rhetoric or antics at City Hall. Nicole’s platform calls for uplifting small business, supporting safe communities and fiscal responsibility. You can learn more about Nicole here.
The contrast between candidates here is stark (pun intended)! If you live in Phoenix City Council District 3, we encourage you to vote for the re-election of Councilmember Debra Stark.
For information from the City of Phoenix regarding the March 9, 2021 runoff election, click here.
As always, the land use team at Gammage & Burnham is here to help you navigate the complex and ever-changing dynamics of local politics in Phoenix and throughout the State.