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Letter from the Chair, 1/22/23: GOP; Rio Verde Water; Scottsdale Green Building Initiative

Note: Click on bold and blue content for news sources with additional background.


This is NOT Your Father’s GOP

Here in Arizona, we have a water crisis, an education crisis and the highest rate of homelessness in the US. So, of course, one of the first bills in Arizona’s legislative hopper, sponsored by our very own John Kavanagh, would prohibit the state from funding drag shows for kids.

Never mind that the state has never done this and has no interest in doing so. Let’s just kick off this year’s culture wars in a big way and go after a problem that doesn’t exist and has never existed. You can’t make this stuff up.

There are no moderate Republican office holders in the AZ legislature; this legislature may well prove to be the most radical in Arizona history with the only constraint being Governor Hobbs’ veto pen. That, and their single seat majority in each chamber.

Predictably, one week into this legislative session, with the ink barely dry on Hobbs’ budget proposal, Rs are threatening to shutdown our state government in July.

Republicans in Congress and our state legislature are repeatedly showing what they’re made of; it is not difficult to see which party is reckless and which party is attentive to voters’ needs.

This clearly sets the stage for us in 2024. Last fall, when we canvassed Independents across LD3, they often told us they weren’t going to vote for Republicans until some sanity was restored to the party. Independents may not agree with everything Democrats have to offer but many are determined to protect our state from a bunch of crazies.

Coming to this realization about the GOP takes time and is highly personal. I’m betting we’ll get more Independents voting with us in 2024, in part because it’s a presidential election year and in part because Republicans in Congress and our state legislature keep demonstrating that they cannot be trusted with power.

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A Deep Dive Into the Rio Verde Water Crisis

There has been superficial coverage of this crisis in the Arizona Republic, Arizona Mirror, NY Times and Washington Post.

How about an unvarnished timeline of events to better understand the background of this set of issues and the city of Scottsdale’s position?

There are a couple of reasons to learn more. First, if ever there was a canary in the coal mine, this is it. This situation and others similar to it will play out across Arizona as our drought continues and as ground water depletion continues unabated.

The second reason is that this will be the backdrop for David Ortega’s 2024 re-election campaign and if you are a Scottsdale resident, you owe it to yourself to be informed on this before you cast a vote in that election.

Don't be overwhelmed by the length of this document. The content required to fully understand the field of play is in the first 5 pages.

Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and settle in; this is a fascinating story that explains the roles of Scottsdale, Maricopa County and the residents of Rio Verde Foothills and the part each has played up to this point.

There is but one responsible player in this saga. You’ll find it at the link above.

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Speaking of Scottsdale

During our break, with election news flying past us all, it would have been easy to overlook a historic decision taken by the Scottsdale City Council. In early December, the city passed a mandatory green building initiative for all new commercial developments.

There are a couple of reasons this is important. First, Scottsdale is the first city in Arizona to pass such a mandate and it is among only 8 municipalities across the US to do so.

Second, this accomplishment reinforces the important role of Scottsdale’s Environmental Advisory Commission which worked tirelessly to get this passed. A big shout out to our own Andrew Scheck who serves on this commission and to Solange Whitehead for being one of the mandate’s champions.

LD3 - and LD23 before it - have been big advocates for boards and commissions. We advertise openings and offer assistance to anyone wanting to apply for the wide variety of board and commission openings available. Scroll down to see the current openings. The application deadline for each is February 9th.

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That’s it for this week. There’s been a lot of coverage of the XBB.1.5 COVID-19 variant. Make sure you and your loved ones are properly boosted!

Victoria Kauzlarich

Chair, LD3 Dems

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